Missile plan claimed
The government plans to develop a long-distance precision-guided missile that could strike military bases along China’s southeastern coast, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lin Yu-fang (林郁方) said yesterday. The Ministry of National Defense has budgeted NT$30 million (US$1.04 million) for development, including the design of the missile bases and safety systems, Lin said. The ministry declined to comment on the remarks from Lin, who has made various claims over the years, some of which never materialized. Lin said the missile, along with several other homemade weapons systems, such as the Hsiung Feng (“Brave Wind”) 2E cruise missile, would be an effective deterrent should China use force against Taiwan.
A boat carrying 18 Vietnamese intending to enter the country illegally was intercepted off the coast of Greater Kaohsiung, the Coast Guard Administration said in a statement yesterday. The boat was intercepted about 38km off Greater Kaohsiung at about 7pm on Sunday and its passengers were detained, the statement said. The passengers — 15 men and three women — told coast guard officers they had each spent tens of thousands of NT dollars to buy the boat through a brokering group. They set off from Guangdong Province, China, on Wednesday last week bound for Taiwan, they said. They were still being questioned at press time. Coast guard officials said they were tracking the brokering group that helped the Vietnamese buy the boat and arrange the voyage.
Potential storm gathering
The Central Weather Bureau yesterday said two tropical low-air pressure systems had formed over the Pacific Ocean, adding that it was too soon to say if the two systems would evolve into a typhoon or affect the country. One of the tropical systems had formed about 1,200km from the southeast coast of Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻). The bureau said the system was moving slowly northwards and could develop into a tropical storm, adding it was closely monitoring its progress. In the interim, the bureau said the country would continue to see sunny to cloudy skies in the morning at least until tomorrow. Chances of afternoon showers are high, with daytime highs hitting 33°C and 34°C. Another system has formed off the southeastern coast of Japan, currently about 2,200km east of Taiwan, the bureau said. However, the bureau said the system was less likely to turn into a tropical storm because it was formed at a relatively higher latitude.
Performers close up festival
The Yilan International Children’s Folklore and Folkgame Festival ended on Sunday, with dance groups from eight countries giving life to Yilan’s culture through their performances. The 44-day festival attracted 527,035 visitors, said the Yilan County Government, which organized the festival. Performing at the closing ceremony in the evening, groups from Peru, South Korea, Thailand, Burkina Faso, Russia, Ukraine, Serbia and Poland presented Yilan’s diverse culture, combining Taiwanese drama, clog dancing, local delicacies and kites in their performances. The groups also danced to the Yilan folk song An Old Train at the final curtain. After the performance, Yilan County Commissioner Lin Tsung-hsien (林聰賢) led members of foreign teams, holding candles, on a park tour. The group spelled out the words “Yilan Touch My Heart” at the park’s plaza.