New Taipei City Mayor urges better cooperation with China on ASF

Hou You-Yi urges the Council of Agriculture (COA) to extend a hand of friendship to China and better cooperate against the spread of ASF. (NOWnews)

TAIPEI (The China Post) – New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi urged the Council of Agriculture (COA) on Jan. 3 to cooperate with China in the fight against the spread of the African swine fever (ASF) in Taiwan. The mayor made the friendly call earlier that day after authorities confirmed that the dead hog discovered last week on a beach in Kinmen was infected.

Hou expressed confidence in the measures China already adopted to stop the spread of the virus. He also expressed hopes that China would strengthen its export quarantine procedures and urged authorities to control Taiwan borders with effective measures.

In addition, Hou said that Taiwan should enhance communications with mainland China to better guard against ASF and set up stricter rules for immigration procedures. “We should work side by side regardless of our differences; like we once fought against crimes together,” said Hou.

Hou recalled how he would call relevant Public Security Units when he worked as the commissioner of the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) to seek specific information on certain criminals. Chinese authorities would provide such information and even send such individual back in Taiwan when arrested.

The interests at stake are not politics but people’s livelihood, he said. Hou urged the COA to build a better relationship with its Chinese counterpart and prevent the situation to worsen anyfurther. His concerns are not only about China or Taiwan. He expressed hopes that everyone would put their differences aside and just work for the benefits of local citizens.

Hou also remarked that the Port of Taipei is governed by the central government and local authorities will cooperate accordingly. Therefore, he mentioned the significance of the port during the Cabinet meeting and he already started coping with the disease on his first day in office by visiting a pig’s farm, looking into the heating of pigswill, and enforcing sterilization at the meat markets.

By Nora Chang