Four charged with smuggling
Thai police have charged five people, including four Taiwanese, with smuggling 8kg of heroin worth up to US$850,000, police said yesterday. One Taiwanese man and another man of unknown nationality were arrested on Friday at a Bangkok department store with the narcotics, said Police Major General Somdet Khaokham, one of the investigating officers. The pair confessed they were part of a gang planning to smuggle the heroin into Taiwan, Somdet said. Their statements led to the arrest of three more Taiwanese men at Suvarnabhumi Airport outside Bangkok. "We believe they were not doing it for the first time," Somdet said. If found guilty of drug trafficking, the five men could face the death penalty. Somdet said police believed the heroin originated in Myanmar.
PRC man swims to Kinmen
A Kinmen detachment of the Coast Guard Administration referred a Chinese national to the Kinmen Public Prosecutors' Office yesterday after he swam from a beach in Xiamen, China, to Kinmen's Dadan Islet a day earlier, where he was immediately arrested by garrison troops. Hu Xianping, 50, a resident of Nanjing, said he was trying to escape from 20 years of political persecution in China. Admitting that he had bought a map to plan his escape route, Hu said he wanted to go to Taiwan to meet his uncle, who he said is a general. Hu was arrested shortly before noon on Saturday after swimming about three-and-a-half hours across a narrow strait to Dadan. The administration's Kinmen detachment declined to comment on whether Hu had really suffered from political persecution in China.
Tom Chou tapped for St Lucia
Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) has approved Tom Chou, (周台竹) secretary-general of the Coordination Council for North American Affairs, as the ambassador to St Lucia. Chou has promised to assume his new post as soon as he receives the notification of approval from the Caribbean country's government, a foreign affairs official said yesterday. Chou made the remarks on Saturday in an interview after his appointment to the new post was approved by the Executive Yuan, following the government's announcement of the resumption of diplomatic ties with St Lucia on May 1, the official said. St Lucia first established diplomatic relations with Taiwan in 1984, before switching diplomatic recognition to China in 1997.
Taipei seeks dumping tips
In an effort to prevent illegal waste dumping, the Taipei City Government will give cash rewards to people who provide information leading to the arrest of offenders, with rewards of up to 30 percent of the fines collected as a result of a tip, a city official said yesterday. The city's Department of Environmental Protection has stepped up its crack-down on wanton waste dumping and littering. The department, based on information supplied by residents, has uncovered a total of 8,000 cases of illegal dumping over the past five months and investigated 14,243 cases last year, the official said. Those convicted of illegally dumping waste face fines ranging from NT1,200 to NT$6,000, the official said. He said that violators will face heavy fines beginning July 1 if they commit offenses more than twice within a year.
‘VIRUS DIPLOMACY’: The nation’s expertise in handling COVID-19 was among the reasons that it should not be excluded from the WHO, the European Parliament said The European Parliament this week passed resolutions that support Taiwan’s bid to participate in the WHO and its intention to negotiate a trade pact with Taiwan. During its plenary session from Monday to Thursday, the parliament approved resolutions on the foreign policy consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak and the EU’s trade policy, parts of which were viewed as friendly toward Taiwan by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In a statement yesterday, the ministry welcomed the passage of the resolutions and thanked the parliament for its support for Taiwan. In the first resolution, the parliament cited Beijing’s increasing threats to Taiwan, the crackdown on
LOOPHOLES: The people behind biased media content produced by a Chinese network, likely without sending staff to Taiwan, remain anonymous, a source said Beijing’s latest attempt at psychological warfare through heavily biased online media is aimed at sowing discord and polarizing Taiwanese society, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said. The council’s comment came in response to Chinese network Southeast Television, which late last month began broadcasting an online program featuring commentary by Taiwanese unification supporters that authorities suspect was filmed illegally in Taiwan. To circumvent cross-strait regulations, the broadcaster collaborated with online service provider Baidu to air the series titles Diverse Voices From the Taiwan Strait (台海百家說). Only Taiwanese are shown on camera, without revealing the host, interviewer or production team. In one video, political commentator and
SUPPRESSION: Michael Tsai, a former defense minister, said that Beijing’s list of Taiwan independence advocates contravenes the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights The best way to respond to threats from China against Taiwan independence advocates is for the president to publicly reiterate Taiwan’s sovereignty, former minister of national defense Michael Tsai (蔡明憲) said on Sunday. Chinese media on Nov. 15 said that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was compiling “a list of stubborn Taiwanese separatists and will severely punish them in accordance with [China’s] Anti-Secession Law and hold them accountable for their actions for the rest of their lives.” Chinese media subsequently accused Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) of being a “first-rate war criminal,” because of his policy on mask exports. “The vast majority
A group of overseas Taiwanese in Norway are taking a case on their national identity to the European Court of Human Rights — with plans to file the case in the first half of next year — after Norway’s Supreme Court rejected their appeal to change their listed nationality from “China” to “Taiwan,” Joseph Liu, a Taiwanese lawyer living in Norway, told reporters on Monday. One of the initiators of the movement, “My Name, My Right,” Liu and his group plan to hire lawyers from the UK and France who know European law and have knowledge of Asia to represent them,