“China is not to be trusted,” former American Institute in Taiwan director Stephen Young said in Taipei yesterday, using Beijing’s dealings with the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong as an example.
Young made the remark at a forum in Taipei on Taiwan-US relations hosted by the Taiwan Thinktank and the Washington-based Global Taiwan Institute.
Despite China’s promise of a high degree of autonomy for Hong Kong for 50 years under the “one country, two systems” formula, the situation in Hong Kong over the past six months suggests a gradual collapse of autonomy, said Young, who served as US consul general to Hong Kong from 2010 to 2013.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
Taiwan has an option, “unfortunately, Hong Kong has not,” he said, in reference to China’s “one country, two systems” model.
What happened in Hong Kong is a lesson for all that China is not to be trusted, he said, adding that Taiwanese could learn from the Hong Kong situation, despite China trying to convince them to feel easy about unifcation.
The US must stand on the side of democratic Taiwan as China seeks to marginalize it internationally, he said.
Meanwhile, in a keynote speech at the forum, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said that the government would soon officially apply to join the US border preclearance system, to expedite entry for its citizens into the US.
The two countries have already exchanged letters of intent regarding a One-Stop Security arrangement, which recognizes security screening at Taoyuan International Airport so that checked luggage originating from there could be transferred to connecting flights in the US without having to be screened again, Lin said.
Taiwan is hoping to expand the arrangement to hand luggage before 2022, Lin said.
The US has approved Taiwan to join the preclearance system “in principle,” and as soon as it provides the details of how to proceed, the government would make the application, he said.
According to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), preclearance is the “strategic stationing of CBP law enforcement personnel overseas to inspect travelers prior to boarding US-bound flights.”
The operation is meant to streamline border procedures, reduce congestion at US ports of entry and facilitate travel between preclearance locations and US ports unequipped to handle international travelers, according to the CBP.
The CBP has more than 600 law enforcement officers and agriculture specialists stationed at 15 preclearance airports in six countries, namely the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Ireland, the United Arab Emirates and Aruba, a Caribbean constituent of the Netherlands.
Taiwan is part of the US Visa Waiver and Global Entry program, which allows for expedited entry into the US.
Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger said he does not foresee a Chinese military invasion of Taiwan in the next decade, although it is “perfectly possible” that China could seek to weaken the island’s status. “I don’t expect an all-out attack on Taiwan in, say, a 10-year period, which is as far as I can see,” Kissinger said yesterday in an interview on CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS. Kissinger, 98, who also served as national security adviser and helped pave the way for then-US president Richard Nixon’s historic 1972 visit to China, said that “everyone wants to be a China hawk” and
Taiwanese actress Big S, also known as Barbie Hsu (徐熙媛), and Chinese restaurateur Wang Xiaofei (汪小菲) officially announced their divorce yesterday, stating the decision was cordial and that they would be raising their two children together. The statement came by proxy through the couple’s legal counsel, filed by both Wang and Hsu. Hsu and Wang thanked fans for their love and support, with the couple saying that fate had blessed them with a time of happiness, and that they were grateful for their time together. They said that while they walked hand-in-hand as husband and wife, they would continue a cordial relationship as
UNUSUAL PUNISHMENTS: Tortuous and possibly criminal penalties doled out by nine officers to a napping cadet have sparked calls for standardized discipline rules Defense experts called on the Ministry of Defense to create a standard code for maintaining discipline, after local media on Saturday reported that nine officers were reprimanded for administering inappropriate punishments to a conscript in Kinmen. Earlier last week, a boot camp recruit surnamed Chung (鍾) was stripped of his shirt and had icepacks placed against his armpits and crotch as a punishment for napping during physical training, the Kinmen Defense Command confirmed on Saturday. The command cadre of the battalion, including the battalion commander, the political warfare officer and the sergeant who ordered the drill have been transferred and could face
DESTABILIZING: Beijing’s efforts to choke Taiwan, pressure its friends and hamper its democracy are a threat to the world, AIT Director Sandra Oudkirk said China’s provocative military activities near Taiwan are destabilizing and risk “miscalculation,” American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Sandra Oudkirk said yesterday, reiterating the US’ objection to any unilateral changes to the “status quo” in the Taiwan Strait. Oudkirk made the remarks in a speech at the annual conference of the Association of International Relations in Taipei. “In the Indo-Pacific region, America’s effort to resolve and manage differences with the leadership of the People’s Republic of [PRC] faces distinct challenges,” she said, referencing a range of actions by China that she said run counter to the shared values and interests of the