Three held over sex trade
Three Taiwanese were on Wednesday indicted for allegedly recruiting and sending women from Taiwan to the US and other countries to engage in prostitution. The suspects — two men surnamed Lin (林) and Chen (陳), and a woman surnamed Lin (林) — allegedly used social media to recruit women to work overseas as prostitutes, escorts or bar hostesses by promising them high earnings in a short time, the indictment issued by the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office said. The three booked the womens’ flights, and arranged their visas and accommodations, it said. The trio arranged for about 50 women aged 25 to 35 to travel to the US, Canada and other countries to engage in prostitution from 2018 to early last year, investigators said. Prosecutors charged the suspects with breaches of sexual morality under the Criminal Code. The maximum sentence for the charge is five years in prison plus a NT$100,000 fine.
Allies urged to back UN bid
The government would again ask its diplomatic allies to voice support for the inclusion of Taiwan in the UN, either by speaking up at the General Assembly or sending letters to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Secretary-General Lily Hsu (徐儷文) said yesterday. The UN General Assembly is to take place from Sept. 14 to 21. Taipei’s UN bid this year has three main appeals: demanding that the UN resolve the “inappropriate exclusion of Taiwan’s 23.5 million people from the UN system”; calling on the UN to change its “discriminatory policy” against Taiwanese passport holders and journalists from visiting UN headquarters to cover UN-related activities; and insisting that the UN takes steps to ensure that Taiwan has the right to participate in “an equal and dignified manner” in meetings, mechanisms and activities related to the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Hsu added. As part of Taiwan’s appeal, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) has published an opinion piece titled “Reimagining a More Resilient UN System — with Taiwan in It” in international media, Hsu added. Taiwan’s representative office in New York City, where the UN’s headquarters is, would set up a Web page dedicated to promoting Taiwan’s inclusion in the UN before the assembly begins this year, she added.
Belize lauded on anniversary
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday congratulated Belize, one of the nation’s 15 diplomatic allies, on its 40th anniversary of independence and thanked the Caribbean ally for its consistent support of Taiwan in the international community over the years. In a video call with Belize Prime Minister John Briceno, Wu extended congratulations on behalf of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and the people of Taiwan on the 40th anniversary of Belize’s independence from the UK, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a news release. Taiwan looks forward to continuing to work with Belize, one of its important diplomatic allies in the Caribbean region, to strengthen the bilateral partnership for the mutual benefit and well-being of the two peoples, Wu said. In particular, Taiwan would maintain its efforts to help Belize combat COVID-19, revive its economy and boost its national development, he said. Wu also thanked Belize for consistently voicing its support for Taiwan’s participation in the international community, saying that he hoped Briceno would continue to do so in the years to come.
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