Police are to implement high-level security measures and deploy counter terrorist commando units, to ensure public safety during tonight’s New Year’s Eve celebrations at the plaza in front of the Taipei City Government building, where tens of thousands of revelers are expected.
In total, 1,100 police officers would be deployed to protect the crowd, while a police sniffer dog squad would sweep the venue and surrounding areas before and during the event, Xinyi District Police Precinct chief Liu Hung-lieh (劉鴻烈) said at a media briefing.
Liu and other officials reminded the public that quadcopters and other types of aerial drones, as well as any kind of balloon, are prohibited at the event, and that the police would enforce the ban strictly and without exception.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
An officer demonstrated the operation of a drone gun, aiming at a quadcopter in flight. The gun’s jamming device interfered with the drone’s radio signal, terminating its operation.
Due to past explosions caused by sparks from cigarettes, lighters and other fire sources, which resulted in burns and other injuries, people are prohibited from carrying these items into the event venue, as well as LED balloons that are filled with helium, hydrogen or other combustible gases, Liu said.
One sniffer dog unit would be on the lookout for explosive devices, while another unit would search for narcotics, Liu said, adding that knives and firearms are also prohibited, and that police would search people suspected of carrying dangerous items.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
A Special Services Commando unit would have a 20-person team in combat gear with assault rifles on standby around the stage area throughout the event, to offer public protection and in case of a terrorist attack, the police said.
Police officials also warned people attending the party to remain alert and closely hold on to wallets and other valuable personal belongings, as there have been pickpocketing incidents at the event in previous years.
Due to the huge crowd expected, officials reminded people to listen to instructions given by event staff, and refrain from pushing and shoving when leaving.
SOLIDARITY WITH TAIWAN: MOFA thanked US lawmakers for introducing the bill, which aims to clarify the content of UN Resolution 2758 and questions Beijing’s claim to represent Taiwan in international organizations A bipartisan coalition of US congressmen on Monday introduced legislation that aims to counter China’s claim to represent Taiwan in international organizations. “For too long, Beijing has distorted policies and procedures at the UN and related bodies to assert its sovereignty claims over Taiwan, often to the detriment of global health and security efforts,” US Representative Gerry Connolly said in a news release. “This bipartisan legislation ensures that we stand in solidarity with this critical US partner,” he said. Connolly cosponsored the bill with the three other chairs of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus — US representatives Albio Sires, Mario Diaz-Balart and Steve
STANDING TOGETHER: The allies highlighted the importance of cross-strait peace in Japan’s first statement with the US on Taiwan since it switched diplomatic recognition The US and Japan on Friday vowed to stand firm together against an assertive China, and to step up cooperation on climate change and next-generation technology as US President Joe Biden made his first summit a show of alliance unity. Waiting nearly three months for his first foreign guest due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Biden told Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga that his country enjoyed “our iron-clad support” on security issues and beyond. “We’re going to work together to prove that democracies can still compete and win in the 21st century,” Biden told reporters, affectionately calling the Japanese leader “Yoshi.” A joint
F-5E CRASH: The body, which was found in a reef crevice near Nanren Fishing Port in Manjhou Township, was wearing Captain Pan Ying-chun’s uniform and name tag The body of a fighter pilot who had gone missing following a mid-air collision last month was yesterday found near a fishing port in Pingtung County, the air force said. A search-and-rescue team found Captain Pan Ying-chun’s (潘穎諄) body in a reef crevice near Nanren Fishing Port (南仁漁港) in Manjhou Township (滿州), the air force said. Pan was one of two pilots involved in the accident in which two single-seat F-5E jets collided as they were changing formation during a training mission. The other pilot, Lo Shang-hua (羅尚樺), ejected from his aircraft after the collision, but he did not have any
LARGEST EVER: Police raided an illegal greenhouse in Hsinchu County and detained two men, and were looking for the operation’s suspected mastermind Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥) yesterday presented the results of a raid on an illegal cannabis farm in Hsinchu County, where police seized more than 1,600 cannabis plants with an estimated street value of NT$500 million (US$17.76 million). It was the largest cannabis seizure in Taiwan, officials said. Speaking at a news conference at the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau Taipei Field Station, Tsai reiterated his ministry’s tough stance against illegal drugs and said it would continue to crack down on cannabis. Police on March 19 raided a greenhouse in the hills of Guanhsi Township (關西), a bureau official said. Two men,