Taiwan would not receive an official invitation to Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral on Monday next week due to a lack of official ties with the UK, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.
However, the government has expressed its wish to mourn the death of the queen on behalf of its people in other “appropriate ways,” Department of European Affairs Director-General Remus Chen (陳立國) said.
“We are still waiting for an official response from the UK side and will make a public announcement once a final confirmation is made,” Chen said.
According to the British government’s guidance, only nations with which the UK has diplomatic relations are invited to pay their respects at the state funeral that is to take place at Westminster Abbey at 11am on Monday.
People in Taiwan began paying their respects to the late monarch at the UK’s representative office in Taipei yesterday by signing a condolence book prepared by the office after the queen’s death on Thursday.
A handful of people, including Taiwanese, Hong Kongers and Britons, waited outside the British Office Taipei before the book was opened for members of the public to sign at about 1pm.
Michael Story, a British national and one of the first visitors to the office to sign the book, told reporters that he wanted to thank the queen for her lifelong service to his country.
Most people in the UK have had some sort of encounter with the queen, so her passing “feels more personal,” Story said.
He first saw the queen when he was 11 or 12, and last saw her at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in May when he returned to the UK to visit his family, he said.
“When you are far away from your home country, something like this, a major national event, tends to affect you perhaps even more than it might when you are at home,” he said.
“All my friends in the UK are attending the [queen’s] funeral or some of the arrangements. Here in Taipei I can come and sign the book,” he added.
A woman surnamed Pang (彭), a Hong Konger who has settled in Taiwan, told reporters that she and two other Hong Kongers signed the book to remember the queen for her contributions to the development of the territory.
“We wanted to write something to pay tribute to the queen’s contributions and devotion throughout her life,” Pang said.
Chen Po-hao (陳柏豪), a Taipei-based sales manager who was first in line to sign the book, said he wrote a message about his gratitude for the queen’s contributions to Hong Kong’s prosperity and world peace.
The book can be signed by the public between 1pm and 4pm until Friday at the office on the 26th floor of President International Tower at No. 9-11 Song Gao Road, the British Office Taipei said.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) is to visit the office to sign the book this week, Chen said.
The royal family has an online book of condolence, available on the royal Web site, www.royal.uk/send-message-condolence, for those who wish to pay their respects virtually, the office said.
A study published by online booking platform Expedia revealed searches for travel to Taipei have ballooned 2,786 percent following the lifting of COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions due to the city being a “designation dupe” for Seoul. The TikTok trend for duping — referring to substituting a designation for a more inexpensive alternative — helped propel interest in Taipei, it said in a consumer survey titled “Unpack ‘24,” which was conducted from September to October in 14 countries. Location dupes are “every bit as delightful as the tried-and-true places travelers love,” Expedia trend tracker Melanie Fish said of the year’s popular alternatives, which
SAFETY IN REGULATION: The proposal states that Chiayi should assess whether it is viable to establish such a district and draft rules to protect clients and sex workers The Chiayi City Council passed a motion yesterday to assess the viability of establishing a regulated red-light district. The council yesterday held its last session of the year, at which its fiscal 2024 budget was approved, along with 61 other proposals. The proposal to assess the viability of establishing a red-light district was put forward by independent Chiayi City Councilor Molly Yen (顏色不分藍綠支持性專區顏色田慎節). The proposal cited 2011 amendments to the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法), which stipulate that city and county governments can pass autonomous regulations on the sex trade to manage the industry and guarantee industry workers’ rights. A ban on the
A small-scale protest that called on the government to cancel its plan to welcome Indian migrant workers in a bid to tackle Taiwan’s labor shortage was held in Taipei yesterday. During the protest, comprised of a few dozen people staged in front of the Presidential Office on Ketagalan Boulevard, the protest’s chief initiator, a woman identified only as “Yuna” said they wanted the central government to reconsider allowing migrant workers from India to enter Taiwan. Most people in Taiwan had little knowledge about the potential plan to allow in Indian migrant workers until a report in the media last month, she
CHINA illness surge: Of 88 travelers from China, Hong Kong and Macau with respiratory symptoms who were encouraged to get tested upon arrival, 70.6% had the flu Two hundred and sixty people with COVID-19 were hospitalized and 31 deaths related to the virus were reported last week — the highest numbers in four weeks, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday, adding that cases are expected to peak next month. CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said that of the 260 people hospitalized last week with moderate to severe COVID-19, 98 percent had not received the Omicron XBB.1.5-adapted COVID-19 vaccine. Among the people hospitalized this year, 78 percent were aged 65 or older, while most of the those who were hospitalized or died have or had