President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday asserted her determination to safeguard the nation’s sovereignty as she toured a military field exercise at a coast guard base at New Taipei City’s Port of Taipei.
The joint Jin Hua and Hai An Field Exercise No. 10 simulated scenarios such as a terrorist attack; an incident involving a nuclear, biological or chemical agent; maritime hostage-taking; and a large-scale rescue operation.
“The international situation is undergoing significant changes that pose great challenges to existing counterterrorism and national defense paradigms,” Tsai said in a speech before the exercise began.
Photo: Tyrone Siu, Reuters
“Security strategy must account for terrorist attacks; attacks utilizing nuclear, chemical or biological agents; and attacks on critical infrastructure that are the emergent security threats of the modern age,” she added.
As a critical node of maritime transport and the main access point to the nation’s northern region, the Port of Taipei’s defenses must be carefully tested for weaknesses so that they could be rectified, she said.
“The government’s ability to respond to emergencies must be improved, while making a clear public demonstration of our will to defend every inch of the nation’s sovereign territory, freedoms and democracy,” she said.
Photo: Chiang Ying-ying, AP
Agencies taking part in the exercise included the coast guard, police, all branches of the military, the Centers for Disease Control, the Toxic and Chemical Substances Bureau and the National Airborne Service Corps, the coast guard said.
The field exercise involved 737 personnel, 17 surface vessels, three helicopters, six uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) and 24 special-purpose motor vehicles, it said.
New equipment included the coast guard’s shipborne 2.75 inch rocket turret systems, rotary-wing UAVs and mobile radar system, the Atomic Energy Council’s vehicle-mounted radiation measurement device and the army’s Type 99 nuclear, biological and chemical reconnaissance vehicle.
Separately yesterday, in response to a Pentagon report on China’s military, Tsai said that China’s frequent military drills have been disruptive to regional stability, while Taiwan has contributed to peace.
“I am confident that Taiwan’s conduct in the past two to three years has built trust in the international community, and the public should rest assured knowing that the armed forces are making every conceivable preparation to defend the safety of Taiwanese,” Tsai added.
The government and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday both spoke out against plans by the Chinese government to enact a national security law in Hong Kong. Chinese officials yesterday confirmed that the National People’s Congress would review a bill “on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to safeguard national security.” The Presidential Office said that the announcement was evidence that the “one country, two systems” framework fundamentally clashes with democratic freedoms. The de-escalation of tensions between Hong Kong and Beijing relies on the Chinese government’s willingness to respond to Hong Kongers’ demands,
NPP WARNING: The NPP’s chairman said that a security law proposed by Beijing means it has renounced its promise to maintain ‘one country, two systems’ in HK The Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) yesterday proposed changing the law to provide protection for those seeking political asylum. China at the opening of the National People’s Congress in Beijing on Thursday introduced a draft security law for Hong Kong to ban treason, subversion and sedition, with a review expected next week. TPP caucus whip Jang Chyi-lu (張其祿) said that the party is concerned about democracy advocates in Hong Kong and has taken action to support them. The party has proposed an amendment to Article 18 of the Act Governing Relations with Hong Kong and Macau (香港澳門關係條例), which stipulates that the government can offer
The number of people from Hong Kong applying for residency in Taiwan last year rose 41 percent from a year earlier to 5,858, National Immigration Agency statistics showed. The statistics also showed that 600 applications were filed by Hong Kong residents in the first quarter of this year — three times the number filed in the same period last year — with applicants apparently not deterred by the COVID-19 pandemic. Just one day after it was reported that the Chinese government plans to enact new national security laws in Hong Kong, inquiries regarding immigration to Taiwan grew 10-fold, a Hong Kong-based immigration
‘BEGINNING OF THE END’: Democracy advocate Joshua Wong urged Hong Kongers to stand up and fight, and let the Chinese government know that they will not cave Hong Kong protesters yesterday battled with riot police in busy downtown areas, showing their opposition toward China’s dramatic move to crack down on dissent in the biggest demonstration since the coronavirus swept through the territory in January. Police deployed a water cannon and fired tear gas in the Causeway Bay shopping area after hundreds of protesters had gathered to oppose new national security legislation from China. Police warned the crowd they were taking part in an illegal gathering, and later said in a statement that “rioters threw umbrellas, water bottles and other objects at them.” At least 120 people were arrested,