Americans join those across the globe in mourning the tens of thousands of lives, many of them children, who were lost in the recent violent tsunamis from Thailand to the Horn of Africa. Across America, the American flag flew at half-staff last week in honor of the victims of this catastrophic event. \nI commend those individuals, countries, and international organizations that are donating money, supplies, transport and logistics, and personnel to help those in the paths of the tsunamis. Together, people across the globe are providing relief to these countries. \nThe US government has made an initial commitment of US$350 million for disaster relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction for victims of the tsunami. I have also sent members of America's armed forces to the region to support the relief efforts. US air force planes are distributing aid 24 hours a day. The US navy has deployed the Abraham Lincoln carrier group to Indonesia with relief supplies and additional aircraft that will help reach those victims in desperate need in isolated areas. Additional American military personnel will arrive soon to assist with relief activities. In consultation with key allies and with the UN, the US launched one of the largest humanitarian relief operations in recent history. \nSecretary of State Colin Powell and Governor Jeb Bush of Florida visited the Indian Ocean region last week, meeting with fellow leaders and international organizations to assess the relief efforts and remaining needs. The international community is gathering in Geneva to develop a reconstruction plan and to raise funds to help southern Asia. \nIn America, our government will aid these efforts, but America's greatest source of generosity lies in the hearts of the American people. Since the tsunamis, American children and adults have contributed millions of dollars for disaster relief and reconstruction. They join the outpouring of generosity from around the world. \nI have asked former presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton to work with all Americans in this important humanitarian relief effort, as we express our country's sympathy for the victims of a great tragedy. The former presidents are asking Americans to donate to charities that are already providing help to tsunami victims. These organizations have dispatched experts to the disaster area, and they know what is required to meet the needs on the ground. \nAmericans have suffered great natural tragedies, from earthquakes, to destructive wildfires, to hurricanes. We know that nothing can take away the grief of those affected. Americans will do all we can to help the people of Asia confront the great challenges that face them in the aftermath of this devastation. \nWe offer our sympathy to those who lost loved ones, our compassion to those suffering, and America's sustained commitment to help the people affected by the tsunamis rebuild. \nGeorge W. Bush is president of the United States.
Sometimes When there is a choice to be made, none of the options are good. The choice between hooking up with communism — in its Chinese iteration, the one that bugs Taiwan the most — and neofascism, of the back-to-the-roots Italian variety or any other kind, is such a choice. The good news is that Taiwan does not have to choose. It neither needs to cozy up to China — the successes of President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration, despite its shortcomings, are evidence of that — nor does it need to embrace Italy under its likely new leader, Italian lawmaker Giorgia
For many years, the military’s defense of the Taiwan Strait has been centered around the doctrine of establishing “air and maritime supremacy and repulsing landing forces.” However, after the legislature passed the Sea-Air Combat Power Improvement Plan Purchase Special Regulation (海空戰力提升計畫採購特別條例) last year, the doctrine was altered to “air defense, counterattack, and establish air and maritime supremacy,” with repelling landing forces removed from the equation. Despite the changes to the defense doctrine, landing operations and anti-landing operations still feature at the core of the military’s plans for the defense of the nation. The primary reason that peace in the Taiwan Strait has prevailed
In a China-US war over Taiwan, paradoxically the greatest loss of life could be inflicted on the Muslim Uighurs. Uighurs constitute 45 percent of the Xinjiang population of 25 million people, with over 1 million incarcerated in internment camps in accordance with a policy initiated under Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平). Another half-million children have been placed in state-run boarding schools. Forced sterilization has led to a 24 to 60 percent drop in the birthrate, leading officials from many countries to describe the mass detention as genocide. Estimated annual death rates in the camps of between 5 and 10 percent could
Starting from November, and in line with recent amendments to the Compulsory Automobile Liability Insurance Act (強制汽車責任保險法), electric bicycles (e-bikes) and other small electric two-wheeled vehicles must be licensed with mounted license plates before they can be ridden on the road. This change should resolve some existing problems, such as the difficulty that e-bike owners have faced in receiving help to find their bikes if they are stolen, and the difficulty that road users have in holding anyone accountable when an accident occurs. It would also allow the more than 600,000 e-bikes that are currently being ridden on Taiwan’s roads to