The reopening of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Guam, which had been set for this month, would be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.
Guam Governor Lou Leon Guerrero on Monday last week said that she tested positive for the virus, but added that she only exhibited moderate symptoms and would continue to lead the fiscal and COVID-19 response teams from home.
As of yesterday afternoon, the US territory of nearly 168,000 people had reported 577 confirmed cases, with five deaths.
Photo: Chung Li-hua, Taipei Times
The Guam office is expected to reopen at the end of next month, but there is still uncertainty amid the pandemic, ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) told a news conference in Taipei yesterday.
The office was closed in 2017 due to budget and personnel allocation issues, while its re-establishment reflects closer Taiwan-US ties and the growing strategic importance of the Pacific region, the ministry said previously.
The ministry’s work with the US focuses on boosting bilateral cooperation — including in defense or trade — working to lift restrictions on bilateral exchanges and continuing to invite US Cabinet officials to Taiwan, Department of North American Affairs Director-General Douglas Hsu (徐佑典) told the news conference.
Hsu made the remarks when asked to comment on a New York Times report that said the US was seeking to bolster Taiwan’s status, but without recognizing its sovereignty.
In other news, Somaliland’s representative office in Taiwan is expected to open early next month, Somaliland Representative to Taiwan Mohamed Omar Hagi Mohamoud told the Taipei Times in a message, but added that he could not at the time reveal the office’s location.
Mohamoud arrived in Taiwan on Friday last week and is in isolation until Friday.
Taiwan’s representative office in Somaliland was opened on Monday.
921 EARTHQUAKE: The magnitude 7.3 quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged The Central Weather Bureau yesterday received about 50,000 views on Facebook after it posted the data that it collected on Sept. 21, 1999, when the nation was devastated by a magnitude 7.3 earthquake. The data showed that the 921 Earthquake hit the nation at 1:47am, with the epicenter being 7km southwest of the bureau’s quake detection center in Nantou County’s Yuchi Township (魚池) at a depth of 8km. The quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged, with the cost of the damage estimated at NT$300 billion (US$10.8 billion at the current
British newspaper The Mail on Sunday reported that Prince Charles met with Bruno Wang (汪家興), a Taiwanese fugitive who describes himself as a Chinese philanthropist and donated ￡500,000 (US$683,522) to the prince’s charity, the Prince’s Foundation. The newspaper reported that Wang is wanted in Taiwan on charges related to money laundering and being a fugitive from justice, allegations he denies, and drew comparisons between Wang and the Russian banker Dmitry Leus. Investigation and cooperation with foreign authorities have found that Bruno Wang’s father, Andrew Wang (汪傳浦), had stashed proceeds from a scandal involving the procurement of Lafayette frigates in 61 bank accounts,
AT ODDS: The KMT called on the government to seek bilateral dialogue with Beijing to resolve the issue that led to the ban on custard apple and wax apple imports Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials and lawmakers yesterday condemned China’s sudden ban on imports of custard apples and wax apples from Taiwan as “obvious political retaliation,” while the opposition called for a scientific investigation into Beijing’s claim to have found pests in imports of the fruits. China earlier yesterday announced a ban on the importation of the two fruits from today, citing repeated discoveries of Planococcus minor, a type of mealybug. The announcement follows a similar ban on Taiwanese pineapples imposed in February. At least Beijing gave a few days’ notice when it banned pineapple imports, an unnamed government official said yesterday. This time
BY OTHER MEANS: China could see CPTPP membership as a means of circumventing trade restrictions imposed by the US, amid an ongoing trade dispute between them The US could invoke a clause in its trade agreement with Canada and Mexico to block China’s application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a government official said yesterday. Under Article 32.10 of the Exceptions and General Provisions of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), if either Canada or Mexico enter a free-trade agreement with a nonmarket economy — such as China — the US could withdraw from the agreement. “If that clause applies to multilateral free-trade agreements such as the CPTPP — which Mexico and Canada are members of — that might be cause for the two