Military drills recently conducted on nearby Dongshan Island by the Chinese army are routine exercises from a military point of view, but serve as important political tools, according to analysts at a forum yesterday.
\n"With regard to the political consequences of military exercises, Taiwan has always chosen to be low-key but transparent," said Colonel Shen Ming-shih (沈明室), a doctoral candidate at Fu Hsing Kang College.
\n"However, the details of Chinese military exercises are always kept highly confidential, and China is accustomed to using the media to exaggerate the political meaning of routine military drills. The drills are thus prime material for China's psychological and propaganda war against Taiwan," Shen said.
\nHe further explained that Taiwanese authorities make public major military exercises to be conducted each year. In addition, in order to avoid cross-strait tension, Taiwanese authorities will purposely delay planned drills or downsize the scale of the exercise.
\n"With the exception of a few major military exercises, Taiwan has abandoned military code names and begun to refer to all exercises as just drills, a sign of Taiwan's goodwill," Shen said.
\nChinese troops last month rehearsed coordinated air, sea and ground attacks on Dongshan, an island in the South China Sea only 277km west of Taiwan's Penghu island.
\nSimilar drills in 2001, code-named "Liberation One," were among the largest ever conducted by the Chinese People's Liberation Army and seen as a military warning to then newly elected President Chen Shui-bian (
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
‘IMMORAL, INSINCERE’: Huang Kun-huei said that Ma was ‘distorting history’ in claiming that Lee Teng-hui laid the foundation for the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ Former Presidential Office secretary-general Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) on Saturday rejected former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) claim that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had been a proponent of Beijing’s “one China” principle. Lee, who served as president from 1988 to 2000, died in Taipei on Thursday last week. After visiting the Taipei Guest House on Saturday to pay his respects to Lee, Ma posted on Facebook that “28 years ago on this day” Lee hosted a session of the now-defunct National Unification Council, during which he passed a resolution on the “one China” principle. That resolution became the basis of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,