The Executive Yuan yesterday said it would leave decisions on two major projects — the airport mass rapid transit (MRT) line and a waste incinerator in Yunlin County — to the incoming administration, while continuing to promote 10 major policies, including the Taoyuan Aerotropolis.
Premier Simon Chang (張善政) presided over a meeting to discuss 12 major policy items the Cabinet is pushing before turning over power to the new administration on May 20, when president-elect Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is to assume office.
Executive Yuan spokesperson Sun Lih-chyun (孫立群) said that participants at the meeting decided that the operation date of the MRT line connecting Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and the Greater Taipei area, and the waste incinerator project at Yunlin County’s Linnei Township (林內) would be left to the new administration.
The Executive Yuan cannot determine whether the airport MRT line would be operational before May 20, Sun said.
While there is no cause for concern about the safety of the long-delayed line, its one-way travel time has yet to meet the 35-minute cap as stipulated in its contract, mainly because of problems with the signal integration system, the speaker said.
Sun added that the aim of the Executive Yuan is to complete the project, quoting Chang as saying: “We have given birth to a child, but it has to be raised by the Taoyuan Metro Corp. If the company refuses to raise it, it would render our efforts pointless.”
Sun said that the Cabinet would respect the company’s decision on the timing for inaugurating the line.
As for the incinerator in Linnei, which has sparked controversy over the division of responsibility for waste treatment, Sun said it is 99.1 percent complete.
However, even if the incinerator had been completed, it could not be activated because former Yunlin County commissioner Su Chih-fen (蘇治芬) opposed its construction, he said.
As Su was elected a legislator earlier this month, the Executive Yuan does not think it likely that the incinerator will be operational before May 20, and therefore decided to hand over the issue to “the wisdom and leadership” of Tsai’s incoming government, Sun said.
Meanwhile, the Executive Yuan would continue to push its list of 10 policy items, which, in addition to the Taoyuan Aerotropolis, includes a dedicated research campus for marine science, funding for an additional synchrotron for theoretical research and a national museum of Aboriginal cultures.
Hualien County’s Environmental Science and Technology Park, plans to turn Taipei Railway Workshop into a national heritage site and the issue of whether to suspend Tainan’s aquaculture farms that were affected by China Petrochemical Development Corp’s now-defunct Anshun (安順) factory are also among the listed items, the Executive Yuan said.
The Cabinet will also push for a bill to combat tax evasion and to raise mandatory welfare donations on tobacco purchases, as well as organize a response to the EU’s issuance of a “yellow card” warning to Taiwan as a non-cooperative government in preventing illegal fishing.
‘LOW PROBABILITY’: China still ‘has a ways to go to develop the actual, no-kidding capability’ to seize Taiwan militarily, US General Mark Milley said The US’ top general on Thursday downplayed concern that China would attempt a military takeover of Taiwan in the near term, saying Beijing does not have the capability to do so. While there has been rising concern in Taiwan and among US lawmakers about Chinese military activity near Taiwan, such as flying jets in Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), US military officials said that such moves are not overly concerning. US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley told lawmakers that while Taiwan was still a core national interest of China, “there’s little intent right now, or motivation,
A Kaohsiung woman who thought that she was dating Hollywood actor Keanu Reeves was found not guilty of abetting fraud, the Kaohsiung District Court has ruled. Citing insufficient evidence to prove intent, the court on May 27 dismissed fraud and money-laundering charges against the woman, surnamed Chang (張), saying that the evidence suggested that she had been duped. The verdict can be appealed. The verdict said that police opened an investigation into Chang after her bank account was linked to an online catfishing scheme, which involves luring someone into a relationship by using a fictional online persona. The scheme claimed two victims, including a
The Canadian House of Commons on Thursday unanimously passed the first reading of a proposal to create a legal framework for efforts to strengthen relations with Taiwan. The Canada-Taiwan Relations Framework Act was introduced by Canadian Member of Parliament Michael Cooper, who said that not having a formal diplomatic relationship with Taiwan has complicated interactions between the two nations. Taiwan is one of Canada’s largest trading partners, and the two share strong people-to-people links and common values, he said. Taiwan “is a vibrant economy and one of the world’s top 20 economies. It is time Canada’s relations with Taiwan reflect
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday condemned Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) Institute of Revolutionary Practice director Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) for calling the government a “vaccine beggar” for receiving a donation of COVID-19 vaccines from the US. “Lo is still living in feudal China,” DPP Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) told a news conference. “When Taiwan needs unity, he uses malicious words to malign our president’s character and Taiwan’s national integrity. This person is either evil or he is completely ignorant,” she said. Taiwan donated 2 million masks to the US, and provided 2 million masks and 50,000 protective gowns to Japan when they