■ Politics \nLu warns Beijing on games \nVice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) said yesterday if Chinese leaders don't learn to control rowdy sports fans, athletes will feel threatened when they go to Beijing for the 2008 Olympics. Lu said it was regrettable that soccer fans rioted in Beijing after Japan beat China 3-1 on Saturday in the Asian Cup final. She said in a briefing with foreign reporters that Chinese leaders must learn to control angry mobs before the 2008 games. "Otherwise, athletes who are able to defeat China's athletes will feel threatened. This would be a serious problem," she said. Lu added that she hoped that the Olympics will benefit China. \n■ Travel \nPenghu-Macau flight set \nThe maiden international charter flight from Penghu will take off today for Macau, with all seats fully booked, a TransAsia Airways spokesman said yesterday. The round-trip flight will make Makung Airport the first airport on an outlying island that can host international charter flights. The airport will also then become the nation's fifth international airport. The Civil Aeronautic Administration (CAA) approved TransAsia Airways' application for operating three round-trip charter flights between Penghu and Macau this month. The airline spokesman said the inauguration of charter flight services will benefit Penghu residents intending to visit Macau or to travel to China because the direct flight takes only one hour. \n■ Foreign Affairs \nErrant diplomat suspended \nThe Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday officially suspended diplomat Chang Jia-hua (張家華) from his duties for inadvertently issuing a passport and other documents to Yeh Hsiu-chen (葉秀貞), the wife of fugitive murder suspect Andrew Wang (汪傳浦) last month. Meanwhile, the involvement of Lily Hsu (徐儷文), a diplomat at the UK representative office, will be further investigated by the Control Yuan. However, newly resigned Taiwan representative to the UK, Tien Hung-mao (田弘茂), was not on the list of administrative punishment released by MOFA yesterday. Wang, an arms dealer suspected of involvement in the corruption-tainted sale of the Lafayette-class frigates to Taipei in the 1990s, is wanted in connection with the death of navy Captain Yin Ching-feng (尹清楓). \n■ Health \nAssociation warns of fraud \nSome foreign workers have taken advantage of loopholes in the National Health Insurance system by selling medicines that were paid for by their insurance here, wasting medical resources, a private medical group alleged yesterday. Some retired people have also given away their medicines to their relatives and friends in China, according to Wu Ming-yen, secretary-general of the Non-governmental Hospital and Clinics Association. The National Health Insurance spends about NT$94 billion (US$2.76 billion) annually on medicines, but a large part of this is believed to go to waste. Wu said that some retired people, especially those residing in China, give away their medicines to relatives and friends in China.. Wu said he suspects some patients may fail to treat their illnesses and then seek medical treatment in China and claim reimbursements from the National Health Insurance.
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
SAFETY CONCERNS: A construction company working nearby admitted to negligence in the incident, and is to pay a fine and other expenses related to damages Residents of homes adjacent to an alleyway in New Taipei City’s Yonghe District (永和) on Saturday were forced to evacuate their homes after the road collapsed, the New Taipei City government said yesterday. An 80m by 4m area in an alleyway on Wenhua Road (文化路) collapsed at 10:39am near an apartment building construction site where work was being done on the project’s foundation. The incident also ruptured an underground gas pipe and tilted several buildings in the area. Residents would not be able to return to their homes until tomorrow or Wednesday, when repairs are expected to be finished, the city government said. Workers
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
ARMS RACE: Two DPP lawmakers said that China’s development model differed from Taiwan’s, as it aims to become a global hegemon, while Taiwan seeks to protect itself Taiwanese national defense experts are split on how Taiwan should respond to the ever-growing budget of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), with some advocating for Taiwan to increase defense spending, while others say that little can be done. The Legislative Yuan approved NT$358 billion (US$12.1 billion) for national defense spending across fiscal 2020, a 3.47 percent increase compared with last year, while China’s military budget this year is NT$5.4 trillion, more than 15 times that of Taiwan. Regardless of whether the government adopts a zero-based budgeting method for national defense spending — in which all expenses are justified and approved each