Taiwan Headlines, Jan. 12

The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) has announced two new domestically transmitted coronavirus cases.
One, a doctor, is suspected to have caught the virus from a patient.
The other is the doctor’s live-in girlfriend, who is suspected of catching it from him.
Health authorities identified 464 people with whom the doctor may have come in contact with at the unnamed hospital, but they all tested negative–ruling out a cluster.

Reuters is reporting that Taiwan’s central bank has sent inspectors to domestic banks to investigate whether exporters are speculating in foreign currency as the Taiwan dollar soars against the U.S. dollar.
Last month, the U.S. Treasury added Taiwan to a “monitoring list” of countries whose currency practices had caused concern.

The New Power Party (NPP) is calling on the government to hold a public hearing on the issuance of electronic identification cards (eIDs) and stipulate a specific law to regulate them before requiring people to replace their paper identification cards.
Many groups have called into question the security, safety and legal structure surrounding the eIDs.
The government insists they are safe, but the Hsinchu City government pulled out of a pilot test program slated to start this month citing concerns of residents being used as “lab rats” for the program.

It is being reported that a small number of upgraded Hsiung Feng-2E surface-to-surface cruise missiles, has been delivered to the Air Force.
The new missile system reportedly has an operational range of 1,200 kilometers, an upgrade from the existing 600 km, and can effectively target Chinese military installations beyond its coastline.

Following US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement on lifting all restrictions on interactions between US and Taiwanese officials, the United States ambassador to the Netherlands and his Taiwanese counterpart met at the U.S. embassy.

The United States’ ambassador to the United Nations will call on President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Thursday during her three-day visit in Taiwan beginning Wednesday.
Craft will be the first incumbent U.S. ambassador to the U.N. to visit Taiwan since 1968.
With the coming change of US administration on January 20, the visit is a largely symbolic show of support.
KMT caucus whip Alex Fei (費鴻泰), on a TV talk show, said “What can [Craft] bring to Taiwan? Will she support Taiwan in joining the UN?”
He went on to say the government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs arranged the visit at this time, because they are afraid of the incoming administration of US president-elect Joe Biden.
He went on to say “A visitor who comes calling is a guest, but this visitor is not a good guest, she is a bad guest, and should not visit”.
Former President Ma Ying-jeou said “In sending the US ambassador to the UN to Taiwan, the US government is only trying to rile China. Currently, it is impossible for Taiwan to join the UN. Craft coming here is only a superficial gesture.”
Many DPP lawmakers counterattacked, with DPP Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) saying “The KMT just wants to placate China, and does not like us doing things that will make positive change. If we do not, Taiwan would sink deeper into the ‘one China’ trap, which is much more dangerous.”

The Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association (JTEA) has announced that LED messages of friendship between Taiwan and Japan will be displayed on the Taipei 101 skyscraper on Jan. 23 and 24.
The messages are part of a series of activities to mark the 10th anniversary of the Fukushima disaster in March.
Taiwanese donated huge sums of money and contributed to the recovery efforts.

Image courtesy of Alex Fei’s Facebook

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