Chang tapped for APEC
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has appointed Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) founder Morris Chang (張忠謀) as her envoy to next month’s APEC summit, the Presidential Office said yesterday. Chang is to attend the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, which is scheduled to be held from Nov. 15 to 17 in San Francisco, Presidential Office spokeswoman Lin Yu-chan (林聿禪) said in a press release. Under the Tsai administration, Chang has excelled in the role of the president’s envoy, successfully carrying out the duties assigned to him by Tsai at five previous APEC meetings, from 2018 to last year, Lin said. Those duties included engaging with other APEC leaders, enhancing Taiwan’s global visibility, and conveying the country’s willingness and ability to contribute to the international community, Lin said. Chang, 92, is the founder of TSMC, the world’s largest contract chipmaker, and he has served as the president’s envoy to APEC seven times. He first attended the annual APEC summit on behalf of Taiwan’s president in 2006, during the administration of then-president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). While the heads of government of all APEC members usually attend the annual Economic Leaders’ Meeting, Taiwan’s leaders have not been permitted to do so, due to China’s objection.
Mahjong referendum denied
The Central Election Commission (CEC) on Friday rejected a proposed referendum on decriminalizing gambling on mahjong in public for elderly people with stakes of less than NT$1,000. The proposal, initiated by Kuo Hsi (郭璽), founder and chair of the Taiwan Mahjong Greatest Party, sought to allow people aged 65 or older to legally bet amounts lower than NT$1,000 on mahjong games in public. A hearing was held on July 17, after which Kuo was asked to submit a revised proposal. The CEC held a second meeting on Friday to examine the revised proposal, but it still turned it down, because it “did not meet the legal requirements,” the commission said in a press release, without providing any other details. In its current form, Article 266 of the Criminal Code makes gambling in public or via electronic or virtual means punishable by a fine of up to NT$50,000. While the law does contain an exception for gambling that is done “for temporary amusement,” it does not clearly define the term or set a ceiling on how much can be wagered.
Three die in Taoyuan
Taoyuan prosecutors are investigating an alleged murder-suicide case in Taoyuan’s Yangmei District (楊梅), in which a suspect, surnamed Cheng (鄭), allegedly stabbed to death a couple, then jumped off a building to his death. Police first received a report of a man falling off a building on Tuesday night, then found a couple’s bodies at their home, apparently killed by knife wounds. Prosecutors identified the couple as a man surnamed Hung (洪), 54, and his wife, surnamed Hoang, 42, originally from Vietnam, who had reportedly been involved in romantic relations with Cheng, 48. Neighbors said the couple were married for more than 10 years, but were once divorced, then remarried. Neighbors said Hoang had a relationship with Cheng when the couple were divorced. Later, Cheng harassed Hoang over her returning to Hung. Due to constant harassment by Cheng, the couple in July applied for a “restraining order” mandating Cheng to stay away, according to Taoyuan prosecutors.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday said that a surge in respiratory illnesses in China has been caused by at least seven types of pathogens, and small children, elderly people and immunocompromised people should temporarily avoid unnecessary visits to China. The recent outbreak of respiratory illnesses in China is mainly in the north and among children, CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said on Monday. Data released by the Chinese National Health Commission on Sunday showed that among children aged one to four, the main pathogens were influenza viruses and rhinoviruses, while among children aged five to 14, the main pathogens
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
INCENTIVES: The province’s ‘21 measures’ include enhanced agricultural loans for Taiwanese farmers, and rent waivers and housing subsidies for Taiwanese start-ups China’s Fujian Province on Monday began implementing 15 economic measures targeting Taiwanese in its latest bid to fan pro-Beijing sentiment ahead of the Jan. 13 elections. Chinese state-run Xinhua news agency said the policies were part of “21 measures” unveiled in September by China for Fujian’s “integrated cross-strait development demonstration zone.” The partially implemented measures, which were created with input from Beijing, include reducing the wait time for Taiwanese applying for a visa from 20 days to five days and free public transit for Taiwanese older than 65, it said. Residents of Taiwan were granted use of the “all provincial Taiwanese entrepreneur compatriot
Tokyo has requested regions in southern Japan to accommodate people evacuated from Okinawa Prefecture in case of a war in the Taiwan Strait, Kyodo news agency reported on Monday. If a conflict breaks out across the Strait, people on the Sakishima Islands, which lie between Taiwan proper and Okinawa’s main island, would have to be evacuated from the prefecture, the news agency reported. An estimated 120,000 people would need to be moved, including 110,000 citizens and 10,000 tourists, it said. Niitani Koushi, who is in charge of crisis management at the Japanese Cabinet Secretariat, visited Yamaguchi Prefecture at the southern end of Japan’s