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Virus Outbreak: President apologizes for ship infections

President Tsai Ing-wen yesterday arrives at a news conference at the Presidential Office Building in Taipei at which she apologized for the handling of a COVID-19 cluster on board the navy supply ship Panshih.
Photo: CNA

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday apologized for the handling of a cluster of COVID-19 cases on board a navy ship that has left 28 crew infected, saying that as commander-in-chief, she holds ultimate responsibility for the military.


Taipei upstages Beijing’s virus act

China’s COVID-19 narrative has been offset by the exemplary performance of Taiwan, which has employed neither an authoritarian system nor draconian controls, something that makes Beijing unhappy. Taiwan, despite having few diplomatic allies and no WHO membership because of the Chinese government, is doing better than its powerful rival across the Taiwan Strait.

China finds it difficult to digest that the neighboring democracy, which Beijing often sneers at and harasses, has outperformed it in the face of this challenge.


Lawmaker reveals three passport design proposals

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chung Chia-pin explains three design proposals for a revised passport cover at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: Lu Yi-hsuan, Taipei Times

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chung Chia-pin (鍾佳濱) yesterday unveiled three design proposals for a revised passport cover, at a meeting of the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee in Taipei.


Virus Outbreak: Twenty-two new infections confirmed

Soldiers from the military’s chemical units disinfect the Panshih supply ship at Zuoying Naval Base in Kaohsiung yesterday.
Photo: EPA-EFE / Ministry of National Defense handout

Twenty-two new COVID-19 cases have been confirmed, with 21 coming from the navy supply ship Panshih (磐石) and one imported case, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday.


A wolf stalks democratic Taiwan

History shows that the failure of democratic states typically results from a conjunction of powerful external enemies and deep domestic division. Such division in Taiwan is vulnerable to Chinese influence. Taiwan needs to keep reforming its democracy to consolidate internally and to win the support of other countries to play a significant role in the US’ Indo-Pacific strategy.

Taiwan is the gleaming beam of democracy in Asia, but take a closer look: The nation is polarized — mildly, but polarized — and its democracy is fragile.


Virus Outbreak: No new cases for third time in week

People take pictures of the Grand Hotel in Taipei yesterday, which illuminated some of its rooms to spell out the word “Zero” after Taiwan reported no new COVID-19 cases for the third day this week.
Photo: EPA

Taiwan yesterday again registered no new cases of COVID-19 — the third time this week — as the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said that travelers arriving from Southeast Asia, where the pandemic appears to be getting worse, would be the focus of stricter screening.

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US Secretary of State John Kerry promised a member of the US Congress on Wednesday that he would look into the imprisonment of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), who is in failing health.

Kerry also agreed to investigate the status of Taiwan’s request to buy eight diesel-electric submarines from the US.