“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.
The navy’s new 10,600-tonne warship is on Tuesday to be christened the ROCN Yushan (玉山), as the nation’s indigenous shipbuilding program reaches a milestone, sources said yesterday. The vessel, previously referred to as the “new landing platform dock,” was at a shipyard with its name freshly painted on the hull with the number 1401, the Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times) reported yesterday, citing an unnamed observer. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇), a member of the legislature’s National Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee, confirmed the report in a Facebook post. The NT$4.635 billion (US$163 million) ship is designed
DIALOGUE SOUGHT: Washington said it was concerned about the pattern of ongoing attempts to intimidate Taiwan after the 10th day of PLA activity in the region The US on Monday urged Beijing to stop its multifaceted pressure campaign against Taiwan after China sent 25 military jets into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone. “The United States notes with concern the pattern of ongoing PRC [People’s Republic of China] attempts to intimidate the region, including Taiwan,” a US Department of State spokesperson said in an e-mail response to questions. “We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic and economic pressure against Taiwan, and instead engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan.” The Ministry of National Defense said that 25 Chinese military aircraft entered the zone on Monday. It was the 10th straight
‘NOT ENTHUSIASTIC’: People who have been approved by the CECC as special cases who need to travel, such as foreign diplomats, would be able to receive a vaccine The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday expanded the eligibility for COVID-19 vaccination to the fourth priority group — people who need to travel abroad for special reasons — adding that out-of-pocket vaccines would be available from Wednesday next week. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said although Taiwan’s COVID-19 vaccination program was on Monday expanded to include the top three groups in the priority list, people are still “not enthusiastic” about getting vaccinated. “Only 1,220 people received a vaccine shot on Tuesday, and a total of 27,113 people have received COVID-19 vaccination” so far, he
INTERNATIONAL WEED DAY: Advocates are to hold a demonstration to push for the decriminalization of marijuana and allowing its use for treatment of certain conditions It is time for Taiwanese society to examine the medical benefits of cannabis, in line with the international trend to lift restrictions on and decriminalize the use of marijuana, two legislators said yesterday, ahead of tomorrow’s “Rally for Equal Rights for Cannabis” in Taipei. Taiwan is one of a few countries holding a “420 International Weed Day” event — which usually takes place around the April 20 weekend — as most nations have canceled it this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, said organizer Green Sensation, which is composed of doctors, lawyers and entertainers, among others. The group released a