Purchasing arms is not the policy the public expects of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on the eve of the anniversary of her inauguration, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) said yesterday.
Tsai in a Reuters interview on Thursday said that her administration does not “rule out any items that would be meaningful to our defense and our defense strategy, and the F-35 is one such item,”
Tsai also said she does not “exclude the opportunity to call [US] President [Donald] Trump himself, but it depends on the needs of the situation and the US government’s consideration of regional affairs.”
KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy director Tang Te-ming (唐德明) said Tsai’s remarks indicated that she is “still anticipating friendly moves on the US’ part and hoping that Washington could be leaning toward [Taiwan] when it comes to cross-strait affairs.”
She is hoping for another telephone call with Trump to improve her dismal approval ratings, as the telephone call in December last year helped her garner some popular support, Tang said.
“An arms purchase then is the perfect pretext for another Tsai-Trump call,” he said, adding that the price of the arms would be up to Washington when Taipei is on the receiving end of a political favor.
The KMT has to shoulder its responsibility as the main opposition party to call on Tsai to take into account the nation’s economic situation, “which leaves no room for it to be a spendthrift,” Tang said.
“Does Taiwan really need F-35s that cost more than US$100 million each and come with extremely high maintenance fees?” Tang asked.
He quoted Tsai as saying before the presidential election that a strategic national security plan has to be put in place before any arms purchases and asked whether this plan has been implemented with the support of both the ruling and opposition parties.
“Taiwanese would not want to see another burden on the nation’s economy just because [Tsai] wishes to suck up to the US and make a telephone call to Trump,” he said.
After Tsai urged China to show flexibility and a broader mindset, and to view cross-strait relations with a different perspective, Tang said the president, “probably due to her utter deSinicization,” forgot an old Chinese proverb that large states should treat small states with benevolence, while small states should face larger states with wisdom.
“Does the president not get which side — large or small — should be the one to show flexibility and deal with the relationship with more wisdom?” Tang asked.
“It is impossible [for Tsai] to make improvements to cross-strait relations if she will not face up to the key to the problem,” he said.
LIABILITIES MULLED: New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi said Taipei would find out if the firm was legally registered, the guide was licensed and the weather was assessed The assets of Tian Da Local Nature Co are to be frozen after at least four people died after falling into the Beishi River (北勢溪) on an outing the company had organized on Saturday, the Taipei City Government said yesterday. Six people — two adults and four children — were washed away by a flash flood on the river in New Taipei City’s Hubaotan (虎豹潭) area. They were participating in a Nature Joy Camp outdoor activity with a group of 16 adults and 15 children led by a guide surnamed Su (蘇). As of 4:30pm yesterday, four of the missing had been
Taiwanese worked more hours than people in all but three other countries in the world last year, Ministry of Labor data showed. Singapore placed first in average hours worked among the 40 economies surveyed, with an average of 2,288 hours per worker last year, the data showed. The city-state was followed by Colombia with 2,172 hours — based on 2019 data — and Mexico with 2,124 hours, it showed. Taiwan came in fourth, with 2,021 hours, it showed. South Korean workers clocked the third-most hours in Asia, with 1,908 hours, followed by Japan with 1,598 hours, it showed. However, compared with 2019, the survey found
The US 7th Fleet yesterday confirmed that a US Navy ship transited the Taiwan Strait on Thursday and Friday. “The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Dewey [DDG 105] conducted a Taiwan Strait transit in cooperation with Royal Canadian Navy [RCN] Halifax-class frigate, HMCS Winnipeg, October 14-15, 2021,” the US 7th Fleet said in a statement. “Dewey’s and Winnipeg’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the commitment of the United States and our allies and partners to a free and open Indo-Pacific. Cooperation like this represents the centerpiece of our approach to a secure and prosperous region,” it added. The transit marked the
‘COUNTERPRODUCTIVE’: The German, French and Singaporean missions said that Taiwan’s COVID-19 restrictions are hindering local projects and business operations Several foreign missions in Taiwan have urged the government to ease its strict COVID-19 border controls, which they say are hurting in-person exchanges and business operations. The missions made the appeal in response to media inquiries on how the border controls have affected their respective countries’ exchanges with Taiwan, amid growing concerns voiced privately by Taiwan-based foreign offices and businesses regarding the restrictions. Taiwan has maintained strict entry requirements since March last year, generally prohibiting most arrivals except for citizens and foreign residents, while it has required those who enter the country to undergo a stringent 14-day quarantine. Although the rules have been