US losing patience: official
A high-ranking official speaking on condition of anonymity yesterday said that Washington has warned Taiwan to pass the arms procurement package within six months, or else the US may lose interest in Taiwan's affairs. The official said that the US' acting National Security Council director for Asia Dennis Wilder and the US State Department's Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs revealed this position to Taiwan during Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-Pyng's (王金平) recent visit to the US. The US officials told Wang that people who have always taken Taiwan's side in cross-strait disputes are losing sympathy and are starting to doubt Taiwan's determination to defend itself.
Ma lauds traditional script
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has urged the UN to declare traditional Chinese characters a world cultural heritage, fearing they are fading into oblivion. At a meeting with Taiwanese in Geneva, Ma said the adoption by China of simplified characters has rendered them less and less recognizable in the Chinese-speaking world. Ma said he was barred from applying to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to preserve the traditional characters because Taiwan is not a UN member.
`Hongbao' faux pas denied
Minister of Foreign Affairs James Huang (黃志芳) yesterday dismissed claims in the local media that President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) insulted foreign dignitaries by giving red envelopes to foreign ambassadors and representatives on Thursday. Huang said the foreign dignitaries all responded very positively to the president's gesture. During a Lunar New Year gala on Thursday night, Chen offered each of the ambassadors and representatives a specially designed red envelope containing a NT$10 coin. Local media claimed yesterday that since older people give traditionally give red envelopes to young people, the action of giving red envelopes to foreign dignitaries acquires a condescending meaning.
Airport security fails again
Premier Su Tseng-chang yesterday (蘇貞昌) ordered the creation of an inter-ministerial coordination mechanism to beef up the government's management of CKS International Airport, which recently saw a passenger slip through unstopped during customs inspection. Su instructed Minister without Portfolio Lin Si-yao (林錫耀) to get all the relevant authorities together to upgrade security and efficiency at the airport. Meanwhile, another passenger slipped through customs yesterday afternoon. Canadian Robert George flew to Taipei from Hong Kong in possession of an overdue passport and decided to make a run for the airport exit, according to a CNA report. He was caught as he tried to hail a taxi and deported last night.
Gifts overpackaged: EPA
The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) yesterday released the results of a survey showing that 70 percent of the Valentine's Day gifts sold locally come with excessive packaging. A total of 450 packaged gifts from five department stores were sampled for the survey, EPA officials said. Of 250 processed food products surveyed, less than 20 percent passed the inspection, while about half the 200 cosmetics products surveyed passed the inspection, the officials said.
Proposed legislation in the US outlines three conditions in which Washington would be authorized to protect Taiwan were China to invade, a report said yesterday. US Representative Ted Yoho this month said he would introduce a Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act, which would authorize US military force if China were to invade Taiwan-controlled areas, including its outlying islands. According to a version of the bill obtained by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times), the bill lists three conditions in which a US president would be authorized to use military force to protect Taiwan: If China uses military force
The Supreme Court on Tuesday found four men guilty of attempted murder in the 2017 stabbing of Spanish surfer Ignacio Prio on a Pingtung County beach in the final ruling in the case, sentencing them to three-and-a-half to six years in prison. The defendants had appealed their convictions for attempted murder in the first and second rulings, which had also led to prison sentences ranging from three-and-a-half years to six years. The then-42-year-old Prio went to Jialeshui Beach (佳樂水) near Kenting (墾丁) on March 31, 2017, was attacked after he asked four men to remove their fishing lines from an area
Two new commuter trains are scheduled to be launched in January next year, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said yesterday. The acquisition of EMU-900 commuter train cars is part of the railway operator’s plan to replace 589 train cars that have been in operation for more than three decades. The agency has also placed orders to buy 600 intercity train cars. The first batch of 20 EMU-900 cars is to be delivered to the nation in September, although delivery might be delayed until October due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency said. The batch would be formed into two trains of 10
‘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