Date: Jul 05, 2020
By: Chang Huey-por 張惠博
On June 22, the Taiwan Public Opinion Foundation released the results of its latest poll on political party approval ratings, which showed that support for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was 28.2 percent, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) support was 16.2 percent, and the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) and New Power Party (NPP) had 10.7 and 10.6 percent support, respectively.
Surprisingly, the KMT received no support from people aged 20 to 24, while support from that group for the DPP, TPP and NPP was 31.4, 19.7 and 18.3 percent, respectively.
On the same day, the National Policy Foundation, a KMT think tank, released the results of its latest poll on political party approval ratings, showing that 32.9 percent of respondents said they support the DPP, 13.7 percent support the KMT, and 6.6 and 5.9 percent support the TPP and NPP, respectively.
A cross-analysis of the polls shows that 37 percent of people aged 20 to 29 support the DPP, while support for the KMT among the same group is a mere 6.3 percent. [FULL STORY]
Taiwan is postponing the introduction of the eID until the first half of 2021 (image courtesy of MOI)
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of Interior (MOI) is postponing the introduction of electronic identity cards (eID) from October until the first half of 2021 due to the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, reports said Saturday (July 4).
The new timetable saw the launch take place either in the first or second quarter of next year, depending on the virus situation at that time, CNA reported. [FULL STORY]
ByL: Chang Ming-hsuan and Matthew Mazzetta
CNA photo July 2, 2020
Taipei, July 4 (CNA) Taiwan's former top disease control official this week called on the government to issue emergency use authorizations (EUAs) to speed up the development of COVID-19 vaccine candidates, saying plans to hold clinical trials before year-end are "simply too slow."
Taiwan needs to take steps to accelerate domestic development of a vaccine, because it may not have immediate access when one is discovered abroad, given the intensity of global demand, Su Ih-jen (蘇益仁), former director-general of the Bureau of Communicable Disease Control — the predecessor of the Centers for Disease Control — told CNA this week.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 100 COVID-19 vaccine candidates are currently in development worldwide, 18 of which had entered human trials as of July 2. The countries making the fastest progress — the United States, Europe and China — have said a vaccine could reach the market by the end of 2020.
In Taiwan, however, only two firms have submitted applications for clinical trials, while a third is expected to do in July, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC). [FULL STORY]
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said
Date: Jul 05, 2020
By: Yang Yuan-ting and Dennis Xie / Staff reporter, with staff writer
Three women drink beer outside a Kenting bar during the Spring Scream music festival on April 6 last year. Warning: Excessive consumption of alcohol can damage your health Photo: Tsai Tsung-hsien, Taipei Times
The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents.
One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology.
The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said.
“There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed hinders their brain development, he said, citing the sensitivity of the hippocampus and the prefrontal lobe to ethanol [FULL STORY]
Radio Taiwan International
Date: 03 July, 2020
By: Leslie Liao
Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The foreign ministry has announced that Taiwan will reopen its representative office in Guam. The move comes three years after Taiwan temporarily shut down the office for financial reasons and because office personnel were needed elsewhere.
The foreign ministry says the main reasons it plans to reopen the office are the thriving state of Taiwan-US ties and an increased budget. The office is expected to assist the US in carrying out its Indo-Pacific Strategy. [FULL STORY]
East Asia Forum
Date: 3 July 2020
By: Nicholas Chiu, Taipei
While the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) bellows at Hong Kong, it is relatively low-key on cross-strait relations. Three economic signals and a pair of political statements make Beijing’s tone down of threats against Taiwan perceptible.
First was the reintroduction of Chinese smartphones in Taiwan. Vivo, a Chinese tech firm, is set to introduce two smartphone models into the Taiwanese market. The comeback was made after the National Communications Commission (NCC) of Taiwan started restricting technology devices containing ‘sovereignty-degrading’ substance in November 2019.
Passing the NCC audit implies that Vivo is willing to erase terms such as ‘Chinese–Taiwan’ on its products. Such involvement would have been unimaginable in 2018 when Beijing forced international airlines to purge all references to Taiwan as a separate country. Though Vivo suddenly halted its sales on 1 June 2020 due to ‘technical’ problems, Chinese authorities and media remain unusually quiet.
