Taiwanese defense officials said Taipei was “optimistic” about a recent announcement by the Chinese Ministry of National Defense that it would hold a regular press conference every month, a British defense publication reported on Friday.
Touted as a bid to enhance openness and communication regarding the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) with the rest of the world, the press conferences will be held on the final Wednesday afternoon of every month, Chinese media have said.
Either ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng (耿雁生) or Information Affairs Office Deputy Director Yang Yujun (楊宇軍) will reportedly host the monthly event.
The Chinese military’s first-ever official regular press conference was held on April 27, during which a visit by Chinese Chief of General Staff Chen Bingde (陳炳德) to the US from yesterday to next Sunday was confirmed.
Xinhua news agency quoted Geng as saying on April 27 that the regular press conferences would “spread important information about China’s national defense and military buildup in a timely matter and help the world better understand China’s armed forces.”
The PLA’s lack of transparency and Beijing’s defense spending has led to a chorus of accusations by Washington and regional powers, such as Japan. This failure to communicate capabilities and intent, officials have said, enhances uncertainty and increases the risk of misunderstanding and miscalculation.
The “surprise” unveiling in January of China’s first fifth-generation J-20 stealth fighter hours before US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was to meet Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) in Beijing, as well as signs last year of greater assertiveness by the PLA on Chinese claims to the South China Sea, have contributed to calls on Beijing to be more transparent regarding military matters.
Chinese academics said following the press meeting last month that the regular press conference would help defuse skepticism and “excessive interpretation” of China’s military.
In an article on the subject on Friday, British defense magazine Jane’s Defence Weekly quoted Ministry of National Defense (MND) spokesman Lo Shao-ho (羅紹和) as saying that the ministry was “optimistic about the impact of the press conferences on PLA transparency.”
The article also quoted a spokeswoman at the Pentagon as saying that Washington welcomed the move toward greater transparency.
“Substantive and continuous engagement fosters greater understanding and promotes the healthy, stable and reliable development of the military-to-military relationship,” she said.
However, Jane’s quoted the Pentagon spokeswoman as saying that concerns remained over the lack of transparency in terms of China’s strategic intentions, decision-making and emerging military capabilities, such as anti-access and area denial systems.
BILINGUAL ASSISTANCE: The center launched a chat bot that features Chinese and English interfaces to provide foreigners with instant information about the pandemic The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that it would discuss with other nations the possibility of allowing businesspeople to visit on a case-by-case basis. Asked about loosening border restrictions, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said at the daily CECC news briefing that while the center is cautious about opening the nation’s borders, it would aim to diminish obstacles for important trade interactions without risking transmission of the novel coronavirus. Several foreign representatives in Taiwan have expressed an interest in the matter and the center would conduct related negotiations with the help of the
DELUSIONAL: The male patient said he did not know that the woman had mental problems, but the court said that her being restrained in isolation should have given him pause The Taiwan High Court has ordered the Jhudong branch of the Taiwan National University Hospital and a male patient to jointly pay a former female patient’s family NT$400,000 in compensation after the man had sex with the woman, who has mental problems, while hospitalized. The 26-year-old woman has been diagnosed with a mental disorder, a symptom of which is that she obsessively seeks to have sex, her mother said. The mother filed a formal complaint and sought damages from the hospital and the male patient surnamed Chen (陳) after finding out that her daughter had sex with the man while
The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) should not use the government’s disease-prevention policy as an excuse to block people’s access to the Taipei Railway Station’s main hall, the Taiwan International Workers’ Association said yesterday. The association held a protest at the station after what organizers said were about 400 people staged a sit-in on Saturday to demonstrate against the TRA’s proposal to ban sitting on the floor of the main hall. In accordance with the Central Epidemic Command Center’s disease-prevention measures, large gatherings have been banned in the hall since the end of February. After protesters yesterday expressed their grievances at the southern
Nematode-trapping fungi have been found to be natural killers of nematodes and their mechanisms might facilitate the development of new drugs or biological control agents, an Academia Sinica researcher said yesterday. Mostly measuring less than 1mm, nematodes are found in soil worldwide and most are not visible to the naked eye, Academia Sinica Institute of Molecular Biology assistant research fellow Hsueh Yen-ping (薛雁冰) told a news conference in Taipei. Some nematodes can cause infections in humans or damage plants, but existing pesticides, such as ivermectin, aldicarb and levamisole, can only inhibit their activity and the poisons’ efficacy are declining due to