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Legislature opens special session after KMT protests

Radio Taiwan International
Date: 29 June, 2020
By: Natalie Tso

Conflict in the legislature on Monday afternoon (CNA photo)

Taiwan’s legislature has launched a three-week special legislative session despite protests from opposition Kuomintang lawmakers on Monday morning.

One of the main goals of the session is to approve nominees for the Examination Yuan, the Control Yuan and the National Communications Commission (NCC).

On Sunday, more than 20 KMT legislators stormed into the legislature, blocking entry to the main chamber with chairs and chains. They were protesting the nomination of former Presidential Office Secretary-General and former Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu to head the government’s Control Yuan.

The Control Yuan is the investigative agency that monitors the other four branches of government. It consists of 29 members, who are appointed by the president and approved by the legislature every six years.    [FULL  STORY]

Visitors to Taipei’s night markets up but some vendors see slow recovery

The Straits Times
Date: June 30, 2020
By: Katherine Wei Taiwan Correspondent

Taiwanese at the Tonghua Night Market in Taipei last month, amid the Covid-19 outbreak. After months of staying at home, people have turned to domestic travel and outdoor sports with a vengeance. While business has picked up slightly since last month, it is nowhere near pre-pandemic levels.ST PHOTO: KATHERINE WEI

"Revenge outing" is the latest thing in Taiwan, where the Covid-19 outbreak has been kept well in check, with under 450 confirmed cases and seven deaths since the first case was reported in January.

After months of staying at home, people have turned to domestic travel and outdoor sports with a vengeance. Many have also resumed visits to Taipei's vibrant night markets, popular for local specialities and street food, shopping and their heady atmosphere.

"Things are looking so much better now. Look, I have people lining up for a table! My regulars started coming back in May," said Mrs Huang Su-mei, 54, who runs a pepper shrimp stand with her family in Ningxia Night Market in Taipei.

Customers expressed surprise at having to line up on a Wednesday night, with some saying that the coronavirus scare had started to die down.    [FULL  STORY]

Taipei Zoo’s giant panda gives birth to second cub

Panda cub slated to make its public debut around Christmas

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/06/29
By: Lyla Liu, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Newborn giant panda cub in Taipei Zoo. (Facebook, Taipei Zoo photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taipei Zoo's giant panda welcomed her second baby on Sunday (June 28).

The giant panda Yuanyuan (圓圓) gave birth to her second cub You Zai (幼仔) after suffering five hours of labor pain in Taipei Zoo yesterday (Jun 28), according to the Zoo's Facebook page. Yuan Zai (圓仔), Yuanyuan's first child, was born in 2013.

The spokesperson for the zoo, Tsao Hsien-shao (曹先紹), shared that workers tried to let the mother panda take care of her baby, but she seemed to be very tired and lacked nursing experience, so they had to take over, reported CNA. Tsao said the cub had back injuries and was not fed until 5 hours after it was born.

However, Yuan Zai is now in good shape after treatment by the veterinarian.    [FULL  STORY]

Cabinet to release national human rights action plan in December

Focus Taiwan
Date: 06/29/2020
By: Ku Chuan and Joseph Yeh

Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) / CNA photo June 29, 2020

Taipei, June 29 (CNA) The Executive Yuan is scheduled to release a national human rights action plan that will detail Taiwan's ongoing efforts and accomplishments on Dec. 10 to mark Human Rights Day, a senior Cabinet official said Monday.

Minister without Portfolio Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) said the action plan will describe progress on human rights protections, including on how it plans to operate a Human Rights Committee under the Control Yuan that will begin operations in August.

Another major focus will be on how the government intends to regulate private companies to prevent, address and remedy human rights abuses committed by businesses, Lo added.

Lo made the comments at a Cabinet press event during which Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) released the nation's third human rights report.    [FULL  STORY]

Experts urge tests for every traveler

ICELAND MODEL: NTU experts said that testing people upon arrival ‘is already unavoidable’ and that making sure people who leave are not infected would also help

Taipei Times
Date: Jun 30, 2020
By: Staff writer, with CNA

Health experts yesterday called for all people who enter or leave Taiwan to be tested for COVID-19, following a model that Iceland has implemented to boost its economy.

Iceland has become a model of coronavirus prevention efforts after going from a high rate of infection in March to having only a handful of new cases now, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health dean Chan Chang-chuan (詹長權) told a news briefing in Taipei.

Since June 15, people arriving in Iceland have been able to choose between a COVID-19 test and isolation for two weeks, Chan said.

