An eight-wheel armored vehicle was added to the growing list of home-made military systems yesterday. \nThe CM-32 light-armored vehicle (LAV), dubbed "Yunpao" (Cloud Leopard), made its debut yesterday at a launch ceremony attended by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). \nChen said the name was chosen to represent the vehicle's "mobility, agility and firepower." \n"After two years' exhaustive research and hard work, the new armored vehicle has completed its initial trials and has proven able to meet its demands on the battleground," Chen said during the ceremony, which was held at a military base in Nantou County. \n"We named the armored vehicle `Yunpao' because it is agile and swift, just like Taiwan's cloud leopard," he said. \nThe Yunpao was developed by the military and industrial research institutions in a NT$700 million (US$21.9 million) project launched in 2002. Three prototypes had been produced, with the latest recently completing its testing phase. \nChen said the military will pass on technological know-how to private companies to produce more units of the new armored vehicle. \n"We believe the Yunpao project will create business opportunities worth billions of dollars for the private sector, including production, components, maintenance and repairs," Chen said, adding that the project would be a "win-win" scenario for both national defense and economic development. \nChen called on the public to support government policies aimed at strengthening self-defense and to recognize the government's efforts in developing a partnership between the public and the armed forces. \nHe said that Taiwan faced constant hostility from China, which had increased its military spending and was suppressing the nation's "breathing space" in the international community. \nYesterday's ceremony included demonstrations of the Yunpao climbing a steep grade and driving over low walls. With a thumbs-up, an animated and helmeted Chen posed for photographers in the gunner's seat before going for a ride in the vehicle. \nChen also rebutted a report which said one Yunpao unit had been manufactured solely for the use of the president and his family. \n"It's not like that at all. That report has maliciously vilified the nation's forces as well as A-bian," Chen said, using his nickname. \nHe added that neither he nor members of his family would use the armored vehicle. \n"The Yunpao armored vehicle will only be used to defend the nation and its people," he said. \nThe Yunpao can travel at more than 100kph and is equipped with a 25mm gun and a 7.62mm machine gun. The Yunpao will become the army's most powerful armored vehicle when mass production starts in 2007. Its firepower will surpass that of the armored personnel carriers now in service.
ON ALERT: A woman who tested positive for COVID-19 while abroad last year tested negative twice in Taiwan before showing a positive result on Sunday, the center said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported two locally transmitted COVID-19 infections, four imported cases and no deaths. The CECC meanwhile warned nearly 500 people to monitor their health after a woman tested postive. The center also reported that a previous local case — a female worker at Taoyuan International Airport Services (桃園航勤), who had the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 — likely contracted the disease from the same source as a previous imported case from Turkey. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that the two local cases were reported in Taipei, and are a
The Lithuanian Ministry of National Defense recommended that consumers avoid buying Chinese mobile phones and advised people to throw away the ones they have now after a government report found the devices had built-in censorship capabilities. Flagship phones sold in Europe by China’s smartphone giant Xiaomi Corp (小米) have a built-in ability to detect and censor terms such as “Free Tibet,” “Long live Taiwan independence” or “democracy movement,” Lithuania’s state-run cybersecurity body said on Tuesday. The capability in Xiaomi’s Mi 10T 5G phone software had been turned off for the “European Union region,” but can be turned on remotely at any time,
CLOSED DOORS? The new US rules, which are to be implemented in November, have sparked concern in Taiwan, given its low fully vaccinated coverage rate The US plans to allow entry to most foreign air travelers as long as they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 — while adding a testing requirement for unvaccinated Americans and barring entry for foreigners who have not received shots. The measures announced on Monday by the White House mark the most sweeping change to US travel policies in months, and widen the gap in rules between vaccinated people — who would see restrictions relaxed — and unvaccinated people. The new rules would replace existing bans on foreigners’ travel to the US from certain regions, including Europe. While the move would open the
CLOSE COOPERATION: A House of Representatives bill suggests inviting Taiwan’s navy to participate in the world’s largest international maritime military exercises The US House of Representatives on Thursday passed its annual defense policy bill, which includes provisions recommending that Taiwan be included in next year’s Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) and enhanced cooperation between Taiwan and the US National Guard. The House approved the US$777.9 billion National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 in a 316-113 vote. The 1,390-page bill includes three major provisions related to Taiwan under sections 1243, 1247 and 1248. Section 1248 recommends that the US invite Taiwan’s navy to participate in next year’s RIMPAC. Taiwan has never been invited to participate in the event, which is the world’s largest