US President Barack Obama yesterday endorsed India’s long-held demand for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, a largely symbolic move that may put diplomatic pressure on China.
India says a seat on the council would reflect the growing weight of the G20 nation as its trillion-dollar economy helps spur global growth and its government exerts more influence over issues from the Doha round of trade talks to climate change negotiations.
“In the years ahead, I look forward to a reformed United Nations Security Council that includes India as a permanent member,” Obama said in a speech to India’s parliament in New Delhi.
“Let me suggest that with increased power comes increased responsibility,” he added at the end of the first leg of a 10-day Asian tour that has also been seen about gathering support from countries like India to exert pressure on China on its currency.
White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told a news conference ahead of Obama’s speech that “this was a full endorsement” for India’s permanent membership of a reformed Security Council.
It could still be a pipe dream and likely face resistance from some countries reluctant to water down the power of the five permanent members. However, it is probably Obama’s most headline-grabbing announcement on his first official visit to the world’s largest democracy.
Obama’s trip, with more than 200 business executives, and his UN announcement underscored the growing importance of India, which by 2020 is expected to be one of the five largest economies in the world, along with China and Japan.
“I don’t think India is emerging. It has emerged. India is a key actor on the world stage,” Obama told a joint news conference with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh earlier yesterday.
In his three day trip — his longest stay in any foreign country — Obama announced US$10 billion in business deals, aiming at reassuring voters that countries like India offer benefits for US jobs. He also said the US would relax export controls over sensitive technology, a key demand of India’s.
Meanwhile, at the press conference, Singh appeared to rebuff Obama’s calls for India and Pakistan to move ahead on peace talks.
“You cannot simultaneously be talking and at the same time the terror machine is as active as ever before,” he said. “Once Pakistan moves away from this terror-induced coercion, we will be very happy to engage productively with Pakistan to resolve all outstanding issues.”
SAFETY RISK: The government is working to categorize countries based on their COVID-19 cases and prevention efforts, which would determine quarantine periods The government plans to rank countries based on their COVID-19 risks to determine how to treat tourists and other travelers from those nations once Taiwan reopens its borders, but it is still working out the categories, a top health official told lawmakers yesterday. “We would divide countries around the world into several categories. One category would comprise those countries with very few confirmed COVID-19 cases, such as New Zealand and Palau. Travelers from the countries in this category would only need to practice self-health management,” Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told a Legislative Yuan seminar hosted by
CASH BOOST: Foreign spouses with residency permits are also eligible for the coupons, which can be bought at post offices or linked to digital payment options Stimulus coupons for Taiwanese and foreign spouses with residency permits can be ordered starting on July 1 and can be used from July 15 to Dec. 31, the Executive Yuan said yesterday. Aimed at boosting domestic spending, the coupons worth NT$3,000 (US$100.04) are to cost NT$1,000. “For our consumers, this is a very good deal as they get three times as much value for their money,” Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told a news conference in Taipei. While the coupons are to have a wide range of uses, including at department stores, restaurants, book stores, night markets, beauty and hair salons, hotels, and to
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
RELATIONSHIP ‘TERMINATED’: US Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the president’s action was ‘an act of extraordinary senselessness,’ a tone Chinese media echoed US President Donald Trump on Friday announced that Washington would withdraw funding from the WHO, end Hong Kong’s special trade status and suspend visas of Chinese graduate students suspected of conducting research on behalf of their government. Trump said in a White House announcement that Chinese officials “ignored” their reporting obligations to the WHO and pressured the organization to mislead the public about the outbreak. “We have detailed the reforms that it must make and engaged with them directly, but they have refused to act,” he said. “Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be