The US should sell Taiwan F-16C/D aircraft because doing so would be in its best interest, a US lawmaker said yesterday at an international security conference in Taipei.
“We need to empower Taiwan” in the face of China’s huge military buildup, US Representative Peter Roskam said in a comment on cross-strait issues at the first session of the ROC (Taiwan)-US-Japan Trilateral Conference: Security Dialogue.
The one-day conference, hosted by Taiwan’s Chinese Council of Advanced Policy Studies and the Washington-based think tank Project 2049 Institute, marked the first time lawmakers from the three countries have met to discuss ways to strengthen regional security.
“Taiwan has to be strong,” Roskam said, despite the agreements it has signed with China and the expanded cross-strait economic exchanges of recent years.
According to Roskam, the Republican chief deputy whip in the US House of Representatives, “nothing good happens when Taiwan is uncertain.”
In addition, he said, Taiwan is a democracy worthy of US support. He added his belief that “the sale of the F-16s” is the “straightforward way” to demonstrate such support.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Timothy Yang (楊進添) said at the conference’s opening ceremony that many countries are working to enhance trade with China, as the country is growing so fast economically.
However, China lacks transparency in its military buildup and that makes its neighbors uneasy, he said.
Yang added he hoped Japan and the US would facilitate Taiwan’s participation in regional security arrangements in East Asia.
“The lack of Taiwan’s participation in such a mechanism will create a loophole in the maintenance of security in the region,” he said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of National Defense Andrew Yang (楊念祖) also expressed hope that Taiwan could strengthen exchanges with Japan and the US in related areas to contribute to long-term peace in Asia.
He also reiterated Taiwan’s ongoing efforts to maintain its self-defense capabilities, which he said was also vital for preserving peace.
Late last month, the US government announced that it would help upgrade Taiwan’s existing 145 F-16A/Bs rather than sell the more advanced F-16C/Ds Taipei has repeatedly requested since 2006. According to US government officials, however, the sale of the F-16C/Ds to Taiwan is still under consideration.
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
DREAMING OF TRAVEL: About 7,000 people applied for the experience, with about 60 chosen for the first flight yesterday, which includes boarding an airplane Starved of the travel experience during COVID-19? Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) has the solution — a fake itinerary where you check in, go through passport control and security, and even board the aircraft. You just never leave. The airport yesterday began offering travelers the chance to do just that, with about 60 people eager to get going, albeit to nowhere. About 7,000 people applied to take part, with the winners chosen by random. More fake flight experiences are to take place in the coming weeks. “I really want to leave the country, but because of the pandemic, lots of flights cannot fly,”
SOUTH WINDS: Taiwan’s southeastern region, as well as central and southern regions, would see regional showers and thundershowers, the Central Weather Bureau said Heavy to extremely heavy rainfall in the afternoon in the next two days might cause damage in affected areas, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday, urging people to stay vigilant. With the weakening of a Pacific high-pressure system and with a frontal system in the north moving south, the nation would come under the influence of southwest and south winds today, the bureau said. People in the nation’s southeastern region, as well as in central and southern Taiwan, are likely to experience regional showers or thundershowers, it said. Chances of afternoon thundershowers are high nationwide, and people in some regions