Missouri Governor Jay Nixon planned to visit Taiwan on a trade mission this week — until the Chinese consulate and business leaders said the visit could “anger” the Chinese government and harm an airport deal with China, forcing him to scuttle the trip, reports said.
Nixon, who last year attended the signing of an agreement between Taiwanese and Missouri business groups in his office, had announced on Dec. 1 that he would head a trade mission to Taiwan and South Korea from Dec. 10 to Dec. 16. While in Taiwan, the governor was scheduled to be party to the signing of a letter of intent on a US$600 million purchase of Missouri agricultural products by the Taiwanese government, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Nixon was to be accompanied by a large delegation of government and business officials, including representatives of agricultural organizations.
One day after Nixon’s announcement, Mike Jones, chairman of the Midwest China Hub Commission (MCHC), sent the governor a letter on behalf of the commission asking that the visit be postponed. A representative of the Chinese government was afraid the trip would be received negatively in Beijing, the letter allegedly said.
“Jeffery Yang, the Chinese Consul General for the Midwest … officially contacted the MCHC to express his strong concern that your proposed visit to Taiwan would be misunderstood in Beijing and would probably affect our chances of success,” Jones’ letter said, according to the Post-Dispatch. “[T]he Board of Commissioners of the MCHC respectfully requests that you find a diplomatic way of avoiding your trip to Taiwan.”
China and St Louis are close to a deal to turn Lambert-St Louis International Airport into a freight hub. Officials said that after three years of negotiations with Beijing, they were in the final stages of talks that could bring cargo flights from China to Lambert as early as next spring. So far, three Chinese carriers have reportedly expressed interest in using the airport for commercial purposes. The central government, local governments and private businesses have been endeavoring to turn Lambert into the Chinese freight hub in the US. Local business leaders are also hoping for increased Chinese investment to the region, particularly in industries like manufacturing, biotechnology and real estate.
By late afternoon on Dec. 7, Nixon’s office issued a short press release which said: “Because of travel challenges, Gov. Nixon’s upcoming trade mission has been postponed.”
The Hualien District Prosecutors’ Office has listed six people as suspects in a judicial investigation into a fatal train crash on Friday last week. Fifty people were killed and more than 200 were injured when the Taroko Express No. 408 train slammed into a crane truck that had slid onto the tracks near the entrance of Cingshuei Tunnel (清水隧道) in Hualien’s Sioulin Township (秀林). The office also summoned six officials at the Taiwan Railways Administration’s (TRA) Hualien Engineering Section for questioning about alleged illegal business operations and unsafe work conditions by Yi Hsiang Industry Co and Tung Hsin Construction Co, the two
The navy’s new 10,600-tonne warship is on Tuesday to be christened the ROCN Yushan (玉山), as the nation’s indigenous shipbuilding program reaches a milestone, sources said yesterday. The vessel, previously referred to as the “new landing platform dock,” was at a shipyard with its name freshly painted on the hull with the number 1401, the Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times) reported yesterday, citing an unnamed observer. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇), a member of the legislature’s National Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee, confirmed the report in a Facebook post. The NT$4.635 billion (US$163 million) ship is designed
SUPPORTING DEMOCRACY IN ASIA: Twitter aims to ‘play a unique role in enabling the public conversation around important social movements,’ the US company said Twitter has thrown its support behind the “Milk Tea Alliance” of democracy movements in Taiwan, Hong Kong and elsewhere in Asia, defying China at a time when Beijing is punishing Western companies for commenting on what it considers internal matters. The social media company yesterday prominently displayed flags of Taiwan, Hong Kong, Myanmar and Thailand while unveiling an emoji to support democracy advocates in places that have in the past few years seen historic protests and share a love for the beverage. The emoji will automatically show up when users post the #MilkTeaAlliance hashtag, which was posted been 11 million times
DIALOGUE SOUGHT: Washington said it was concerned about the pattern of ongoing attempts to intimidate Taiwan after the 10th day of PLA activity in the region The US on Monday urged Beijing to stop its multifaceted pressure campaign against Taiwan after China sent 25 military jets into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone. “The United States notes with concern the pattern of ongoing PRC [People’s Republic of China] attempts to intimidate the region, including Taiwan,” a US Department of State spokesperson said in an e-mail response to questions. “We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic and economic pressure against Taiwan, and instead engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan.” The Ministry of National Defense said that 25 Chinese military aircraft entered the zone on Monday. It was the 10th straight