Next was the Chinese government’s announcement of economic bonuses for Taiwanese businesses before the second-term inauguration of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on 20 May, 2020. Defying numerous predictions, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council — the mainland administrative agency responsible for implementing policies related to Taiwan — rolled out 11 economic incentives for Taiwanese entrepreneurs in China on 15 May. [FULL STORY]
Taiwan currently has 333 vials of remdesivir. (CNA photo)
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Friday (July 3) that the country currently possesses 333 vials of remdesivir and will save them for emergency coronavirus treatment.
During a regular press conference to give Taiwan's pandemic update, CECC Spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) pointed out that the island nation's remdesivir stockpile is enough to treat 55 patients in serious or critical condition. He noted that the procurement of the antiviral drug is not urgent at the moment since Taiwan does not have patients in need of such treatment, reported CNA.
In response to global concerns that the U.S. has hoarded most of the world's remdesivir supplies, Chuang said the government will continue to negotiate with the Western superpower for a potential sale. Meanwhile, hospitals in Taiwan have other medications that can be relied on, he added.
Though it is not clear if remdesivir can improve survival rates, the drug has shown efficacy in shortening recovery time for severely ill coronavirus patients. It is also the first antiviral drug to be recommended by health officials in the European Union (EU) and approved by Japan. [FULL STORY]
By Kuo Chih-hsuan and Elizabeth Hsu
Phalaenopsis equestris. / Photo courtesy of Chen Chun-ming
Taipei, July 3 (CNA) A tropical plant conservation group in Taiwan is pushing ahead with an ambitious program aimed at saving the island's indigenous orchids by reviving the native moth orchid species and allowing them to thrive in the forests where they originated.
The goal of the "Bringing Moth Orchids Back Home" program is to have every moth orchid species in the world boom at their native breeding sites, Chen Chun-ming (陳俊銘), a senior collection manager at the Dr. Cecilia Koo Botanic Conservation Center (KBCC) in Pingtung County, told CNA in a recent interview.
The program, launched two years ago, aims to save moth orchid species in Taiwan.
Taiwan, like many places around the world, have seen its moth orchid species gradually disappear from the wild because they have been "mercilessly picked" for their beauty, Chen said. [FULL STORY]
MORE FAKE MONEY: Officials said they seized fake US$100 bills that contained the same misspelling as US$11.04 million in bills seized in December last year
Date: Jul 04, 2020
By: Jason Pan / Staff reporter
Counterfeit US$100 banknotes seized by the Criminal Investigation Bureau are shown to the media in Taipei yesterday. Photo: Huang Chia-ling, Taipei Times
Authorities have detained three people for their alleged involvement in counterfeiting US currency, the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) said yesterday.
Two men, surnamed Lin (林) and Huang (黃), and a woman surnamed Tsai (蔡) in November 2018 allegedly sold fake US$100 bills to a man surnamed Chen (陳), who did business in Taiwan and Mongolia, CIB official Lai Yao-tsung (賴耀宗) said.
“Chen had heard of offers to exchange money at good rates, reportedly at a 75 percent discount for US currency. Thinking of profiting from the transaction, he bought from Tsai and Huang 3,000 US$100 bills for NT$6.5 million [US$219,528 at the current exchange rate] in cash,” Lai said.
Chen allegedly used his own counterfeit bill detector to screen the money at a face-to-face transaction, but a bank in Mongolia later detected the money as fake, so Chen returned to Taiwan with the counterfeit bills, the CIB said. [FULL STORY]
Radio Taiwan International
Date: 02 July, 2020
By: Paula Chao
[Working hard, or hardly working?]
If you’re working remotely due to the pandemic, this episode of Taiwan Insider is a must-watch! We’ll have some life hacks for you, and an inside look at how we managed to create six episodes of our show without ever being in the same room.
We’ll also hear from Daphne Lee at The News Lens, who says Taiwan may have missed the opportunity to restructure the workplace environment. [FULL STORY]
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