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Taiwan moving to make modular negative pressure rooms

Radio Taiwan Internatinal
Date: 02 June, 2020
By: Natalie Tso

A room that Mai Jia-suo stayed in (photo: Mai Jia-suo)

Taiwan has successfully contained the domestic spread of COVID-19, but the world is still dealing with a serious pandemic. Health officials said as Taiwan prepares to gradually open up its borders, it wants to make modular negative pressure rooms so it can have the capacity to treat more patients.

The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said on Tuesday that Taiwan is taking inventory of its medical equipment and personnel. It said that its next step is to prepare modular negative pressure isolation rooms.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan’s COVID-19 Diplomacy and WHO Participation: Losing the Battle But Winning the War?

Taipei’s “warm power” has benefited its international ambitions amid the pandemic.

The Diplomat
Date: June 02, 2020
By: Wen-Ti Sung

Credit: Office of the President, ROC (Taiwan)

Taiwan’s pragmatic “warm power” diplomacy during the COVID-19 outbreak represents a low-key approach to boosting its international participation while minimizing the burden for its sympathetic international partners and friends. The government of President Tsai Ing-wen’s successful management of the COVID-19 crisis has also made a strong case for liberal democracies as the superior form of government for public health crisis governance. This, in turn, has translated into more positive international publicity for Taiwan, as well as greater opportunities to network with other states’ relevant agencies and potentials for functional spillover into other forms of cooperation at the governmental level.

China, the alleged origin of the virus, has seemingly kept its official toll relatively low. While officially China has less than 100,000 confirmed cases, several Western liberal democracies — even, some have argued, with more reaction time and insight from the Chinese experience — have suffered greatly, with close to 2 million confirmed cases in the United States and 180,000 or more in each of five populous Western European nations (Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany, and France).

Assuming these official statistics are dependable, this development might have engendered yet another blow to liberal democracies in the ongoing battle over perceived performance legitimacy between authoritarian and liberal democratic regime types, adding fuel to what Larry Diamond has termed the global democratic recession.

It is in this context that Taiwan finds a way into the international collective narrative. Despite Taiwan’s geographic proximity, as well as close economic and demographic linkages with China, it has kept its COVID-19 toll remarkably low — with less than 450 confirmed cases to date and a death toll in the single digits. Together with fellow high performers such as South Korea, Taiwan’s performance provides solid proof that liberal democracies can be just as effective in public health governance as authoritarian polities. In so doing, Taiwan helps prevent the COVID-19 crisis from diminishing the case for democracy in the global marketplace of ideas.    [FULL  STORY]

Global Cooperation and Training Framework highlights Taiwan’s value: AIT head

AIT director says Global Cooperation and Training Framework promotes 'Taiwan model'

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/06/02
By: Kelvin Chen, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

AIT Director Brett Christiansen (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — On Tuesday (June 1), Director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Brent Christensen remarked that the U.S. has always supported Taiwan's participation in global organizations.

At a press conference commemorating the fifth anniversary of the founding of the Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF), Christiansen stated that the U.S. has always fought to increase Taiwan's international space but at the same time, he also believes that information exchanges between Taiwan and the world "should not be arbitrarily determined by the leadership of international organizations," CNA reported.

The U.S. and Taiwan established GCTF in 2015, with Japan joining last year as the organization's third co-host. Christiansen expressed that the purpose of GCTF is to demonstrate the island nation's humanitarian capabilities, similar to the "Taiwan can help" campaign that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has promoted amid the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

GCTF is a platform for Taiwan to share its expertise in public health, law enforcement, disaster relief, energy cooperation, and many other fields with global partners.
[FULL  STORY]

73 percent of Taiwanese say China’s government not a ‘friend’: survey

Focus Taiwan
Date: 06/02/2020
By: Miao Zong-han and Matthew Mazzetta

CNA file photo

Taipei, June 2 (CNA) 73 percent of Taiwanese say the Chinese government is not a "friend" of Taiwan's, a 15 percent increase from the previous year, according to the results of a survey released Tuesday.

The China Impact Survey, which is conducted annually by Academia Sinica's Institute of Sociology, measures the attitudes of the Taiwanese public on a range of issues related to China.

