Premier inspects disease prevention efforts in visit to Kinmen

  • Date: 2018-12-20
  • Source: Department of Information Services, Executive Yuan

Premier Lai Ching-te on Thursday traveled to the offshore island of Kinmen to observe the status of the mini-three links (direct trade, postal and transport links with China) and customs inspections of incoming plants and animal products aimed at preventing the spread of African swine fever (ASF) to Taiwan.

The premier said that as the first place in the nation where ASF-tainted meat products have been intercepted, Kinmen is an important strategic front in the effort to block the disease. He encouraged those involved in the operation to come together as they work to keep ASF out of Taiwan.

Travelers who bring in meat products in violation of regulations are subject to a fine of NT$200,000 (US$6,484), cautioned Premier Lai. As some people may be unaware of the situation, the premier instructed the responsible authorities to step up efforts to publicize which products are subject to the ban and ensure that the public understands the controls in detail.

In addition, the government must work to refine X-ray inspection techniques. Should X-ray prove unable to successfully detect all incoming contraband, then enhanced methods must be adopted. Premier Lai directed customs officers to review every step of the process and identify all channels through which banned products might enter the country.

Taiwan and China in fact share common challenges and common goals, the premier said. Common challenges include providing mutual support in the face of natural disasters and collaborating to prevent the spread of communicable diseases, while common goals include securing the lives, good health and prosperity of the people. Premier Lai expressed hope that China can cooperate with Taiwan and the international community to ensure the open and transparent transmission of information on outbreaks of disease, enabling Taiwan to effectively undertake preventative measures as in the current situation.