In the first two weeks of the program, tests were given free of charge, but starting tomorrow, people arriving would need to pay about 15,000 Icelandic krona (US$108.80) for a single test, the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration said in a statement on June 9.    [FULL  STORY]

It is time for India to invest in ties with Taiwan

To improve ties with Beijing, Delhi has been reluctant to work with Taipei. Shed the diffidence, engage more

Hindustan Times
Date: Jun 28, 2020
By: Sana Hashmi

In this photo released by the Taiwan Presidential Office, President Tsai Ing-wen, walks ahead of Vice-President Lai Ching-te, as they attend an inauguration ceremony, Taipei, Taiwan, May 20, 2020 (AP)

The India-China border stand-off in the Galwan Valley, following China’s incursion into Indian territory, is a reminder of India’s perennial problems with China. The recent violent clashes are an indication of Beijing’s hardline approach towards India. The statements issued by Chinese officials and the ministry of foreign affairs have made it clear that the Chinese are in no mood for a rapprochement. What these clashes have confirmed is that this is not just about differing perceptions of the boundary, but China’s blatant attempts to change the status quo. This is in clear violation of the Agreement on the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the India-China border areas signed in 1993. A full-fledged conflict is not in the interest of either country. In this context, India has no option but to engage China in a dialogue to defuse tensions.

But dialogue and confidence-building measures alone will not lead India towards a resolution of the problem. History shows that China goes for boundary dispute resolutions only when it finds that the gains are tangible. For now, it is in its interest to keep the dispute alive. China’s aggressive posture towards India and the boundary dispute set the right context for why there could not be a better time for India to engage Taiwan meaningfully.    [FULL  STORY]

Jay Chou is the most-followed Taiwanese artist on Instagram with more than 6m followers

Straits Times
Date: June 28, 2020
By: Lim Ruey Yan

Jay Chou is an active Instagram user, posting about his personal and professional lives.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM JAY CHOU/INSTAGRAM

Taiwanese superstar Jay Chou set up his Instagram (IG) account in August 2017. It was the first social media account he set up after 17 years in the entertainment industry.

His Facebook and Weibo accounts are run by his editing team.

Chou's first photo on his newly-set up Instagram was a photo of himself with his mother Yeh Hui-mei. His new account attracted more than 35,000 followers in a day.

Since then, Chou has been an active IG user, posting about his personal as well as professional life. He has written posts on his family and with his celebrity friends.

Dragon Boat Festival tourism on Taiwan’s Orchid Island doubles in 2020

Crowds prompt thirsty resident to wonder aloud when convenience store refrigerators will be replenished

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/06/28
By: George Liao, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

(CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — An Orchid Island (Lanyu Township) resident mocked the sight of drink shelves emptied quickly by tourists at a local convenience store during the Dragon Boat Festival holiday, saying, "Is a typhoon coming?"

Since the beginning of the long holiday on Thursday (June 25), more than 3,500 tourists have landed on Orchid Island, which is off the coast of Taiwan's southeastern Taitung County. As a holiday heatwave has been roasting much of the nation, including Orchid Island, most of the drink shelves at the 7-Eleven convenience store on the island were emptied by tourists as soon as they were replenished, according to CNA.

The fact that the island's Hongtou (紅頭) and Dongcing (東清) villages are also holding millet harvest festivals during this period has contributed to a larger than usual number of visitors to the island. Each ferry to the island reached its passenger capacity during the first three days of the holiday.

A convenience store clerk said that as the sun was belting down on tourists over the holiday, drinks were the hottest merchandise, and other items such as instant noodles, bread, and packaged snacks were selling well, too.    [FULL  STORY]

U.S. anti-sub aircraft spotted near Taiwan for eighth consecutive day

Focus Taiwan
Date: 06/28/2020
By: Matt Yu and Emerson Lim

An American P-8A maritime patrol aircraft displayed at the 2014 Singapore Air Show. / CNA file photo

Taipei, June 28 (CNA) An American P-8A maritime patrol aircraft was spotted Sunday operating over the Bashi Channel, a strategic water way connecting the South China Sea to the Pacific Ocean, according to Chinese think tank South China Sea Probing Initiative (SCSPI).

"Regular U.S. reconnaissance in the #SouthChinaSea of June 28, #AE68A2," the SCSPI, a South China Sea movement tracker established by Peking University, tweeted at 2:24 p.m., referring to the P-8A.

"There is also a P-3C purportedly, but we can not confirm," the tweet further said.

Both P-8A Poseidon and P-3C Orion are U.S. Navy surveillance aircraft with anti-submarine capabilities.    [FULL  STORY]

Every public classroom to have air-conditioning

COOLER SCHOOLS: A NT$35.6 billion project would upgrade the electrical systems of older schools and install air-conditioners in more than 100,000 classrooms

Taipei Times
Date: Jun 29, 2020
By: Rachel Lin and Dennis Xie / Staff reporter, with staff writer

The Ministry of Education yesterday said it would launch a project to ensure that each classroom in the nation’s public elementary, junior-high and high schools are equipped with air-conditioners by 2025.

The project would first upgrade the electrical systems of some of the older schools before air-conditioners are installed to ensure better energy efficiency, the ministry said, adding that air-conditioners would be installed in more than 100,000 classrooms nationwide.

Several teachers’ and parents’ groups have over the past few years been calling for air-conditioners in classrooms amid record-high temperatures nationwide, the ministry said.

The number of days that temperatures have exceeded 35°C in Taipei has increased from 39 to 56 per year over the past decade, it said, citing Central Weather Bureau data.