Singapore's new leader yesterday tried to mend fences with China, saying the city-state would back Beijing if Taipei ``provoked'' armed conflict across the Taiwan Strait. \nIn a nationally televised address, Lee Hsien Loong (李顯龍) reaffirmed Singapore's backing for the so-called one-China policy, and stressed the importance that the tiny Southeast Asian country attaches to cordial relations with Asia's emerging giant. \n"There is a real risk of miscalculation and mishap" across the Strait, Lee said in the National Day Rally speech, the local equivalent of the U.S. president's state of the union address. \nTies between Singapore and China were severely strained last month after Lee made a ``private and unofficial'' visit to Taiwan. \nBeijing reacted with fury to the visit, saying that it violated Singapore's recognition of Beijing as the sole, legitimate Chinese government. \n"I will not change our one-China policy. But I had to make the trip to meet the Taiwanese leaders, so I can make the right decision for Singapore in a crisis," Lee said. He added: "If the conflict is provoked by Taiwan, we will not support Taiwan.'' \nLee -- elder son of Lee Kuan Yew (李光耀), modern Singapore's founding father -- was sworn in Aug. 12 as Singapore's third prime minister. He replaced Goh Chok Tong (吳作棟). \nEarlier this month, Chinese media said that China might delay talks on a free trade deal with Singapore in retaliation for Lee's visiting Taipei. \n"His visit has dampened the mood to negotiate the free trade area between the two countries," the China Daily quoted an unidentified commerce ministry official as saying. Economists in Singapore voiced doubts that a delay in talks would damage the wealthy city-state's US$93 billion economy but said it could hurt in more subtle ways, casting a shadow over business deals between the Asian dynamos. \nEconomists said assessing the impact was difficult until it became clear how much China wanted to punish Singapore for Lee's July 10-12 visit, which the Singapore government has defended as unofficial and within its sovereign right.
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
DREAMING OF TRAVEL: About 7,000 people applied for the experience, with about 60 chosen for the first flight yesterday, which includes boarding an airplane Starved of the travel experience during COVID-19? Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) has the solution — a fake itinerary where you check in, go through passport control and security, and even board the aircraft. You just never leave. The airport yesterday began offering travelers the chance to do just that, with about 60 people eager to get going, albeit to nowhere. About 7,000 people applied to take part, with the winners chosen by random. More fake flight experiences are to take place in the coming weeks. “I really want to leave the country, but because of the pandemic, lots of flights cannot fly,”
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