Depression to bring rain
A tropical depression that formed in the South China Sea on Monday could bring rain over the next two days, although no direct impact is expected, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday. The depression about 500km southwest of Taiwan’s southernmost tip is moving west-northwest at 11kph, and is carrying sustained winds of 54kph with gusts of up to 82kph, the bureau said. The depression is to strengthen a front from the southwest, bringing showers and thunderstorms to southern and southeastern Taiwan until tomorrow, while eastern and northeastern Taiwan could see intermittent rain and thunderstorms, the bureau said. Northern Taiwan could also experience heavy rain this afternoon.
Concern over extraditions
The nation has expressed its concern to the EU after the Prague High Court upheld a lower court’s decision to send eight Taiwanese fraud suspects to China, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. The suspects were arrested in Prague in Jan. 12 last year for their alleged involvement in telecommunications fraud targeting Chinese, ministry deputy spokesperson Joanne Ou (歐江安) said. A Prague district court in August last year ruled that the suspects were to be extradited to China, after Chinese authorities guaranteed that the suspects would be tried fairly and would not be subject to capital punishment. The suspects appealed to the Prague High Court, which last month upheld the decision, Ou said. The suspects are considering other legal remedies and proceedings are still ongoing, she added. The ministry has also expressed its concerns to the EU that the suspects’ rights might be infringed upon if they are sent to China.
US transit stop ‘consistent’
Arranging transit stop visits by “Taiwan authorities” is consistent with Washington’s “one China” policy, the US Department of State said on Monday. In response to requests for comment on President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) plan to transit through the US later this month, a department spokesperson said via e-mail: “The United States facilitates, from time to time, representatives of the Taiwan authorities to transit the United States. Such transits are undertaken out of consideration for the safety, comfort, convenience and dignity of the passenger and are in keeping with our one China policy.” Tsai is to make the stopovers before and after visiting Haiti, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, and Saint Kitts and Nevis from Thursday next week to July 22, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. It did not disclose the US cities, but some media have reported that she would stop in New York and Denver.
Corruption pact signed
Taiwan and Belize yesterday signed an agreement to cooperate on fighting corruption as they push for a closer partnership ahead of the 30th anniversary of their diplomatic ties in October. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Belizean Governor-General Colville Young witnessed the signing at the Presidential Office Building in Taipei. The two nations have collaborated on medical care, vocational training, trade and investment, and would continue to work together on sustainable development to address the challenges brought by climate change, Tsai said. Young said that the friendship would not just last 30 years, but for an eternity because the two nations are as close as family. Young and his delegation arrived yesterday for a four-day visit.
Shen Yi-ming takes top job
Vice Minister of National Defense Shen Yi-ming (沈一鳴) on Monday took office as chief of the general staff in a ceremony presided over by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), replacing Li Hsi-ming (李喜明), who retired the same day. A graduate of the Republic of China Air Force Academy in 1979 and the US’ Air War College in 2002, Shen has served 37 months as air force commander, promoting joint operations training and disaster prevention and rescue, the Ministry of National Defense said. Air Force Commander Chang Che-ping (張哲平) is to fill the vacancy left by Shen, while Air Force Deputy Commander General Hsiung Hou-chi (熊厚基) is to fill the vacancy left by Chang, with immediate effect, the ministry said. As commander-in-chief of Taiwan’s armed forces, Tsai said that she has ordered Shen to help carry out a blueprint for defense and warfare training, nurture military talent, and lay the foundation for the reform of the nation’s defense forces. Shen was also ordered by Tsai to promote regional peace, security and stability.
Taipei donates to initiative
The government has donated US$500,000 to a non-governmental organization that advocates for victims of sexual violence and aims to rebuild communities devastated by the Islamic State group. In a ceremony at the US Institute of Peace in Washington on Friday last week, Representative to the US Stanley Kao (高碩泰) made the donation to Nadia’s Initiative. The group, founded in 2016 by Nadia Murad, advocates for victims of sexual violence and aims to rebuild communities in crisis, especially the Yazidi ethnic minority in Iraq persecuted by the Islamic State. Murad last year received the Nobel Peace Prize for her work on the initiative.
‘CROCODILE TEARS’: The Taiwan Statebuilding Party said the Kaohsiung mayor was only apologizing after a poll revealed that 45% of the city’s residents favored a recall Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) at a city council session yesterday apologized for taking three months off last year to campaign for January’s presidential election. Han said that he was now prioritizing municipal affairs and was focused primarily on preventing the spread of COVID-19. He was “doing two days’ work each day” to make up for time lost, he said. Han on May 5 attended a city council session for the first time in 201 days, giving a report on pandemic response measures. At yesterday’s session, Han said the Kaohsiung City Government would be injecting NT$50 million (US$1.67 million) into the
Taipei City Councilor Wu Pei-yi (吳沛憶) on Saturday urged the Taipei Department of Cultural Affairs to designate the Japanese colonial-era Showa Building (昭和樓) a cultural heritage site to protect it from being demolished. Wu made the remarks after the department on Tuesday last week visited the building to evaluate it for preservation, a standard procedure before a public building that is more than 50 years old is razed. The Showa Building, on Zhongxiao E Road Sec 2, was a rare kind of office building when it was constructed in 1942, Wu said. The three-story building was built with reinforced concrete and has European-style
A proposal by the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) to permanently ban sitting in Taipei Railway Station’s main hall has received a mixed reaction online, with some social media users vowing to launch a sit-in at the station. Gatherings at the hall have been prohibited since Feb. 29 in accordance with the Central Epidemic Command Center’s policy of reducing crowd sizes in public places. A Facebook user organizing the sit-in said that the hall is a public space and there is no legitimate reason to ban sitting on the floor. He said he suspected that the proposal was made due to business considerations and
Chinese over-the-top (OTT) service provider iQiyi cannot register as a provider in Taiwan after the Mainland Affairs Council declared it to be an illegal service, the National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday. Both iQiyi and WeTV were deemed to be illegal Chinese OTT operators in an interdepartmental meeting on Friday last week, officials said, adding that this prohibits them from marketing their services in Taiwan or seeking subscribers. The government plans to block a local server that iQiyi has been using to transmit content to domestic audiences, which would disrupt its content transmission. OTT Entertainment Ltd, which is enlisted by iQiyi to