Chiu Yi found innocent
Taipei District Court yesterday found Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅) not guilty in a slander suit filed by former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷). Former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) told a court hearing in February last year that former Bureau of Investigation director-general Yeh Sheng-mao (葉盛茂) told him that Hsieh wired NT$1billion (US$30 million) to Singapore through his family. Asked to comment on the remark, Chiu told reporters that Hsieh wired the fund overseas through his wife’s family, and that it must have been dirty money. The district court ruled that Chiu’s remark was related to corruption and money laundering, which were hot issues at the time and they could be discussed in public, so it found Chiu not guilty. Hsieh can appeal the ruling to the Taiwan High Court.
Ministry wants more babies
The Ministry of the Interior is offering NT$1 million (US$31,000) for a catchy slogan to help boost the nation’s dwindling birth rate, one of the world’s lowest. “We are seeking a creative slogan that would appeal to the public and make everybody want to have children,” an interior ministry statement said. Authorities have offered various incentives in an unsuccessful bid to boost birth rates amid growing concern that a severe manpower shortage will trigger social and economic problems. The birth rate stood at 8.29 births per 1,000 people last year, the ministry said. That compares with a global average of more than 20 births per 1,000 people, according to UN statistics.
Runways to be lengthened
The runways at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport will be lengthened to allow for the landing of the Airbus A380 and other big aircraft, the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) said on Monday. The CEPD approved the project submitted by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications to remodel facilities at the airport in line with an ambitious “Taoyuan Aerotropolis” plan. The Taoyuan Aerotropolis plan — set to be completed in 2020 — involves the expansion of existing airport terminals, the establishment of an aerospace industrial park and special zones for cargo, passenger and logistics services. Under the project, scheduled to be completed by mid-2014 at a cost of NT$10.7 billion (US$310 million), the length of runways and taxiways will be extended to allow for the landing of big planes, including Airbus 380s, the CEPD said.
More missiles in China
Andrei Pinkov, of the Toronto-based Kanwa Asian Defence Monthly, has said S300PMU2 long-range surface-to-air missiles have been deployed at Longtian military airport in China’s Fujian Province. Pinkov said satellite images show that eight launch vehicles for the Russian-model S300PMU2 missiles, which have a range of 200km, are now stationed at the Longtian base. The base also has S300PMU1 missiles that are launched from vehicles made in Belarus and have a range of 150km. The S300PMU2 rockets are guided by 30N6E2 radars that can simultaneously track 100 targets within a 350km range. Also available are 64N6E2 search radars that can seek out 300 airborne targets at the same time, within a range of 300km. The system can guide 72 missiles to attack 36 airborne targets, with a system reaction time of between seven and 11 seconds, the report said.
China appears to have built mockups of a port in northeastern Taiwan and a military vessel docked there, with the aim of using them as targets to test its ballistic missiles, a retired naval officer said yesterday. Lu Li-shih (呂禮詩), a former lieutenant commander in Taiwan’s navy, wrote on Facebook that satellite images appeared to show simulated targets in a desert in China’s Xinjiang region that resemble the Suao naval base in Yilan County and a Kidd-class destroyer that usually docks there. Lu said he compared the mockup port to US naval bases in Yokosuka and Sasebo, Japan, and in Subic Bay
Police are investigating the death of a Formosan black bear discovered on Tuesday buried near an industrial road in Nantou County, with initial evidence indicating that it was shot accidentally by a hunter. The bear had been caught in wildlife traps at least five times before, three times since 2020. Codenamed No. 711, the bear received extensive media coverage last year after it was discovered trapped twice in less than two months in the Taichung mountains. After its most recent ensnarement last month, the bear was released in the Dandashan (丹大山) area in Nantou County’s Sinyi Township (信義). However, officials became concerned after the
The majority of parents surveyed in northern Taiwan favor the suspension of all on-site classes at schools from the junior-high level and below amid a surge in domestic COVID-19 infections, parent groups said yesterday. About 84.4 percent of respondents in a survey of 2,912 parents in northern Taiwan, where the outbreak is the most serious, said they supported suspending classes, the Action Alliance on Basic Education, the Taiwan Parents Protect Women and Children Association, and the Taiwan Love Children Association said. The groups distributed questionnaires to parents in New Taipei City, Taipei, Keelung, Taoyuan and Hsinchu city and county from Saturday morning
DETERRENCE: US National Security Council Indo-Pacific Coordinator Kurt Campbell said cross-strait affairs are on the agenda at the US-ASEAN Special Leaders’ Summit The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday thanked the Czech Senate for passing a resolution supporting Taiwan’s inclusion in the WHO and other international organizations for the second consecutive year. The resolution was passed on Wednesday with 51 votes in favor, one opposed and 11 abstentions. In addition to the WHO, it also called for Taiwan’s participation in the “meetings, mechanisms and activities” of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the International Civil Aviation Organization and Interpol. In its opening, the resolution states that the Czech Republic “considers Taiwan as one of its key partners in the Indo-Pacific region,” while noting its