Taiwan Headlines, Jan. 1

FAQ: Taiwan's 14-day quarantine requirements - Taiwan Today

The Ministry of Education (MOE) has issued a directive for Taiwan schools to stop accepting entry permit applications by international students for at least one month.
The decision was made after the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Wednesday announced that the borders were to be closed to all except Taiwan nationals and foreign residents, with a few exceptions.
Meanwhile, a second imported case from the UK of the new, more transmissible strain of the coronavirus has been confirmed.

The Cabinet has announced that local government bans on imported pork containing ractopamine are in contravention of the central government’s authority and will therefore become invalid when restrictions on imports of the meat are lifted on Jan. 1.
17 cities and counties have local self-government ordinances relating to ractopamine.
However, the Chiayi City Council passed a KMT proposal on Dec. 29 to seek a constitutional interpretation.
The KMT is also pledging to seek a constitutional interpretation.
In KMT-led Taichung, the Taichung Legal Affairs Bureau Director-General stated that Constitutional Interpretation No. 738 gives local governments the right to make “reasonable adjustments” related to central government regulations based on the specific needs of each city and county.
The KMT has been using racto-pork as a wedge issue against the DPP, though not to much effect–I’ll be covering a new poll in the next Taiwan Report News Brief which suggests that is the case.

Starting today, Taiwan’s national health insurance premium rate will be increased from the current level of 4.69 percent to 5.17 percent.

The legislature has passed next year’s budget, which includes a third stage “forward-looking” infrastructure package.
Unlike the originally proposed 2020 budget, the 2021 budget will run a deficit.
The pandemic derailed 2020’s balanced budget.

2020 was a banner year for the local stock market.
The TAIEX closed out 2020 at 14,732.53 points, hitting yet another record high.
The stock market index rose 22.8 percent from 11,997.14 points at the end of 2019.
Average daily turnover was also up 67.17 percent from a year earlier.

A Taiwanese businessman has been found guilty of working with Chinese intelligence and handed a three-month jail sentence or payment of a fine by the Taipei District Court.
He was recruited to arrange meetings with Taiwanese government and military personnel, with the goal of helping collect information on Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party and Falun Gong.
He tried to recruit a retired Ministry of Justice investigator, a retired Major General and a Taiwanese National Security Bureau official, but was rebuffed by all of them.
He can still appeal the ruling.

Taiwan and New Zealand have signed an agreement to mutually recognize their authorized economic operators (AEOs).
The arrangement is expected to further enhance customs cooperation and supply chain safety.
New Zealand is one of only two countries that has a free trade agreement with Taiwan.
The other is Singapore.

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