Local news contained two “You’ve got to be kidding” stories in the same weekend.
First, the “travel bubble” (read: Taiwanese tourists have cabin fever). Taiwan and Palau (a country with zero cases of COVID-19) a preparing a travel corridor between the two. Considering the countries involved and their GDPs, this is solely about giving Taiwanese tourists a safe place to go, plus only a five day quarantine on their return. I highly doubt any Palauans will be coming here, even if their per capita is over US$14,000. This is primarily a tourist thing, not business. Or maybe jobs are part of the deal.
I certainly won’t be going there. Palau is over 70% christian as socially conservative as it gets. Sex between men was decriminalized, but it’s still very homophobic (e.g. no PDAs), and forget about being Transgender.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), and the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) have confirmed that tourism travel will soon be possible between Palau and Taiwan.
Various media outlets are quoting tourism industry sources saying that President Surangel Whipps Jr will visit Taiwan to make the announcement March 15.
MOFA confirmed today, March 7 that it welcomes the President of Palau to visit Taiwan after the launch of the “safe travel circle,” but refused to confirm date for the visit. MOFA will officially announce the date in due course after the relevant planning is completed.
Second, a Taiwan gang member shot at the cops. I doubt he’s going to get only eight years this time. Wanhua is 3km from my home as the crow flies, 5km by road and 15 minutes by bus.
Unlike the US, cops here actually seem interested in capturing suspects alive, often shooting tires and engines multiple times to disable vehicles and as warning shots before firing directly. (Side note: Are all Mercedes drivers jerks?) Why do they do it? It never ends well for them.
A gangster with a history of firearms offences fired one shot at police in an attempt to evade arrest after being ambushed in Wanhua District, Taipei City today, March 7.
Banqiao District police went to Wanhua District to arrest the 47-year-old Four Seas Gang member, named Chen, after receiving intelligence that he would be visiting friends at noon today.
[. . .]
According to statements made at a press conference this afternoon, police had been after Chen for a long time. Chen was described as “a habitual gunman” with a long history of firearms, and drugs offences.
In 2004, Chen confronted police in a 7-hour-long armed standoff, during which he held a grenade. Chen served a prison term and was released in 2012.
No offence to readers and fellow bloggers, but I am really tired of the murricans in Taiwan who whine about “gun freedumb” and wanting marijuana legalized. Do I need to tell you many of them also gripe about wearing masks?