Connect with us
//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

China

Taiwan accelerates recovery efforts after worst quake in 25 years

Published

on

Updated April 3, 2024, 11:20 p.m. ET.

Rescue workers are searching for people still missing or trapped in the rubble after the worst earthquake to hit Taiwan in 25 years amid fears that casualties may rise.

Taiwanese authorities said that at least nine people were killed, more than 1,000 injured and nearly 100 people remain trapped in collapsed tunnels, mostly in Hualien County on the east coast, where the 7.4 magnitude earthquake hit on Wednesday morning.

The quake has also severely damaged the infrastructure in the area, with roads blocked with fallen rocks and railway lines to Hualien cut off, just as Taiwanese people began a major public holiday on Thursday.

Residents of the damaged building stand as a damaged building is being demolished following the earthquake, in Hualien, Taiwan April 4, 2024.  (Reuters/Tyrone Siu)

By mid-day Thursday, the railway line between Yilan and Hualien counties has reopened but many sections of the Central Cross-Island Highway, or Provincial Highway 8, remain closed.

The military has been called in to help with recovery efforts. Two C-130 transport aircraft were dispatched to bring rescue teams and equipment to Hualien.

The official Central News Agency (CNA) reported that ships are being mobilized to bring supplies to the county.

Missing hotel workers

Most of the fatalities, caused by falling rocks, happened in Hualien – a picturesque mountainous area popular with hikers and tourists. The death toll being five women and four men so far. 

Rugged terrain and damaged roads have made search and rescue operations harder.

It was reported that 47 employees of a Hualien hotel and 24 tourists are still unaccounted for at Jiuqudong, one of the most scenic sections in Taroko Gorge. 

highway 8.jpeg
Rocks block Provincial Highway No. 8 in Central Taiwan, April 3, 2024.  (Taichung City Fire Bureau)

Taiwan’s National Fire Agency said 71 people are still trapped in two mines in Hualien after some tunnels collapsed in the earthquake.

According to the Hualien County Government, more than 600 people including residents and visitors have been placed in temporary accommodation. Shelters have also been set up in New Taipei City to accommodate earthquake victims.

military hualien.jpeg
Taiwanese soldiers helping rescue operations in Hualien, April 3, 2024. (Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense)

Aftershocks are still being felt across Taiwan, with the government warning that tremors of up to 7 magnitude may occur in the next three days. 

The Ministry of Economic Affairs reported that almost 400,000 households were experiencing power outages, as well as water stoppages, nationwide. 

Eighty cell phone base stations suffered damage in the earthquake, causing communication disruptions. The National Communications Commission said it would work to repair all the stations by Friday.

Leading semiconductor manufacturer TSMC suspended operations on Wednesday and evacuated workers from some plants.

Despite its strength, the April 3 earthquake has not caused many fatalities thanks to the fact that the epicentre was far from populous urban areas, according to experts. The public’s preparedness also played a factor, after the highly destructive earthquake in 1999 that killed 2,400 people.

‘Thanks, but no thanks’

Taiwan’s Vice President and President-elect Lai Ching-te on Wednesday went to Hualien to inspect the aftermath of the earthquake. Lai, who is to be sworn in next month, said he was “fully committed” to assisting the Hualien county government as it works to shelter those displaced by the quake and rebuild.

“The priority now is to find and rescue those who remain trapped,” he said.

Leaders and senior officials from 47 countries including Japan, the U.S., the U.K. – to name a few – have expressed solidarity and offered assistance to Taipei, according to Taiwan’s Presidential Office.

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama also expressed his sympathy to the earthquake victims via a post on Facebook.

Zhu Fenglian, head of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office – the organization in charge of cross-Strait relations – said in a statement that the mainland was “deeply concerned about the earthquake and expressed sincere condolences to Taiwan compatriots affected by the disaster.”

China “is willing to provide disaster relief assistance,” Zhu said.

However, the offer was declined by the Taiwanese authorities. Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council said in a statement that  “we express our gratitude to the Chinese side for their concern” but “there is no need for the Chinese side to assist.”

Taiwan’s former president Ma Ying-jeou is currently in China on a friendly visit that has been criticized by some legislators from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

​​Frightened but calm

Taiwanese people have been sharing their own experiences from Wednesday’s earthquake.

A man, who identified himself as Li and lives just 500 meters from central Hualien, told Radio Free Asia’s Mandarin service that his building was seriously damaged and its 200 residents were rescued but now need to be resettled.

“After the earthquake hit, the main door was sealed. I was locked in my room for about half an hour.

“The tremors broke the windows and deformed the building structure, the ceilings collapsed, and the window grills, making it impossible to climb out. I learned that some people couldn’t stand on the road and had to hug trees to steady themselves.”

Another man named Lin described the quake as huge.

“The earth was shaking up and down, left and right for nearly a minute.”

But he kept his cool, saying: “I am so experienced. I am really used to it in Taiwan.”

Lan, a woman who lives in Taipei, told RFA:I was about to go to work at the time, and I was relatively calm.”

“I think Taiwanese people are actually quite well trained in this regard, we know roughly what to do and just follow the instructions.”

Some people said that they actually learned about the earthquake from mainland Chinese sources. China’s Sina News issued an alert at 8:01 a.m. on Wednesday saying “The China Seismological Network detected an earthquake of 7.4 magnitude near Taiwan, China.”

But there was also disinformation, according to a woman named Li from Taipei: “The first time I saw it, the news was from mainland China saying that an earthquake of magnitude 8.4 was detected in Taiwan.”

