Wu's plane fails to take off
The Air Force yesterday said it would re-examine Premier Wu Den-yih’s (吳敦義) chartered FK-5003 after it failed to take off twice from Kaohsiung International Airport yesterday morning. Wu returned to Taipei on the high-speed rail link instead. Air Force spokesman Lieutenant General Pan Kong-hsiao (潘恭孝) told a press conference later in the day that because the plane’s alert lights turned red before both departure attempts, the pilots decided not to take off. The same plane’s landing gear caught fire in November when it landed at Taichung International Airport while President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was on board. The fire was swiftly put out by Air Force personnel. Pan said the reasons for the two incidents were different. He didn’t elaborate further.
Fugitive finally detained
A man wanted for starting a fire that killed 28 people a quarter of a century ago has been detained by police just days before a 25-year-old arrest warrant expired, officers said yesterday. The suspect, identified only by his surname Chen (陳), had been on the run after he allegedly set a hotel ablaze in southern Taiwan in 1985 with the help of three other men, the Criminal Investigation Bureau said. One of Chen’s alleged accomplices was executed on a murder conviction, while the other two have been released from prison after serving their respective terms, the bureau said in a statement. Chen, now 50, had evaded the authorities until police got a tip-off on his whereabouts in December which led to his arrest on Tuesday, only eight days before the expiry of the arrest warrant.
Lee Teng-hui film aired
A documentary on former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) was premiered on the Asian network of the Biography Channel last night, the cable channel said. The one-hour documentary titled Lee Teng-hui: The First Chinese Democracy, was aired at 9pm in nine Asian markets, including Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. It focused on how Lee transformed Taiwan from an authoritarian regime into a full democracy in the 12 years of his presidency that began in 1988, following the death of president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國). One of Lee’s best known achievements was helping to bring about Taiwan’s first popular presidential election in 1996, in which he scored a comfortable victory.
Kaohsiung to bid for events
Kaohsiung City Government was yesterday granted the right to compete to host three international sports events on behalf of Taiwan. City government Deputy Secretary-General Hsu Chao-chuan (?? said the city would submit its plans to host the 2013 Asian Youth Games, the 2013 Asian Indoor Games and the 2016 Asian Beach Games to the International Olympic Committee by the end of the year, adding that the city government was confident of its capability of hosting the three events given its success hosting the World Games last summer. If the city wins the right to host any of the three events, it would be the first time the events have taken place in Taiwan, Hsu said. Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) said the city government would compete for the right to host any major international sports event that would help boost the city’s profile internationally.
Taiwan might be China’s next target after it has “walled off” Hong Kong from the rest of the world with its new national security legislation, Academia Sinica Institute of Sociology fellow Wu Jieh-min (吳介民) said on Thursday. At a seminar organized by the Economic Democracy Union, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, the Hong Kong Outlanders and the Judicial Reform Foundation, Wu said that the legislation is simultaneously a fig leaf concealing Beijing’s autocratic rule in Hong Kong and a figurative “Berlin Wall,” denying democratic countries access to Hong Kong. Wu said it is evident that Taiwan would be China’s next target. The
SAFETY CONCERNS: A construction company working nearby admitted to negligence in the incident, and is to pay a fine and other expenses related to damages Residents of homes adjacent to an alleyway in New Taipei City’s Yonghe District (永和) on Saturday were forced to evacuate their homes after the road collapsed, the New Taipei City government said yesterday. An 80m by 4m area in an alleyway on Wenhua Road (文化路) collapsed at 10:39am near an apartment building construction site where work was being done on the project’s foundation. The incident also ruptured an underground gas pipe and tilted several buildings in the area. Residents would not be able to return to their homes until tomorrow or Wednesday, when repairs are expected to be finished, the city government said. Workers
ARMS RACE: Two DPP lawmakers said that China’s development model differed from Taiwan’s, as it aims to become a global hegemon, while Taiwan seeks to protect itself Taiwanese national defense experts are split on how Taiwan should respond to the ever-growing budget of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), with some advocating for Taiwan to increase defense spending, while others say that little can be done. The Legislative Yuan approved NT$358 billion (US$12.1 billion) for national defense spending across fiscal 2020, a 3.47 percent increase compared with last year, while China’s military budget this year is NT$5.4 trillion, more than 15 times that of Taiwan. Regardless of whether the government adopts a zero-based budgeting method for national defense spending — in which all expenses are justified and approved each
Taiwan is the second-safest country in the world, after Qatar, according to visitors to an online database, who voted on 133 countries and territories worldwide. In online database Numbeo’s Crime Index by Country 2020 Mid-Year survey, Taiwan scored 84.74 out of 100 for safety. That score put Taiwan in second place, followed by the United Arab Emirates with 84.55 and Georgia with 79.50. The top ranked country, Qatar, had a safety score of 88.10. Numbeo said that the results were based on surveys of visitors to its Web site who were asked to rate the safety and overall level of crime