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Week in Review

2017-03-19

1)

 

One of the top stories from this past week was that the Cabinet has set up an office tasked with combatting money laundering.

 

At the opening on Thursday, Premier Lin Chuan said Taiwan is the first Asia-Pacific nation to draw up a law to prevent money laundering. However, Lin said that the law was passed more than ten years ago and the country has since fallen behind in its efforts. Lin said Taiwan is now at risk of being put on an international watch list because of this lack of progress.

 

The premier said setting up the new Cabinet office is to show Taiwan’s determination to correct the problem.

 

Lin said he hopes the office can devise a plan to stop money laundering and to outline policy goals. He also said he hopes the office will work to secure Taiwan a good score in upcoming evaluations by the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering.

 

2)

 

Also this past week, the science ministry is planning to invest NT$5 billion (US$163 million) into research centers for artificial intelligence technology.

 

That was the word from the head of the ministry, Chen Liang-gee, on Wednesday.

 

Chen said that artificial intelligence (AI) will be Taiwan’s next global industry. He said the investment will boost the overall operating capacity of Taiwan’s internet and fund the construction of three to four R&D centers.

 

Chen said the development of AI requires talents from many disciplines, including biomedicine, psychology and neuroscience. He said the R&D centers will attract top talent from around the world and boost technological innovation.

 

Chen predicted that in the near future, AI will have applications in all facets of life. He said the science ministry’s goal is to make Taiwan a key player in providing cutting edge AI technology.

 

3)

 

And finally this past week, Premier Lin Chuan says the legalization of same-sex marriage is a future trend. Lin was speaking Friday at the legislature. The remark comes as the country’s grand justices are set to convene a constitutional court to debate the issue on March 24.

 

The legislature has already passed the first reading of an amendment to legalize same-sex marriage. A further two readings are required for a bill to pass into law. While supporters want a change to the existing civil code, others have called for a new law specifically addressing same-sex couples. Same-sex marriage supporters believe this latter recourse falls short of the goal of marriage equality.

 

Lin declined to comment on whether he himself supports the legislation or how the controversy should be resolved. He said more communication between supporters and opponents is needed since the issue “involves far too many social values.”

 

A platform for marriage equality on Thursday called on the LGBT community to write their personal stories to grand justices and list the rights entitled to them. The platform said it is against the enactment of a new law because it would be discriminatory.