The Council of Agriculture (COA) aims to submit a draft amendment to the Plant Variety and Plant Seed Act (植物品種及種苗法) to the Executive Yuan before the end of June, COA Deputy Minister Chen Junne-jih (陳駿季) said yesterday.
The amendment would seek to prevent the outflow of endemic fruits and cultivars, and agricultural technologies to China.
The council announced the amendment in reaction to China’s ban on Taiwanese pineapple imports and the subsequent promotion of a domestically grown pineapple cultivar that was developed in Taiwan.
Beijing on Wednesday unveiled a slew of measures, dubbed the “the 22 Forestry and Agricultural Measures” by Taiwanese media, to attract Taiwanese agriculture professionals to China.
The measures would allow Taiwanese to buy land, obtain a farming-specific credit rating, receive subsidies and join trade organizations in several agricultural sectors, including forestry, and the cultivation of tea, fruits and flowers.
Chen said that the amendment would follow in Japan’s footsteps, the first country in the world to punish the unauthorized export of local flora.
The amendment would be discussed with all groups it would affect before it is sent it to the Executive Yuan for approval, Chen said.
The amendment would, if approved, be forwarded to the legislature.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) said that she hoped the proposal would be discussed in the next legislative session.
The council should draw up a list of protected cultivars and technologies before next month, she said.
On Beijing’s 22 measures, Executive Yuan spokesman Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) said that the wording “beneficial for Taiwan” was willfully misleading, as they would only benefit China.
Over the past few years, Taiwan has worked toward diversifying its export markets and reducing its reliance on China, Lo said.
China’s ban on Taiwanese pineapples, which had passed even the most rigorous and strict examinations in Japan, is evidence that China is attempting to weaken Taiwan and gain its agricultural technologies and know-how, Lo said.
Noting that China’s agricultural sector is reeling after an armyworm infestation and its hog industry has not yet recovered from an outbreak of African swine fever, Lo said that Taiwanese should wary of anything China describes as beneficial to Taiwan.
While the antiparasitic drug ivermectin is being touted as a treatment for COVID-19 in many parts of the world, Taiwanese experts on Monday warned against regular use of the drug in COVID-19 treatment, citing a lack of solid evidence. “Following an experts’ meeting, we do not recommend regular use of ivermectin in treating COVID-19 due to the lack of enough evidence,” said Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳), convener of the Central Epidemic Command Center’s (CECC) expert advisory panel. A report in the American Journal of Therapeutics said that meta-analyses based on 18 randomized controlled treatment trials of ivermectin in COVID-19 patients had found large,
CLASSES HALTED: Cram schools have had to return tuition fees due to mandatory closures and might need to lay off half of their staff because of a lack of revenue The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the education sector, with some cram schools and tutoring centers saying they might soon be unable to pay their instructors due to the extension of a nationwide level 3 COVID-19 alert. The heightened alert level means schools must remain closed, so cram schools and tutoring centers have had to return tuition fees, one cram school said. June is normally the peak season for recruiting new students at cram schools and tutoring centers, but this year many such schools might need to lay off half of their staff due to a lack of
‘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,
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