Tsai to speak at summit
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is to share Taiwan’s experience in handling the COVID-19 pandemic and its achievements on the road to democracy at the Copenhagen Democracy Summit via video, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. The annual meeting, organized by the Alliance of Democracies Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded in 2017 by former Danish prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, is to take place on Thursday and Friday next week in a virtual setting because of the COVID-19 pandemic. “President Tsai will be the first to speak on the second day of the summit,” Kendra Chen (陳詠韶), deputy director-general of the ministry’s Department of European Affairs, told a regular press conference in Taipei. Other speakers include US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and European Commission Vice President Vera Jourova.
Foreign envoys announced
The Presidential Office yesterday announced changes in diplomatic positions, following a minor Cabinet reshuffle on May 20, when President Tsai Ing-wen started her second term. Former deputy minister of foreign affairs Kelly Hsieh (謝武樵) has been appointed representative to the UK, replacing David Lin (林永樂), who is retiring. Former National Security Council (NSC) deputy secretary-general Tsai Ming-yen (蔡明彥) is to be the new representative to the EU and Belgium, taking over the position from Harry Tseng (曾厚仁), who is to serve as deputy minister of foreign affairs. Former deputy minister of foreign affairs Hsu Szu-chien (徐斯儉) is to take up the position of NSC deputy secretary-general. Former Environmental Protection Administration minister Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) has been tapped as representative to Thailand, replacing Tung Chen-yuan (童振源), who left the post last month after becoming the minister of the Overseas Community Affairs Council.
Teen detained over stabbing
The Shilin District Court’s Juvenile Court yesterday approved a request to detain a 16-year-old high-school student for allegedly repeatedly stabbing a 10-year-old girl at a school in New Taipei City earlier in the day. The suspect, surnamed Liu (劉), allegedly took a fruit knife to school and attacked a girl, surnamed Wei (魏), when she arrived at about 7am before classes started. Liu allegedly stabbed Wei in the back several times before he was restrained by a school volunteer and a teacher at the scene, New Taipei City police said. Wei sustained multiple wounds ranging from 4cm to 10cm in length and was immediately taken to a nearby hospital. A hospital spokesperson said that her condition was not life-threatening and had stabilized. During questioning, Liu said he does not know Wei and was unable to explain why he stabbed her, saying only that he “lost control,” police said.
Express train rides sold out
Long-distance express train tickets for travel at peak times for the four-day Dragon Boat Festival holiday later this month are sold out, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said on Wednesday. More than 285,000 tickets were sold online, via telephone or at convenience stores in the early hours of Wednesday morning, TRA data showed.
Among the sold-out Tze-Ching Express tickets were those for travel from Taipei to Hualien County from noon on June 24 (the day before the holiday begins) to 6pm on June 25; from Taipei to Taitung County on June 24 and 25; and from Taitung and Hualien to Taipei on June 28 for all trains departing after 7am. On the line that goes north-south in western Taiwan, express train tickets from Taipei to Kaohsiung between 1pm on June 24 and 11am on June 25, as well as those from Kaohsiung to Taipei between 9am and 5pm on June 28 were sold out. Tze-Chiang express train tickets from Kaohsiung to Taitung on the South-link line for travel on June 25 before noon were also sold out, the agency said.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,
NEW ERA: Taiwan, which has controlled its virus outbreak, now faces the challenge of safely resuming economic exchanges with other nations, Chang Shan-chwen said People should not focus entirely on having zero new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, but neglect overall control over the disease situation, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) specialist advisory panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said yesterday. Chang made the remark at a forum in Taipei discussing the steps Taiwan should take in the post-pandemic era, organized by the Chinese-language magazine Global Views Monthly. Chang, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩), and Stanford University’s Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention director C. Jason Wang (王智弘) each made a presentation, followed by a panel discussion with Chang, Wang and Buddhist Tzu