Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday urged the public not to blame the Philippine Coast Guard’s killing of a Taiwanese fisherman last week on Filipino workers and visitors, adding that the city government would work to ensure the safety of such workers in Taipei.
The shooting of Taiwanese fisherman Hung Shih-cheng (洪石成) in contested waters in the South China Sea has sparked public anger at the Philippines, and the nation has demanded a formal apology and compensation from Manila.
Hau yesterday reiterated his condemnation of the Philippines’ failure to meet Taiwan’s demands and take full responsibility for the incident. He added that letters had been sent to Taipei’s sister cities of Manila and Quezon to retract its invitation for them to participate in Taipei’s annual dragon boat festival next month, while suspending all city-to-city exchanges.
However, he called on the public to remain rational and refrain from taking their anger out on Philippine workers and visitors in Taiwan.
“The public should stay rational and treat Philippine workers and visitors with friendly attitudes because they are innocent. We do not want any irrational reactions to complicate Taiwan’s handling of the incident,” he said.
Hau’s comments came amid allegations that Filipino workers are being treated viciously by Taiwanese in the wake of the incident.
Netizens shared a message yesterday on Facebook from the Trans Asia Sisters Association that called on Taiwanese not to shift the blame on to Philippine citizens after some Filipino workers said that fellow workers were reportedly being beaten or shouted at on the street in many parts of the nation.
Hau said the Taipei Police Department would enhance patrols at locations where Filipinos gather, such as the Taipei Railway Station and Zhongshan N Road, to ensure their safety. The city’s Department of Labor Affairs will also assist any worker who files a complaint.
The Council of Agriculture yesterday signed a Taiwan-Australia Agricultural Cooperation Implementation clause to open a new export market for the nation’s pineapple crop. The clause is an addition to existing cooperation measures, it said. China on Friday last week abruptly announced that it would suspend pineapple imports from Taiwan starting on Monday, on grounds that it had on multiple occasions discovered “harmful organisms” in shipments of the fruit. The public and private sectors have since joined hands to purchase the local fruit to help the nation’s pineapple farmers. Canberra has requested that all pineapples for export to Australia have their crown buds removed,
OVERHAUL NEEDED: The government should improve its agricultural processing capabilities and expand to new markets to limit its reliance on China, an expert said China’s ban on Taiwanese pineapples was “unsurprising,” and Taiwan should have years ago altered its produce export strategies and target customers, experts said. China on Friday abruptly suspended imports of pineapples from Taiwan, saying that it had on multiple occasions discovered “harmful biological entities” on the fruit. Calling it an “unfriendly” move, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said that 99.79 percent of the pineapples sent to China since last year have met China’s import standards. Chiao Chun (焦鈞), the author of Fruits and Politics — A Recollection of Cross-strait Agricultural Interaction Over the Past Decade (水果政治學：兩岸農業交流十年回顧與展望), said that China’s announcement is clearly targeting
DECADES OF INFLUENCE: Over the past 20 years, China has made inroads with Aborigines, funding political campaigns and trips, a legislator said Lawmakers have called on the National Security Bureau to investigate claims of pervasive Chinese influence among Aboriginal communities. Legislators pointed to a surge in communist propaganda and Chinese-funded projects over the past few years, which they say are aimed at infiltrating and buying political influence among Aboriginal communities. “China has for decades carried out wide-ranging ‘united front’ tactics and propaganda campaigns targeting Aborigines,” said Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Ying (陳瑩), a member of the Puyuma community in Taitung County. “Now, they are influencing elections for local councilors and village chiefs, offering money for candidates to mount their campaigns, and to
Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group might have lost its right to distribute the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19 and the ability to fulfill a contract in Taiwan, civic groups Taiwan Citizen Front and the Economic Democracy Union said yesterday. In a radio interview on Feb. 17, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), head of the Central Epidemic Command Center, said that last year, Taiwan was close to signing a contract to buy doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, but that the deal was halted at the last moment, with some speculating that Chinese interference was to blame. On Monday last week, the center