If Taiwan does not get the F-16C/D aircraft it seeks from the US to replace its aging fleet, Taipei will lose its leverage and face immediate challenges in fulfilling its responsibilities of preserving peace and stability in Asia, Deputy Minister of National Defense Andrew Yang (楊念祖) told a defense magazine in an interview published yesterday.
“Washington sometimes does not get the right picture of Taiwan’s responsibility. That is part of the reason we want new fighters,” Yang told Defense News in a wide-ranging interview. “Otherwise, the US has to send its own military to replace our daily patrols in the region.”
On the implications of the US announcing on Oct. 1 — the date set last month for an official decision on the matter — that it would proceed with the sale, Yang said Beijing had already sent strong warnings to Washington.
“They will be extremely unpleasant and upset, as they always are,” he said.
Asked what retaliatory measures Beijing would likely take, Yang said he did not believe Beijing would adopt drastic economic actions against the US.
“They have a lot of investments, including huge foreign reserves in US banks. If the US economy suffers, Beijing suffers,” he said.
More likely, Yang said, was that Beijing would cut off regular military exchanges.
“But if we look at previous experiences, they will be downgraded for a while, but they [the US and China] have strong mutual interests binding each other together. So they have to make a decision on what will be the next step,” he said.
Commenting on a scenario in which China would take control of Taiwan and place bases here, Yang said this would open the door for military and power projection “not only into the East China Sea, but also into the South China Sea.”
“Taiwan would become an important hub and stepping stone for China to exert and expand its presence in the South China Sea, which is certainly not in the US’ interest. It would immediately challenge US strategic calculations and its security umbrella in the Asia--Pacific region,” Yang said. “If Taiwan becomes part of China in terms of political integration in the future, then immediately the United States will lose a vital interest in this part of the world.”
On the possibility of Taiwan stepping up its military presence on Taiping Island (太平島) in the South China Sea, Yang said the Ministry of National Defense was not ruling out that option.
“But the current decision adopted by the National Security Council and the president is to improve and reinforce the Coast Guard’s capability on the island," Yang said. “[However,] We will never allow China to step onto the island. It is part of our territory, under our management. There is no room for compromise.”
UNDER INVESTIGATION: Huang’s body was found just outside the bathroom and showed no signs of a struggle, and no alcohol or drugs were found Singer and actor Alien Huang (黃鴻升) was found dead at his home in Taipei’s Beitou District (北投) yesterday. He was 36. Huang was also known by the nickname Xiao Gui (“little ghost”). His body was found when his father went to check on him after being unable to reach him by telephone, and called emergency services to the house at 11am, the Taipei City Police Department said. Huang’s body, which was discovered just outside the bathroom, showed no signs of a physical struggle, and he appeared to have been dead for some time, police said, adding that no drugs or alcohol were
CONFIRMED IN PHILIPPINES: The CECC would conduct contact tracing for the migrant workers to determine if they had come into contact with elderly people or children Six Filipinos tested positive for COVID-19 upon returning home from Taiwan, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday as it reported a case of imported COVID-19 infection, bringing the number of confirmed cases in Taiwan to 500. Philippine authorities reported four of the cases through the National IHR Focal Point, while the other two were reported by the company that they had worked for in Taiwan. The six — five women and one man — are aged from their 20s to 40s, and worked as in-home care workers, domestic workers, factory workers and sailors in Taiwan, said Minister of Health and
TIME FOR CHANGE: Most of those at a public hearing organized by the DPP’s Chung Chia-pin also agreed that the Control Yuan and Examination Yuan should be abolished Taiwan needs a new constitution, as the current one was adopted in Nanjing in 1946, when the Republic of China (ROC) represented all of China, while the Control Yuan and Examination Yuan should be abolished, legal experts and academics said yesterday during a public hearing at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei. Chang Kun-sheng (張錕盛), a law professor and secretary-general of the Taiwan Administrative Law Association, said that it is time to draft a new constitution. The ROC Constitution was adopted during a National Constituent Assembly meeting in Nanjing shortly after World War II and before the Chinese Civil War had fully erupted,
The COVID-19 pandemic might not have originated from a seafood market in Wuhan, China, National Taiwan University College of Public Health professor Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. While many countries are experiencing second waves of COVID-19 infections, many are also lifting lockdowns to revive their economies, allowing travelers to cross national borders, Chen said. Academics have been questioning whether genetic mutations in the novel coronavirus in different countries have made it more infectious, he added. Academics from different backgrounds have conducted phylogenetic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences, he said, adding that the studies can help scientists understand how the virus spread among