Taiwan News: MoFA Monitors eSwatini Ties as China Dangles Investments

Taiwan News: MoFA Monitors eSwatini Ties as China Dangles Investments
Photo Credit: Reuters / TPG
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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said it is monitoring ties with eSwatini and will continue to provide assistance to strengthen diplomatic relations with the African country.

The statement comes as China's leadership is hosting a two-day forum with African Leaders and business representatives in Beijing.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, China's President Xi Jinping announced Beijing will invest more than US$60 billion (NT$1.845 trillion) in Africa over the next three years and cancel debt from the least developed countries that have relations with Beijing.

eSwatini was not invited to the forum due to its having diplomatic ties with Taiwan. However, MoFA officials said there is concern that China's offer could put pressure on eSwatini to switch recognition.

Taiwan's new ambassador to eSwatini Jeremy Liang (梁洪昇) presented his credentials to King Mswati III of eSwatini last week.

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State-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) removed more unused fuel rods from the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant overnight.

It is the second batch of fuel rods to have been removed from the plant since June. The rods were driven under police escort in 12 container trucks to Keelung Harbor, where they were loaded onto a cargo vessel for shipment to the United States.

Reports said some 200 police officers were deployed to escort and guard the fuel rods when they were being transported from the power plant to the harbor.

Taipower has not commented on last night's operation.

The state-generator plans to remove all 1,744 bundles of fuel rods from the plant and return them to the U.S. as it works to transform the facility into an integrated power generation park zone.

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President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is promising to provide greater backing to athletes who compete internationally for Taiwan.

Tsai made the statement during the "welcome home" ceremony for the island's Asian Games team at the Presidential Office.

The ceremony included a military honor guard and, along with thanking the team's athletes, the president also used the event to express her appreciation to the coaches, medical staff and team chefs.

RTS1ZN1B
Photo Credit: Reuters / TPG
Taiwan's baseball team earned bronze at the 2018 Asian Games.

According to Tsai, the sending of two F-16 fighter jets to escort the last athletes home on Monday night was a testament to how much the government cares about Taiwan's sportsmen and women.

The president also expressed her thanks to the Sports Administration and other agencies for coordinating logistical support for the athletes, including having the team live in apartments next to the main stadium for the Games.

Tsai said logistical support for the athletes in Jakarta has set a benchmark for future events including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Read More: Taiwan News: Tokyo Olympics Name Referendum Proposal Passes 2nd Stage

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President Tsai also slammed Beijing for its ongoing efforts to suppress Taiwan, saying such moves unilaterally alter the status quo and undermine cross-Strait relations.

Speaking during a meeting with a visiting Japanese delegation, Tsai said maintaining the status quo is not a one-sided responsibility, but something that is the shared responsibility of both sides.

Tsai emphasized her government's efforts to defend Taiwan's interests and values and its determination to maintain peace and stability in the region.

She also thanked the delegation and the people of Japan for voicing support for Taiwan, especially following El Salvador's switching of diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in late August.

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A group of Taiwanese students in Norway is planning to file a lawsuit against the Norwegian government for changing the nationality on their residency permits from Taiwan to China.

According to a lawyer representing the students, they have raised about NT$2 million (US$65,030) so far via a fund-raising campaign for the first phase of the process.

The campaign was launched in August and the students say they hope to raise about NT$4.8 million (US$156,072) for the four stages of legal action. The students expect to file the lawsuit in October at the earliest.

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Photo Credit: zeczec.com
The Taiwanese students launched a student group after finding their Norway-issued visas and entry documents read 'Taiwan, China' or 'Taipei, China.'

The Norwegian government first changed the residency permits from Taiwan to China in 2010.

The students' lawyer says the Norwegian government has since failed to respond to repeated protests against the name change. The lawyer also says if they lose the lawsuit, they will file an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

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Taiwan's supervisory Control Yuan is set to impeach Hualien County prosecutor Lin Chun-yu (林俊佑).

Lin caused public outrage in June when, accompanied by two uniformed police officers, he interrogated children at his daughter's kindergarten because he believed his daughter was being bullied.

The children were aged between two to four.

According to the government watchdog, a month-long investigation into the incident found that Lin abused his position and was guilty of prosecutorial misconduct.

The case will now been forwarded to the Judicial Yuan for further action.

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The Taiwan United Nations Alliance says it will once again be holding events in New York and several other U.S. cities later this month calling for the UN to grant Taiwan full membership.

The events will be taking place ahead of the opening of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly, which runs from September 18 through October 1.