In this year's survey, 73 percent of the respondents said they disagreed with the statement that "the Chinese government is a friend of Taiwan's," compared to only 23 percent who said they agreed with the statement.

The figures represent a significant shift from last year, when 58 percent said they disagreed and 38 percent said they agreed.    [FULL  STORY]

Virus Outbreak: National ranking when borders reopen

SAFETY RISK: The government is working to categorize countries based on their COVID-19 cases and prevention efforts, which would determine quarantine periods

Taipei Times
Date:  Jun 02, 2020
By: Shelley Shan / Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Mark Ho, holding microphone, speaks at a seminar on post-pandemic travel and border openings at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday, as, back row from left, National Taiwan University pediatrician Lee Ping-ing, DPP Legislator Su Chiao-hui and Taiwan Solidarity Union Legislator Lai Cheng-chang look on.
Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times

The government plans to rank countries based on their COVID-19 risks to determine how to treat tourists and other travelers from those nations once Taiwan reopens its borders, but it is still working out the categories, a top health official told lawmakers yesterday.

“We would divide countries around the world into several categories. One category would comprise those countries with very few confirmed COVID-19 cases, such as New Zealand and Palau. Travelers from the countries in this category would only need to practice self-health management,” Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told a Legislative Yuan seminar hosted by Democratic Progressive Party lawmakers Mark Ho (何志偉) and Su Chiao-hui (蘇巧慧).

“Tourists from low-risk countries, such as Vietnam and Brunei, might be asked to undergo quarantine for five to six days after entering the country,” he said.

Taiwan has not had any confirmed domestic COVID-19 cases for 50 consecutive days, but there are now more than 6 million confirmed cases in the rest of the world, with the number rising in South America and Southeast Asia, Chuang said.    [FULL  STORY]

Nantou to open Taiwan’s record-setting suspension bridge on June 20

Radio Taiwan International
Date: 01 June, 2020
By: Natalie Tso

The rainbow bridge is one of Taiwan’s newest attractions. (CNA photo)

Nantou County is set to open a new tourist attraction on June 20 – Taiwan’s longest and tallest suspension bridge. Taiwan is now promoting domestic tourism as there have not been any local COVID-19 infections for 50 consecutive days.

The new rainbow suspension bridge is 342 meters long and hangs 110 meters above the ground, which makes it about 30 stories high. It is the longest and tallest suspension bridge in Taiwan.     [FULL  STORY]

How Taiwan Can Turn Coronavirus Victory Into Economic Success

Taiwan beat the virus with efficient government and advanced technology—the same ingredients that power the economy.

Foreign Policy
Date: June 1, 2020
By: Evan A. Feigenbaum and Jeremy Smithe

People take photos as the rooms at the Grand Hotel are illuminated to form the word "zero" after Taiwan reported no new COVID-19 coronavirus cases for two consecutive days, in Taipei on April 17, 2020. (Photo by Sam Yeh / AFP) (Photo by SAM YEH/AFP via Getty Images)

Taiwan has earned the world’s admiration for its fast and highly effective response to the coronavirus pandemic. As of June 1, Taiwan had only 443 confirmed infections and 7 deaths among a population of 24 million—and even has a functioning professional baseball league. This comes despite early modeling that projected Taiwan to have one of the highest risks of importing cases from China.

Taiwan’s coronavirus success was based on efficient coordination across the public and private sectors coupled with innovative deployment of advanced technology.The central ingredients of Taiwan’s success have been efficient coordination across the public and private sectors coupled with innovative deployment of advanced technology—the very same recipe that has delivered decades of steady economic growth. Taiwan has also stood out for its ability to learn and apply the lessons from its bitter 2003 experience with the SARS outbreak in order to coordinate an effective governmental response. But the most notable component of Taiwan’s success has been its successful use of artificial intelligence and big-data applications, helping it to integrate its national health insurance database with its immigration and customs database, classify infection risks among inbound travelers, and monitor cell phones to undertake contact tracing and enforce quarantines.

This unique ability to integrate data and creatively apply technology helped Taiwan to withstand the first wave of the pandemic. The next question, however, is what Taiwan will do to use these advantages to assure a prosperous and competitive future on the other side of the crisis. And this challenge will grow more serious in coming years as Beijing further undermines Taiwan’s international support and ratchets up the pressure on its economy.

