China yesterday called on Australia to take into account the feelings of Asian nations as Canberra contemplates buying a fleet of submarines from Japan.
In some of his strongest remarks on the possible deal, Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) told reporters Australia should consider the context of Japan’s role in World War II in developing its military relationship with Tokyo.
Wang made the remarks to journalists during a joint briefing with visiting Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop.
“We hope that in military cooperation with Japan, Australia will take into full account this historical context and take into consideration also the feelings of Asian countries, because of that history,” Wang said. “We hope that Australia will take concrete actions to support the peaceful development of Japan and Japan’s efforts to uphold its pacifist constitution, and not the opposite.”
Australia this year is to pick the design for a new fleet of submarines in a deal worth as much as A$40 billion (US$28.51 billion).
Japan, which is offering a variant of its Soryu submarine, is competing against rival bids from Germany and France for the contract.
Washington is encouraging closer security cooperation between Japan and Australia.
Bishop arrived in Beijing on Tuesday after visiting Tokyo. Australia is seeking to deepen economic ties with China, its largest trading partner.
Bishop said a “comprehensive evaluation process” was underway about a submarine deal that would meet Australia’s capability and technological requirements.
“That is what will drive the competitive evaluation process that is currently underway,” she added.
NINE NEW CASES: The CECC said two locally transmitted cases of COVID-19, and seven imported ones – five women and two men – brought the nation’s total to 348 People who refuse to wear a mask on public transportation after being asked to do so would face a NT$3,000 to NT$15,000 fine, effective immediately, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday after announcing nine additional COVID-19 cases. In a move to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications on Tuesday announced that people must wear masks on trains and intercity buses, while Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, on Tuesday said that people should wear them when they cannot maintain a social distance of 1.5m indoors. Chen yesterday
The US National Security Council yesterday thanked Taiwan for its support amid the COVID-19 pandemic following President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) announcement that Taiwan would donate 10 million masks to hard-hit countries. The donation includes 2 million masks to the US on top of the weekly 100,000 announced previously; 7 million to Europe; and 1 million to diplomatic allies, on top of 1 million Taiwan procured for allies from their neighboring countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday. After European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expressed appreciation for the donations, the US body yesterday wrote its thanks on Twitter. “We
TARGETED TEXTS: The center’s head said that visitor numbers at scenic spots were greater than expected and people did not do a very good job of social distancing The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday sent two warning text messages to urge people to practice social distancing, especially by avoiding crowded scenic areas. The two messages were sent at 11:55am on the third day of the four-day Tomb Sweeping Day weekend, reminding people about social distancing and hand hygiene to help prevent COVID-19 infection. “When visiting crowded scenic spots during the Tomb Sweeping Day weekend, please keep a social distance of at least 1.5m indoors and 1m outdoors, wear a mask and wash your hands frequently. Please wear a mask and seek immediate medical attention if you are feeling ill
STIMULUS FUNDS: Companies that report weak sales can apply for the financial aid, while subsidies for a one-time injection of working capital would also be available The Ministry of Economic Affairs yesterday said that it would subsidize up to 40 percent of workers’ salaries for businesses that have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funded by a NT$39.6 billion (US$1.31 billion) budget — part of a newly expanded NT$1.05 trillion economic stimulus package approved by the Executive Yuan on Thursday — the ministry plans to assist companies with employee wages to help prevent job cuts. Companies facing an annual drop in sales of at least 50 percent for two consecutive months can apply for the financial aid, which would cover up to 40 percent of their employees’