In a policy speech on Taiwan, US Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Shear has pledged that arms sales will continue, that there will be a new drive for better trade relations and that Washington will support Taipei in its push to play a greater role in world affairs. \nQuestioned about a perceived hesitancy by the US to sell new weapons, he said: “There is no hesitancy on the US’ part to sell arms to Taiwan. We made a US$6.4 billion notification to Capitol Hill at the end of January, which was a very important step and demonstrates our commitment to Taiwan’s security under the Taiwan Relations Act. I am concerned in ensuring that the Taiwan side feels secure and that the US side is fulfilling its commitments.” \n“We are in constant touch with the authorities in Taiwan and we always hear their views as we consider what we are going to do about future possible arms sales,” he said as he delivered the keynote address at a Carnegie Endowment conference in Washington on cross-strait relations. \nPressed about China’s military superiority over Taiwan, he said: “We are always looking at the cross-strait military balance. We are always looking at Taiwan’s defensive needs. It is clear that Chinese deployments across the [Taiwan] Strait have not changed as much as the economic dialogue has and we are concerned about that.” \n“We would like to see the Chinese consider more carefully the level and nature of their deployments across the Strait. But I think that President Ma [Ying-jeou (馬英九)] as his administration negotiates with his Chinese counterparts, can be assured of US support. That is one of the fundamental roles that US arms sales play in terms of giving confidence that the Taiwan side needs to negotiate effectively with the Chinese side,” he said. \nShear refused to speculate on the possibility that the US might help Taiwan develop its own missile systems, but he appeared to deny recent reports that the US has put a “freeze” on arms sales. \nHe said that US policy toward Taiwan was based on “a few simple principles.” \nFirst, the US does not support independence; second, the US insists that cross-strait differences be resolved peacefully and according to the wishes of the people on both sides of the Strait; and third, the US welcomes active efforts on both sides to engage in a dialogue that reduces tensions and increases contacts of all kinds across the Strait. \nShear said the US was opposed to unilateral attempts by either side to change the status quo and was “fully committed” to making available to Taiwan “articles and services” necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient defense.
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb
The National Taiwan Museum’s Railway Department Park in Taipei is to open to the public today. The park in Datong District (大同) near the North Gate (北門, Beimen) is one of the museum’s four branches. During the Japanese colonial era, the site housed the railway department of the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan’s Bureau of Transportation. After World War II, it served as the headquarters for the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) for several decades. In 2007, it was listed as a national monument under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法). At an opening ceremony yesterday, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung