Short-stay travellers from Taiwan to Guam will no longer need to receive a COVID-19 test and self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival beginning July 24, the Taiwan representative of the Guam Visitors Bureau said Friday.
The Fisheries Agency on Thursday announced a ban on fishing three species of large sharks — megamouth, great white and basking sharks — in a bid to preserve biological diversity in waters off Taiwan.
Fishing vessels that catch these sharks by accident must release them back into the sea, whether they are dead or alive, the agency said in a statement.
Apple Inc assembly partner Pegatron Corp (和碩) is making preparations for its first plant in India, adding to a large influx of foreign tech investments in the country this year.
Last month, the Indian government set out a US$6.6 billion plan to woo the world’s top smartphone manufacturers, offering financial incentives and ready-to-use manufacturing clusters.
Pegatron is now setting up a local subsidiary and joining fellow Taiwanese electronics assemblers Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) and Wistron Corp (緯創), who have already been making some iPhone handsets in southern India.
This is part of a broader move, led by countries like the United States, Japan and Taiwan, to diversify supply chains out of China.
The government is considering expanding its stimulus initiative for local industries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and its so-called “Stimulus 3.0” program is on the way, Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said yesterday.
In a radio interview with Clara Chou (周玉蔻), Wang said the Executive Yuan is to finalize plans for another round of stimulus funds next week, before sending them to the Legislative Yuan for approval.
Stimulus 3.0 is likely to add another NT$200 billion of relief, which would be allocated to support Taiwanese businesses hardest hit by COVID-19, mostly in the manufacturing sector.
Companies whose revenue has decreased by 50 percent would be eligible for government assistance with employee wages and operating expenses.
Members of the public picked up various kinds of government-issued stimulus vouchers on Saturday, which are aimed at boosting the local economy weakened by the COVID-19 outbreak.
People have flooded to state owned Chunghwa Post Co. to buy NT$3,000 (US$102) in vouchers at NT$1,000, and as of 2 p.m., more than 710,000 vouchers were sold.
State-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) is building Asia’s first “virtual power plant,” which would be capable of producing 15 megawatts of electricity per second, the company said yesterday.
The project is expected to come online partially as early as the end of this year, Taipower said in a statement.
A virtual power plant is a network of decentralized units that can aggregate and distribute power as supply and demand fluctuate.
The Taiwan military plans to spend more than NT$4.8 billion (US$163 million) on a new communication system to prevent eavesdropping by China.
TSMC is truly massive and sucks big power
I have an interesting statistic of the day, from an editorial in yesterday’s Taipei Times:
According to Greenpeace, TSMC’s annual electricity consumption accounts for 4.8 percent of the nation’s total power consumption, exceeding that of Taipei.
When TSMC starts commercial production of its 3 nanometer chips in 2022, its annual power consumption is expected to rise to 7.2 percent of the nation’s total consumption, making it Taiwan’s No.1 energy consumer.
That’s just one company.
TSMC is the world’s biggest contract chipmaker,
TSMC just recently signed the world’s largest private power supply deal with Orsted for 920MW of offshore wind power being built up off the coast of Changhua.
Control Yuan controversies continue
Following Friday’s chaotic and rushed vote ratifying President Tsai’s nominations to the Control Yuan, controversies are still raging.
Before the vote, the New Power Party (NPP) caucus told a news conference that legislative speaker Yu Shyi-kun (游錫堃) had become a rubber stamp for the ruling party by allowing a vote to be scheduled before proper review of the nominees’ qualifications could be completed.
The Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) and the New Power Party (NPP) caucuses have called for the vote on the nominees to be held after their qualifications were adequately reviewed, which is legally required–and didn’t happen.
As a result, both the NPP and TPP, said they would ask for a constitutional interpretation on whether the confirmations were valid.
They just might win.
Meanwhile, KMT caucus whip Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) said that there had been wrongdoing in Thursday’s vote on a motion that marked the end of a review of the nominees and set the rules for yesterday’s vote.
DPP Legislator Chen Ying (陳瑩) was at a TV station recording a political talk show when Yu put the motion to a vote, but her name lit up on a screen showing who had voted, indicating that someone else had voted for her, Lin said.
If true, that is very bad.
However, KMT chair Johnny Chiang’s reactions may be a little over the top.
He said in English on Twitter: “I will not allow
@dpponline to turn #Taiwan into a sham “democracy” that counts the vote of a legislator who was clearly sitting on a TV talk show at the time, and not on the legislative floor! Democratic shamefulness!”
In Chinese on Instagram, he went further, saying “democracy is dead” and called for street protests to defend democracy.
Obviously we’re not quite there yet.
In spite of being the guy trying to reform the KMT and move it closer to the mainstream, he’s been sounding very deep blue recently.
That may make some political sense.
He needs support from the party delegates to the upcoming party congress in September to get his reforms through.
In other words, he needs the support of party members who are in the party now, not the ones he hopes to attract in the future with a reformed party.
Meanwhile, DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) compared KMT lawmakers to the Boxer Rebellion in China — an armed uprising at the end of the 19th century by Chinese secret societies and religious zealots to drive out foreigners and repel rising Western influence in China — alluding to their use of violence in a futile attempt to resist progress and modernization.
KMT lawmakers destroyed ballot boxes, damaged the rostrum and other property inside the legislative chamber to try to stop DPP legislators from voting, Ker said, adding that these actions have breached legislative regulations and rules of conduct.
He also called on all parties to work together to abolish the Control Yuan and the Examination Yuan.
It is looking increasingly likely that will happen.
13 deep blues indicted for encouraging violence
KMT Legislator Wu Sz-huai (吳斯懷) and 12 others were yesterday charged for their roles in a 2018 demonstration against military pension cuts that turned violent, the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office said.
In the indictment, prosecutors say that Wu, then deputy head of a veterans’ group, and Wang Po-yun (王寶芸) of the Blue Sky Action Alliance encouraged violence when they spoke at a rally in front of the Legislative Yuan in Taipei on April 25, 2018.
Their speeches were found to have incited protesters to clash with police as people sought to break into the Legislative Yuan, they said.
The demonstration and violent clashes led to 32 police officers and 11 journalists being injured.
Wu’s group, the “800 warriors,” had since February 2017 organized a series of protests over pension cuts.
The 11 others were charged with obstructing officers in the execution of their duties and causing injuries.
In a statement, Wu called the indictment a distraction created by the Democratic Progressive Party as it pushes through the approval of former Presidential Office secretary-general Chen Chu (陳菊) as Control Yuan president.
The “800 warriors” group–in spite of being almost entirely old men–for awhile were a source of real concern, including over the safety of the president.
Their antics to try and stop pension reform were dramatic and at times dangerous.
The pension reform, however, was supported by the public, and ultimately passed–and saved the pension system financially.
Support from Belgium
The Belgium parliament’s Chamber of Representatives on Thursday overwhelmingly passed a resolution that called on the country’s government to support Taiwan’s democratic development and its meaningful participation in international organizations.
The resolution, which listed several proposals urging support for Taiwan, was passed in a 130-0 vote, with 13 abstentions.
The resolution also suggested that Brussels advocate for the resumption of dialogue between Taiwan and China and for the release of Taiwanese activist Lee Ming-che (李明哲), who has been serving a five-year-prison term in China since 2017 on charges of subversion of state power.
While these sorts of resolutions don’t usually accomplish a whole lot, they do send a message.
That is was passed with such a huge majority is a powerful statement.
It also makes me very suspicious about the motives of the 13 who abstained.
Apparently they don’t support Taiwan’s democratic development and its meaningful participation in international organizations.
Taiwan-US organization grows
Taiwan and the US are to hold an international conference under the Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF) in Latin America and the Caribbean for the first time, with Guatemala the host nation.
The cooperation encompasses digital economy, COVID-19 prevention, digital infrastructure development, Internet security, women’s empowerment and 5G communications technology, among other topics.
The GCTF was launched by Taiwan and the US in 2015 to bring Taiwan’s expertise and leadership to the global stage.
Japan last year joined the platform as a full partner, while Sweden and Australia have joined as cohost countries.
Since 2015, 24 international workshops have been held under the GCTF, attended by more than 600 government officials and experts from 39 countries.
It seems to have been fairly successful at helping Taiwan interact on the world stage.
Possible good news from India
Something in the Indian Express caught my eye.
The article starts with this:
“In what is being read as a strong impetus to its ties with Taiwan amid the border tensions with China, India has chosen a senior diplomat handling Indo-US relations as its new envoy to Taipei.”
“A strong impetus to its ties with Taiwan” certainly sounds positive.
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Image courtesy of the 立法委員 吳斯懷 Facebook page