Tsai reaffirms commitment to deepening Taiwan-US trade ties | President Tsai Ing-wen said Dec. 9 that Taiwan is committed to starting negotiations with the U.S. on a bilateral trade agreement and expanding relate
Washington, Dec. 9 (CNA) A U.S. State Department official warned Monday that allies of Taiwan who switch recognition to Beijing could be imperiling their sovereignty, citing risks such as debt and Chinese influence in domestic policymaking.
Speaking at the Global Taiwan Institute in Washington, Jennifer Spande, deputy director for Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands, reaffirmed the U.S. position that the Chinese campaign to steal Taiwan's diplomatic allies is a threat to stability in cross-strait relations.
Spande said the U.S. was not trying to dictate to anyone, but rather counseling prudence regarding the sovereignty issues involved in changes in policy by Taiwan's allies in the Pacific, so that the countries can remain "free from foreign coercion or domination."
"A region in which countries maintain their freedom of choice will be a more prosperous and secure one," Spande said.
China has successfully pressured seven countries around the world (including two in Oceania) to sever formal ties with Taiwan and recognize Beijing in the last three years, leaving Taiwan with only 15 diplomatic allies.
Despite the trend, however, newly-elected governments in both the Marshall Islands and Tuvalu have reaffirmed their support for Taiwan, Spande said.
Spande highlighted comments by Tuvalu Foreign Minister Simon Kofe, who said the risks of relations with China include debt as well as pressure to allow the construction of artificial islands and military bases.
More broadly, Spande praised Taiwan as a long-term partner in the Oceania region that works with the U.S. in areas such as natural disaster response, environmental protection and efforts to strengthen the rule of law, and she said the U.S. government hoped to expand areas of bilateral cooperation.
As an example, Spande cited the presence of the State Department's senior official for APEC, Sandra Oudkirk, at the inaugural U.S.-Taiwan Pacific Islands Dialogue, which was held in Taipei in October.
(By Chiang Chinye and Matthew Mazzetta)
Taipei, Dec. 10 (CNA) An Indonesian migrant worker who suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning after burning charcoal in a poorly ventilated room in Miaoli County has regained consciousness and is in stable condition, the county's fire bureau said Tuesday.
The incident occurred Sunday, when the victim and three other Indonesians tried to seek warmth from low temperatures by burning charcoal in their dormitory in Tongluo Township, where they are employed at a temple, the bureau said.
Three of them soon started feeling dizzy and nauseous, while the other fell unconscious, according to the Miaoli County Fire Bureau.
The unconscious victim was treated in a local hospital for carbon monoxide poisoning with hyperbaric oxygen treatment, the bureau said.
The hospital's deputy superintendent, Tsai Chien-tsung (蔡建宗), said later that carbon monoxide poisoning is common when appliances such as water heaters or gas stoves are used in a poorly ventilated room or enclosed space.
(By Kuan Jui-pin and Ko Lin)
Taipei, Dec. 10 (CNA) The Legislative Yuan on Tuesday passed a law amendment that would allow for the number of Examination Yuan members to be reduced by more than half and to also cut the length of their terms.
Under the newly passed amendment to the Organic Act of the Examination Yuan, the membership of the body will shrink from 19 to between seven and nine, while their terms will be reduced from six years to four.
The current members, however, will be allowed to complete their six-year terms, the law states.
It also lays out the eligibility requirements for new members, stating that they must be either published authors in an academic or technical field, have at least 10 years work experience as a professor or senior civil servant, or be a noted author or an inventor.
The amendment also forbids members of the Examination Yuan from accepting any jobs in China during their term in office.
The Examination Yuan, one the five branches of government, is responsible for the hiring of civil servants and evaluation of their performance and also deals with matters such as their salaries and retirement.
Those functions are handled by the Ministry of Examination, which also designs and administers tests for the selection and promotion of civil servants and special government personnel.
(By Wang Yang-yu and Evelyn Kao)