Report remains unconfirmed
The Ministry of National Defense yesterday refused to confirm reports that the military had been instructed to manufacture up to 300 cruise missiles. When contacted by the Taipei Times for comment, officials from the ministry’s spokesman’s office would not confirm whether they had received the order, but said that it was their duty to follow government policy. The comments came in response to a report in yesterday’s Chinese-language China Times that quoted an unnamed military source as saying: “President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has given the order for the production of 300 Hsiung Feng 2E cruise missiles.” However, the paper said it was not clear when the missiles would be put into service. The paper said that Hsiung Feng 2E, which was developed by the military-run Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology, has a range of around 600km. The missile could be launched on land or at sea, the paper said.
Ma ‘working hard’ on envoy
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday that the government was “working hard” to send a high level official to the annual meeting of the APEC forum scheduled to open in Lima, Peru, on Nov. 22. In an interview with CNA on Friday, Ma said that the annual APEC informal leadership meeting is attended by the heads of government of all the member economies except for Taiwan, which faces restrictions because of various factors. Saying that concerted efforts were being made to address this issue, Ma said that the government would soon announce its plans regarding sending an envoy to the APEC meeting. Pressure from China means that Taiwan has had to send a special envoy to represent the president at the annual APEC gathering in past years.
Koo returns from California
China Development Financial Holding Corp president Angelo Koo (辜仲瑩) returned to Taiwan from Los Angeles yesterday ahead of his likely questioning by prosecutors investigating charges of money laundering against the former first family. The Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Panel wants to talk to Koo about US$1 million that was wired from the company to the former first family’s foreign bank accounts. Koo arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 7am. Upon his arrival, customs officers alerted prosecutors, but they decided not to detain him, instead asking him to wait for further notice over questioning. Panel spokesman Chen Yun-nan (陳雲南) said that prosecutors would speak to Koo before the end of the week.
Chen allegations probed
Prosecutors said yesterday they were looking into allegations that former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) removed more than 400 confidential national security documents from government files. Prosecutor Chen Yun-nan (陳雲南), director of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Panel, said the division would seek the assistance of leading national security agencies to investigate the allegations. “The division will not exclude the possibility of assigning the matter to a prosecutor to initiate a probe if the report is found to be true,” Chen Yun-nan said. Chen made the remarks in response to reporters’ questions about a report in yesterday’s Chinese-language China Times that the former president had spirited away 449 national security documents classified as “confidential” while he was in office.
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
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
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,
NEW ERA: Taiwan, which has controlled its virus outbreak, now faces the challenge of safely resuming economic exchanges with other nations, Chang Shan-chwen said People should not focus entirely on having zero new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, but neglect overall control over the disease situation, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) specialist advisory panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said yesterday. Chang made the remark at a forum in Taipei discussing the steps Taiwan should take in the post-pandemic era, organized by the Chinese-language magazine Global Views Monthly. Chang, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩), and Stanford University’s Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention director C. Jason Wang (王智弘) each made a presentation, followed by a panel discussion with Chang, Wang and Buddhist Tzu