MOFA extends condolences
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday extended its condolences to the family of former Japanese prime minister Toshiki Kaifu, who passed away on Sunday at the age of 91. Members of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Japan would visit Kaifu’s family and extend their condolences on Taiwan’s behalf, the ministry said, describing Kaifu as a respected leader for his contributions to world peace and democracy. Kaifu was a friend of Taiwan, having led a delegation in May 2019 to meet with William Lai (賴清德) about eight months before Lai was elected vice president, the ministry said. As prime minister from 1989 to 1991, Kaifu was best known for deploying the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force to the Persian Gulf in 1991 during the Gulf War. His involvement garnered him a reputation as one of the biggest contributors to international stability.
Lai reportedly tapped for Honduras trip
President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) is reportedly to send Vice President William Lai (賴清德) as a special envoy to Honduras to congratulate Honduran president-elect Xiomara Castro on her inauguration on Jan. 27. Lai’s outbound trip would include a stop-over in the US. Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez and his successor have invited Tsai to attend the inauguration ceremony. Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) yesterday said that plans for the event, including who to send, have not yet been finalized. The Presidential Office would announce its plans at an appropriate time, he added. A source yesterday said that the office’s response is standard procedure, as the government would make an official announcement only after the plan is finalized.
‘Nine-in-one’ date set
The “nine-in-one” local elections are to be held on Nov. 26, the Central Election Commission announced yesterday. The local elections, which take place every four years, select mayors and city councilors in the special municipalities of Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung; county commissioners, mayors, councilors, and township majors and representatives in the other 16 counties and county-level cities; and village and borough wardens in 22 localities. Elections would also be held for district administrators and representatives of mountainous indigenous districts in the six special municipalities. Those who wish to run for the position of mayors and councilors in municipalities, counties and county-level cities would have to register from Aug. 29 to Sept. 2, the election commission said, adding that it would post a notice on Aug. 18.
Water recycling plant opens
Taiwan’s second water recycling plant was formally opened in a ceremony in Kaohsiung yesterday. The Kaohsiung Linhai Wastewater Treatment Plant has been contributing 33,000m3 of water to the city’s industry per day since it started operating late last year. It has been providing water to five companies, including state-run China Steel Corp and CPC Corp, Taiwan, the Kaohsiung Water Resources Bureau said. Minister of the Interior Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said that the plant is equipped with the country’s first high-end wastewater test center. Taiwan’s first water recycling plant opened in Kaohsiung’s Fengshan District (鳳山) in 2019 and produces 45,000m3 of water per day, the bureau said. The bureau is planning to build two more plants in the city, it said.
PIVOTAL ROLE: Taiwan’s importance in the global chip supply chain can be bolstered by domestic equipment manufacturing, President Tsai Ing-wen said Efforts must be made to better secure Taiwan’s place in the global supply chain by localizing production of equipment and facilities used by the semiconductor industry, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday. Tsai discussed the issue during a meeting with representatives from the Taiwan Electronic Equipment Industry Association at the Presidential Office in Taipei. Product shortages throughout the COVID-19 pandemic — particularly of automotive chips — highlighted the pivotal role of Taiwan in the global supply chain, she said. Tsai thanked the association for cooperating with the government on the shared goal of localizing production of important semiconductor industry equipment.
TRACING UNDER WAY: The CECC has identified six transmission chains among 25 recently confirmed COVID-19 cases, including those linked to a restaurant and a bank The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 54 new COVID-19 infections — 44 imported and 10 local — and identified six transmission chains among local cases. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said the imported cases are 18 who tested positive upon arrival at the airport and 26 who tested positive during quarantine. Of the local cases, seven are associated with a cluster infection at a Tasty Steak (西堤牛排) outlet in Taoyuan’s Zhongli District (中壢), one is linked to a family of four with COVID-19 reported on Monday, one is a family member of an
Without completed infrastructure and training, the expedited sale of new F-16s from the US could become a burden rather than a help, a military official said yesterday. Reuters on Thursday last week reported that Washington is looking to accelerate the delivery of 66 new F-16C/D Block 70 aircraft in response to what it sees as increasing intimidation by Beijing. Under the terms of the original US$8 billion deal signed in 2019, the US is expected to deliver a single-seater and double-seater for testing next year, then deliver the 66 new aircraft in batches of four or five from 2024 to 2026. The officials
BILINGUAL NATION 2030: Those interested can apply online, while recruitment would continue until all of the positions are filled, the Ministry of Education said The recruitment of foreign English teachers for elementary and junior-high schools would be expanded in the 2022-2023 school year as part of Taiwan’s efforts to become a bilingual country, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said yesterday. In a statement, the ministry said that it has since 2004 hired 81 foreign nationals per year to teach English in 16 smaller counties and cities to build a better English-learning environment for students. However, for the 2022-2023 school year, the number of foreign English teachers recruited would increase to 531, with some of them to be posted to Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan