Taiwan Headlines, Dec. 24

Welcome to Taiwan Headlines, sharing the news that shapes Taiwan’s future. For analysis and context, check out our companion show Taiwan Report News Brief.

Taiwan will impose more stringent regulations for flight crews to close loopholes in its prevention and control measures against the pandemic, after a cluster infection was linked to a commercial airline pilot.
The pilot, who did not follow protocols, refused to wear a mask while on duty, and didn’t report symptoms.
EVA Air, his employer, has since fired him.

The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Wednesday changed the classification of Thailand, Bhutan and Australia from countries with a low risk of COVID-19 to having low-to-moderate risk.
The reclassification means that business travelers from the three countries will have to go into quarantine for slightly longer.

Up to three COVID-19 vaccines developed in Taiwan have completed the first phase of clinical trials and are likely to enter phase 2 trials by the end of the year.

According to the results of a survey by the KMT-affiliated National Policy Foundation (NPF), 63.4 percent of the respondents said they did not believe the government will be able to fulfill its pledge to test the ractopamine levels in every shipment of pork arriving from the U.S.
Another 58.8 percent of respondents said they supported opposition parties using “strong tactics” to supervise the government’s implementation of the import policy, while over half agreed with the statement that “ractopamine pork is toxic”.
The same poll also showed that the KMT’s approval rating fell below 20 percent for the first time since August.
It also showed nearly 46 percent of voters showed no clear preference for any political party, a 9.6 percentage point rise from a month earlier.
22.6 percent of respondents supported the DPP, which is nearly 10 points less than the DPP-sponsored poll discussed in the last Taiwan Report News Brief.

The KMT has scrapped plans for protests outside the Legislative Yuan against the importation of US pork containing ractopamine, Taiwan reported its first locally transmitted case of COVID-19 in more than eight months.
Either that, or they feared turnout would be smaller than the rally earlier this fall that coincided with the Autumn Struggle rally, which was well attended.
A group of lawmakers and protestors spent Wednesday night outside the legislature in protest.

Independent Legislator Fu Kun-chi–aka “The King of Hualien”–has been transferred to a Minimum Security Prison.
He is eligible for parole in October of 2021, when, if he qualifies, could presumably return to the legislature to serve out his term, which runs to 2024.

Taiwan’s industrial production rose year-on-year for the 10th consecutive month in November, rising almost 8 percent.

Digitimes reported the following good news:
When tough US sanctions against Huawei took effect in mid September, Taiwanese chip suppliers did lose massive orders from one of their biggest clients.
But Taiwan’s IC ecosystem has since seen the void filled up by strong demand from the 5G, AI, HPC and automotive sectors.
Foundry capacity has been tight, resulting in shortages and rising prices in some components segments.

Image courtesy of 傅崐萁’s Facebook

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