“They also talked about suspension of work [in Taiwan]. Fake news was all over the…

Read the rest of this article here >>> Taiwan accelerates recovery efforts after worst quake in 25 years

Continue Reading

China

Published

on


The New Company Law brings substantial changes with implications for new and existing foreign invested enterprises and stakeholders. Foreign investors must assess if adjustments to existing structures

Despite recent economic challenges, many organizations’ China operations provide unparalleled access to one of the world’s largest and most competitive global supply chains. Over the past 30 years, a significant number of foreign invested enterprises (FIEs) have been established in China. As of the end of 2022, the number of FIEs operating in China had exceeded 1.12 million.

Compared to their domestic counterparts, FIEs demonstrate greater caution regarding legal revisions and are diligent in making swift adjustments. This stems not only from the closer scrutiny FIEs face from regulatory authorities but also from their commitment to compliance and maintaining a competitive edge.

Clearly, there has been a shift in China’s corporate regulations—from merely encouraging an increase in the number of companies to focusing on attracting mature enterprises and higher-quality investments. While the transition from a broad approach to a more refined one may cause short-term challenges, it ultimately benefits the company’s long-term development. By returning to the original intent of setting registered capital, it not only protects the interests of creditors but also shields shareholders from the operational risks of the company.

In China’s foreign investment landscape, while most FIEs exercise commercial prudence in determining registered capital—factoring in capital expenditures, operational costs, and setting aside surplus funds—some opt for higher registered capital levels to avoid future capital increase procedures. This typically involves lengthy document signing and registration changes, lasting 1-2 months.

Joint ventures (JVs) often impose stricter payment deadlines for registered capital in their articles of association to ensure both parties’ simultaneous contributions align with operational needs. Conversely, wholly foreign-owned enterprises (WFOEs) tend to favor flexibility in payment deadlines, often allowing full payment before the company’s operational period expires.

Given these circumstances, despite the generally stronger capital adequacy among foreign companies compared to domestic entities, many FIEs could be affected by the new capital contribution rules.

This article is republished from China Briefing. Read the rest of the original article.

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at china@dezshira.com.

Continue Reading

China

Foreign Tourist Groups on Cruise Ships Fully Permitted Visa-Free Entry in China

Published

on

China will allow visa-free entry for foreign tourist groups arriving by cruise ship at 13 ports along the coast, starting May 15, 2024. Visitors must stay with the same ship and in permitted areas for up to 15 days. This policy aims to boost tourism and facilitate high-quality development in the cruise industry.


China’s immigration agency announced that it will grant a visa-free policy for foreign tourist groups to enter China by cruise at all cruise ports along the coast of China, starting May 15, 2024. The tourist group must remain with the same cruise ship until its next port of call and stay within permitted areas for no more than 15 days.

Effective May 15, 2024, the National Immigration Administration (NIA) has officially implemented a visa-free policy for foreign tourist groups entering China via cruise ships. This progressive move aims to enhance personnel exchanges and foster cooperation between China and other nations, furthering the country’s commitment to high-level openness.

Under this policy, foreign tourist groups, comprising two or more individuals, who travel by cruise ship and are organized by Chinese domestic travel agencies, can now enjoy visa-free entry as a cohesive group at cruise ports in 13 cities along the Chinese coast.

The tourist group must remain with the same cruise ship until its next port of call and stay within China for no more than 15 days. The eligible areas for this policy are coastal provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities) and Beijing.

Furthermore, to support cruise tourism development, seven additional cruise ports—Dalian, Lianyungang, Wenzhou, Zhoushan, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Beihai—have been included as applicable ports for visa-free transit.

The recent implementation of the visa-free policy for foreign tourist groups entering China via cruise ships is poised to have several significant effects. The policy will provide crucial support for the cruise economy and the overall cruise industry. By facilitating smoother travel for foreign tourist groups, it acts as a catalyst for high-quality development in this sector.

Additionally, under this policy, international cruise companies can strategically plan their global routes by designating Chinese port cities, such as Shanghai, Xiamen, and Shenzhen, as docking destinations. This move is expected to attract more cruise ships to Chinese ports, ultimately bringing in a larger number of international visitors to the Chinese market.

This article is republished from China Briefing. Read the rest of the original article.

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at china@dezshira.com.

Continue Reading

China

China’s New Tariff Law: Streamlining and Standardizing Current Tariff Regulations

Published

on

China’s new Tariff Law consolidates import and export duties, clarifies rules for imposing counter-tariffs, and sets a December 1, 2024 effective date. It codifies existing practices on cross-border e-commerce and rules on the origin of goods into law, impacting trade relations.


China’s new Tariff Law consolidates rules on import and export duties that were previously implemented via several legal documents and makes important clarifications and additions to prior regulations. Among other changes, it stipulates provisions for the Chinese government to impose counter-tariffs on imported goods, codifying these powers into law for the first time. We outline all the notable updates to the China Tariff Law and discuss the implications for the country’ current trade relations. 

On April 26, 2024, the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s legislature, adopted the Tariff Law of the People’s Republic of China (the “Tariff Law”) after several rounds of revisions.

The new Tariff Law will replace the Import and Export Tariff Regulations of the People’s Republic of China, which fall under the purview of the State Council, and adopts many of its provisions.

Previously, Chinese law had not stipulated legislative powers to implement countervailing tariffs, although China was nonetheless able to impose counter-tariffs on trade partners through other means.

China’s new Tariff Law comes into effect on December 1, 2024.

China’s Tariff Law elevates several existing provisions and practices to the level of law. For instance, Article 3 of the Tariff Law clarifies the obligations of cross-border e-commerce platforms for tariff withholding and implementing consolidated taxation.

The Tariff Law also solidifies the rules and regulations on the origin of goods, stipulating that the application of tariff rates shall comply with the corresponding rules of origin. Although this has been previously implemented in practice, it is the first time this has been codified into law.

This article is republished from China Briefing. Read the rest of the original article.

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at china@dezshira.com.

Continue Reading