Week in Review

1)

One of the top stories from this past week was that President Tsai Ing-wen reshuffled some of the positions in her Cabinet, after eight months in office.

Cabinet spokesperson Hsu Kuo-yung announced Friday that Yilan County Chief Lin Tsung-hsien will take over as head of the Council of Agriculture. Minister Lin Mei-chu will take over at the Council of Labor Affairs.

Premier Lin Chuan responded on Saturday to criticism over the appointment of Lin, a pick which is controversial because she is President Tsai Ing-wen's cousin.

The premier said that all of the new Cabinet picks were chosen because of their ability to perform, and that no other factors were involved in their selection.

The premier also spoke about the decision to announce the reshuffle at a time when one of the officials to be replaced, Health Minister Lin Tzou-yien, was out of the country. The premier said that the health minister had already asked to leave his position but had been persuaded to stay on awhile longer.

2)

Also this past week, the US-based ride-sharing app Uber, announced Thursday that it will temporarily suspend its services in Taiwan starting February 10. That's because the transportation ministry could suspend Uber's operations with a new amendment to the Highway Act coming into force.

The government says Uber is registered in Taiwan as an information services company. As such, it does not have legal permission to operate transportation services. The amendment passed in December carries greater fines for operators of illegal transportation services.

Uber Taiwan has been charged with more than 48 violations since January 6. That has meant total fines of more than NT$1.1 billion (US$35 million) in less than a month. Uber says it hopes to communicate with the government and come up with another way to operate in Taiwan.

The transportation ministry has signaled a willingness to work with Uber if the ride-sharing app is willing to operate services in Taiwan's rural areas.

3)

And finally, this past week, Taipei's airport metro line began test runs on Thursday. Once it's up and running, it will shuttle passengers from downtown Taipei to the nation's main international airport in Taoyuan, offering city check-in services for some passengers.

The Taoyuan Airport metro company says it will make adjustments following complaints from some of the passengers of a rocking sensation during the test runs.

The airport metro line is slated to begin regular services on March 2.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel