The US has denied that it has blocked a visit to Washington next month by Vice Defense Minister Chen Chao-min (陳肇敏) in retaliation for press reports about the planned US presence at upcoming annual military exercises. \nThey say Chen was never supposed to visit Washington during his US visit in the first place. \nWhile US officials concede that Washington was "ticked off" at the Taiwanese press leaks and the inability of Taiwanese legislators and officials to keep secret what Washington wants kept secret, the George W. Bush administration was questioning whether a visit by Chen to Washington would serve any purpose. \nChen is scheduled to travel to San Antonio, Texas next month to attend a defense conference organized by the US-Taiwan Business Council, a private organization of US and Taiwanese business executives heavily weighted toward defense contractors and US-Taiwan military relations. \nIt had been a "foregone conclusion" that Chen would visit Washington after the Texas conference was completed, one US official noted. But, he said, such a trip will not occur "for a variety of reasons." \nThese include the Bush administration's obsession with Iraq and the possibility of a war and the fact that a Washington visit would serve no purpose, since Chen will discuss the gamut of military issues with Pentagon officials during the Texas meeting. \nThe Pentagon was officially mum on any Chen trip to Washington. \n"We understand that Vice Minister Chen may visit the US to attend the US-Taiwan Business Council function in San Antonio next month. No follow-up trip to Washington is scheduled at this point," is all that Pentagon East Asian spokesman Jeff Davis would say. \nHe referred further queries to the Business Council and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Relations Office in Washington. \nThe San Antonio meeting is the second to be held by the business council. The first, held last March in St. Petersburg, Florida, was attended by Minister of National Defense Tang Yau-ming (湯曜明) and marked the first time the top defense official was granted a visa to visit the US. \nThe visa, and Tang's meetings at the conference with US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, brought howls of protest from Beijing, whose foreign ministry called in US Ambassador Clark Randt to warn of harm to US-China relations. \nThis year's meeting will be more low-key, with Chen heading the Taiwanese delegation and Peter Rodman, the US Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, being the top US official to attend. But even Rodman's presence is in doubt, since his portfolio also includes Iraq, with which Washington may be at war by the time of the conference. \nThere had been some discussion about Chen visiting Washington, US officials conceded. But no decision was made, and nothing was formally scheduled, officials say. \nWashington's newly cozy relations with Beijing also likely played a role in keeping Chen from Washington, US officials said.
Taiwan might be China’s next target after it has “walled off” Hong Kong from the rest of the world with its new national security legislation, Academia Sinica Institute of Sociology fellow Wu Jieh-min (吳介民) said on Thursday. At a seminar organized by the Economic Democracy Union, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, the Hong Kong Outlanders and the Judicial Reform Foundation, Wu said that the legislation is simultaneously a fig leaf concealing Beijing’s autocratic rule in Hong Kong and a figurative “Berlin Wall,” denying democratic countries access to Hong Kong. Wu said it is evident that Taiwan would be China’s next target. The
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb
The National Taiwan Museum’s Railway Department Park in Taipei is to open to the public today. The park in Datong District (大同) near the North Gate (北門, Beimen) is one of the museum’s four branches. During the Japanese colonial era, the site housed the railway department of the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan’s Bureau of Transportation. After World War II, it served as the headquarters for the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) for several decades. In 2007, it was listed as a national monument under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法). At an opening ceremony yesterday, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung
CHALLENGER DEEP: Lin Ying-Tsong was invited by Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo to join him on a 10-hour long trip in the company’s submersible Taiwanese-American Lin Ying-Tsong (林穎聰) last month became the first person from Asia and the 12th in human history to dive into the deepest part on Earth, the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. Lin, 45, an expert in deep sea acoustics with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts, joined US adventurer and Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo, 54, on June 22 in a descent to the central pool of the Challenger Deep, the deepest point of the trench, which lies at a depth of more than 10,900m. The pair made the descent in a submersible named Limiting Factor, a US$37