The Pratas Islands (
The islands are strategically important to the military, and were previously off-limits to civilians.
Regular troops stationed on the island began being replaced at the beginning of this year by marine police from the newly established Coast Guard Administration (
The Pratas Islands are situated 430km southwest of the southernmost tip of Taiwan. The biggest island is a mere 8km wide.
Out of reach of human activities for decades, the island group's diversified wildlife and rich ecosystems have been well preserved.
The islands have been at the center of territorial dispute between China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Brunei in recent years, and the government reasoned that opening the islands to tourism would be an assertion of Taiwan's sovereignty over the islands and a way of developing resources in the South China Sea.
Kaohsiung City Mayor Frank Hsieh (
Until now, there has been no basic infrastructure on the islands and there is no fresh water and electricity supply. The plan, say city officials, is to develop the islands into a center for scuba diving, fishing and other water sports.
However, officials said that to preserve the environment, development will be kept to a minimum, as will the number of visitors permitted to travel to the islands.
Military hardware on the island group has recently been upgraded with the addition of Chaparral surface-to-air missiles -- a derivative of the Sidewinder air-to-air missile -- with a range of 3km to 10km.
Two Japanese virtual YouTubers (VTubers) were suspended by their employers on Sunday after mentioning Taiwan and showing the national flag during a livestream, stoking controversy that was inflamed further when it was discovered that their management company issued distinct apologies in Japanese and Mandarin. While reading YouTube analytics over livestream on Thursday and Friday last week, Hololive VTubers Kiryu Coco and Akai Haato named Taiwan as contributing a high percentage of viewers. Users on the Chinese video streaming platform Bilibili were quick to criticize the two and report their accounts, prompting Hololive’s parent company, Cover Corp, to suspend the streamers for three
NO SIGN OF WAR: Only if Taiwanese showed determination to defend the nation would others be willing to help in the event of a Chinese attack, the premier said Should China launch a war against Taiwan, the military would fight to the last standing person, Minister of National Defense Yen De-fa (嚴德發) said yesterday, adding that the nation has fully fleshed-out defense strategies. “Beijing has continued its acts of provocation against Taiwan, but there are currently no signs that it is ready to launch a full-scale war,” Yen said at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei. Asked how long Taiwan could withstand an attack from China, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said: “Taiwan will not fall.” Any belligerent force that initiates acts of war would pay a heavy price, and so too would Beijing,
MISTAKE: The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy is not a UN body, and the government is committed to protecting the nation’s name, Joseph Wu said The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday condemned the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy for listing Taiwanese cities as belonging to China on its Web site, and asked that it correct the error. The organization was inaugurated in Brussels in 2016 as a global coalition of mayors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Six Taiwanese cities at the time joined the coalition as cities in “Taiwan,” the ministry said. However, officials from the Kaohsiung City Government — one of the organization’s members — last week noticed that the city was now listed on the organization’s Web site as a
MOTHERLAND? Taiwanese who take part in China’s National Day celebrations could be fined NT$100,000 to NT$500,000 if found to have contravened Taiwanese laws The Ministry of Culture yesterday cautioned China-based Taiwanese artists against breaching Taiwanese law by taking part in China’s National Day celebrations. The ministry issued the statement following media reports that Ouyang Nana (歐陽娜娜) is to sing a popular Chinese patriotic song titled My Motherland (我的祖國), and Angela Chang (張韶涵) is to sing Protect (守護) with Chinese entertainers at an event to mark China’s National Day on Thursday. The Mainland Affairs Council is investigating whether such behavior contravenes regulations in the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例), the ministry said. If the behavior involves matters