According to alliance president Michael Tsai (蔡明憲), members of the delegation will hold talks with U.S. lawmakers and are also pushing for a meeting with U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton.

Tsai said letters calling for for Taiwan to be admitted to to the UN will be sent to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the representatives of all UN member states.

There have been reports the alliance also plans to hold a protest outside the Chinese embassy in Washington D.C.

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Premier William Lai (賴清德) said the government remains committed to banning the sale of gas-powered motorcycles by 2035 as part of efforts to combat air pollution.

According to Lai, the government will offer technical assistance to domestic motorcycle manufacturers to help them transition from conventional bikes to smart electric scooters.

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Photo Credit: Prince Roy / Flickr
Gas scooters: Banned by 2035?

The Premier said the government will also push to expand the number of battery charging stations and introduce more parking spaces solely for eco-friendly scooters.

Data from the Ministry of Transport shows there were 13.76 million registered scooters in Taiwan as of the end of December 2017. The number of electric scooters sold in the first seven months of this year stood at 37,000.

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The Central Weather Bureau says it will lodge a protest over a change made to the location tag on a photograph submitted by one of its employees to an international competition.

The photo was submitted to the World Meteorological Organization for its 2019 calendar competition.

It was originally labeled with the location as "Taiwan," but that has now been changed by the competition's organizers to read "Taiwan, Province of China."

The bureau says it will help the photographer, Fu Yi-feng (傅譯鋒), protest the change via emails and Facebook posts.

Fu's photo shows storm clouds in a starry sky over the Pengjia Islet (彭佳嶼) and was one of the 75 finalists chosen from 1,000 entries in the competition.

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Travel volume between Kinmen and China via the "Little Three Links" for August reached nearly 190,000, a 31 percent increase from the same month of last year.

The head of the county's tourism department, Chen Mei-ling (陳美齡), said the figures show that the number of Chinese travelers entering Kinmen is increasing.

According to Chen, the Chinese travelers mostly visit the county independently and are proving beneficial for Kinmen's small-medium-sized tourism-related industries.

According to tourism department, over 1 million people traveled using the little three links from January to August, an increase of 9.3 percent from the same period last year.

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The international final of the Jeunes Chefs Rotisseurs Competition will be held in Keelung this year.

The event will be held at the city's Jing Guo Institute of Management and Health on September 7 and will feature over 20 of the world's top young chefs.

The participants will be given identical boxes of ingredients to prepare a meal for four people, consisting of an appetizer, main course and dessert.

The competition which was first held in Switzerland in 1977.

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The Australia Baseball League has submitted a proposal for one of its teams to play in the Chinese Professional Baseball League's minor league.

Australian Baseball League Chief Executive Cam Vale said it hopes the team will be allowed to enter the league next year and play two seasons in the minors before joining the CPBL.

According to CPBL Commissioner John Wu (吳志揚), the issue as to whether an Australian team would be allowed to join the CPBL's regular season will have to be discussed by the league's board of directors before a final decision can be made.

CPBL
Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons
Could the CPBL soon expand to include a team from Down Under?

The six-team ABL season runs from November through February and many local CPBL players already use it as part of their winter training during the off season.

The Okinawa local government has also recently expressed an interest in establishing a team to compete in the CPBL.

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The Taiwan equity market is set to introduce a "continuous trading" mechanism in March 2020 as it seeks to enhance trading efficiency and meet international standards.

According to the Financial Supervisory Commission, the continuous trading mechanism will be different to the call auction platform currently used by the local equity market.

The trading platform means buy and sell orders are matched up as soon as they are reported to the exchange, leading to trading on a real-time basis without any time lag.

The commission says all trades, with the exception of those at the opening and closing of the market, will be carried out under continuous trading from March 23, 2020,

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Foxconn Industrial Internet said it will work with Netherlands-based NXP Semiconductors on the development of an industrial Internet system.

NXP will provide artificial intelligence technology and solutions to help Foxconn, a subsidiary of Hon Hai (鴻海精密), set up an advanced industrial Internet platform.

According to Hon Hai, the industrial Internet ecosystem is expected to help its business clients achieve smart production and management to boost competitiveness.

Foxconn Industrial Internet is part of the efforts by Hon Hai to integrate its hardware production business with software development.

Read Next: OPINION: Extending the HSR to Hualien Risks Spoiling East Taiwan

This news bulletin was provided courtesy of International Community Radio Taipei (ICRT), Taiwan’s leading English-language broadcaster.

Editor: Nick Aspinwall (@Nick1Aspinwall)

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