Abe thanks Tsai for support
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday expressed on Twitter his gratitude for the sympathy and support extended by Taiwanese and President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in the wake of heavy rain, flooding and landslides that killed at least 151 people in Japan. Abe wrote in Chinese that he is thankful for the sincere condolences and is grateful for the prompt assistance and donations from Taiwanese. The warm support of Taiwan in the aftermath of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami is unforgettable, he said. Abe’s response came after Tsai extended her condolences in Japanese, saying that Taiwan is ready to provide any assistance. The president also expressed the hope that survivors will recover soon and that the areas hit by the disaster will be restored as soon as possible. Taiwan is also afflicted by frequent heavy rains and understands the severity of such disasters, Tsai said. Taiwan has pledged to donate ￥20 million (US$179,920) to Japan for flood relief, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Monday.
MOU signed on AI, robotics
The Hsinchu Science Park and the Central Taiwan Science Park (CTSP) on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with India’s Karnataka State to promote bilateral exchanges in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics. The document was signed by Hsinchu Science Park director-general Wayne Wang (王永壯), CTSP director-general Chen Ming-huang (陳銘煌), and Karnataka Center for e-Governance chief executive officer Shri K. Nagaraja. The signing ceremony was witnessed by Representative to India Tien Chung-kwang (田中光) and Gaurav Gupta, the principal secretary of the Karnataka Department of Information Technology, Biotechnology and Science and Technology. Speaking after the ceremony, Wang said he hopes to promote exchanges between academics and entrepreneurs in Taiwan and Karnataka and help Taiwanese firms gain access to the growing Indian market to create new business opportunities in Bengaluru, especially in the field of information technology. Chen said he also hopes to see cooperation in robotics. The MOU enables the two nations to institutionalize an industrial collaboration mechanism and platform, which, in turn, would help enhance ties in the fields of industry, investment and technical cooperation on an equal and mutually beneficial basis, Tien said.
US official in Taiwan
Jane Nishida, principal deputy assistant administrator at the US Environmental Protection Agency, yesterday arrived in Taiwan to promote bilateral cooperation, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) said in a statement. Nishida is to meet with government officials and students today to promote the International Environmental Partnership (IEP), a long-time collaboration between the US agency and the Environmental Protection Administration, the statement said. The AIT did not disclose when Nishida would be leaving Taiwan. Through the IEP, the US and Taiwan have addressed issues related to environmental education, electronic waste management, air pollution, mercury monitoring, and remediation of contaminated soil and groundwater, the statement said. Nishida has more than 30 years of environmental experience at the federal and state government levels, and with international and non-governmental organizations. She has visited Taiwan several times to promote the IEP, the AIT said.
Taiwan might be China’s next target after it has “walled off” Hong Kong from the rest of the world with its new national security legislation, Academia Sinica Institute of Sociology fellow Wu Jieh-min (吳介民) said on Thursday. At a seminar organized by the Economic Democracy Union, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, the Hong Kong Outlanders and the Judicial Reform Foundation, Wu said that the legislation is simultaneously a fig leaf concealing Beijing’s autocratic rule in Hong Kong and a figurative “Berlin Wall,” denying democratic countries access to Hong Kong. Wu said it is evident that Taiwan would be China’s next target. The
SAFETY CONCERNS: A construction company working nearby admitted to negligence in the incident, and is to pay a fine and other expenses related to damages Residents of homes adjacent to an alleyway in New Taipei City’s Yonghe District (永和) on Saturday were forced to evacuate their homes after the road collapsed, the New Taipei City government said yesterday. An 80m by 4m area in an alleyway on Wenhua Road (文化路) collapsed at 10:39am near an apartment building construction site where work was being done on the project’s foundation. The incident also ruptured an underground gas pipe and tilted several buildings in the area. Residents would not be able to return to their homes until tomorrow or Wednesday, when repairs are expected to be finished, the city government said. Workers
CHALLENGER DEEP: Lin Ying-Tsong was invited by Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo to join him on a 10-hour long trip in the company’s submersible Taiwanese-American Lin Ying-Tsong (林穎聰) last month became the first person from Asia and the 12th in human history to dive into the deepest part on Earth, the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. Lin, 45, an expert in deep sea acoustics with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts, joined US adventurer and Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo, 54, on June 22 in a descent to the central pool of the Challenger Deep, the deepest point of the trench, which lies at a depth of more than 10,900m. The pair made the descent in a submersible named Limiting Factor, a US$37
ARMS RACE: Two DPP lawmakers said that China’s development model differed from Taiwan’s, as it aims to become a global hegemon, while Taiwan seeks to protect itself Taiwanese national defense experts are split on how Taiwan should respond to the ever-growing budget of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), with some advocating for Taiwan to increase defense spending, while others say that little can be done. The Legislative Yuan approved NT$358 billion (US$12.1 billion) for national defense spending across fiscal 2020, a 3.47 percent increase compared with last year, while China’s military budget this year is NT$5.4 trillion, more than 15 times that of Taiwan. Regardless of whether the government adopts a zero-based budgeting method for national defense spending — in which all expenses are justified and approved each