Taiwan’s immediate opportunity is to capitalize on its momentum and double down on investments in technology to ensure future health security. The pandemic has yielded a radical shift in the way governments and businesses view public health and define essential goods and services. With smart investments and new economic policies, Taiwan could use the crisis to become a regional leader in areas of biomedicine and pharmaceuticals.
[FULL  STORY]

Waters around Taiwan will become increasingly militarized: Defense analyst

China’s increased militarization of Indo-Pacific region leading to increased security concerns

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/06/01
By: Eric Chang, Taiwan News, Contributing Writer

U.S. aircraft carrier (Pixabay photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The waters around Taiwan — including the Miyako Strait, the Bashi Channel, the East China Sea, the South China Sea, and the Philippine Sea — run the risk of seeing increased military movements, according to a new research paper.

The comments were made in a paper titled "U.S. Strategic Mobility in Deployment to Ensure Regional Security" by Su Tzu-yun (蘇紫雲), a senior analyst, at Taiwan's Institute for National Defense and Security Research, according to CNA.

The Indo-Pacific region now faces increasing tensions as a result of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic and China's increased military reach, particularly in the South China Sea, where the Chinese have built artificial islands, deployed nuclear submarines, and claimed new administrative districts, according to Su.

The article points out that due to the absence of U.S. carrier strike groups in the region over the past few months amid the pandemic, China's military developments in the South China Sea have impacted regional security and the nuclear balance. But with the announcement by the U.S. Navy on May 10 that the Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, Nimitz, Abraham Lincoln, and Gerald R. Ford aircraft carriers have returned to action, that balance has been somewhat restored, Su said.    [FULL  STORY]

CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan-made rapid test for COVID-19 may be available by year-end: NHRI

Focus Taiwan
Date: 06/01/2020
By: Chen Wei-ting and Chiang Yi-ching

Photo from Pixabay for illustrative purposes only

Taipei, June 1 (CNA) Two Taiwanese research institutes said Monday that they are likely to have a rapid diagnostic test for the COVID-19 coronavirus ready for the market by the end of the year.

A prototype of the test, which was unveiled in early April, produces results within 10-15 minutes and has a 70 percent accuracy rate, according to the National Health Research Institutes (NHRI), which is developing the test in collaboration with the National Defense Medical Center.

The test is carried out by placing a fluid sample from the patient's upper respiratory tract onto a test strip, and if two lines appear, it means the patient has SARS-CoV-2, the strain of coronavirus that causes COVID-19, while one line indicates a negative result, the NHRI said.

The NHRI said it has already transferred the test technology to five domestic manufacturers, who will further develop the rapid diagnostic test so they can mass produce it.
[FULL  STORY]

Virus Outbreak: National ranking when borders reopen

SAFETY RISK: The government is working to categorize countries based on their COVID-19 cases and prevention efforts, which would determine quarantine periods

Taipei Times
Date: Jun 02, 2020
By: Shelley Shan / Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Mark Ho, holding microphone, speaks at a seminar on post-pandemic travel and border openings at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday, as, back row from left, National Taiwan University pediatrician Lee Ping-ing, DPP Legislator Su Chiao-hui and Taiwan Solidarity Union Legislator Lai Cheng-chang look on.
Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times

The government plans to rank countries based on their COVID-19 risks to determine how to treat tourists and other travelers from those nations once Taiwan reopens its borders, but it is still working out the categories, a top health official told lawmakers yesterday.

“We would divide countries around the world into several categories. One category would comprise those countries with very few confirmed COVID-19 cases, such as New Zealand and Palau. Travelers from the countries in this category would only need to practice self-health management,” Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told a Legislative Yuan seminar hosted by Democratic Progressive Party lawmakers Mark Ho (何志偉) and Su Chiao-hui (蘇巧慧).

“Tourists from low-risk countries, such as Vietnam and Brunei, might be asked to undergo quarantine for five to six days after entering the country,” he said.

Taiwan has not had any confirmed domestic COVID-19 cases for 50 consecutive days, but there are now more than 6 million confirmed cases in the rest of the world, with the number rising in South America and Southeast Asia, Chuang said.    [FULL  STORY]