Minister of Foreign Affairs Eugene Chien (簡又新) announced yesterday that Taiwan had established diplomatic ties with Kiribati, an island country located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. \nKiribati, a nation consisting of a group of 33 coral atolls, straddles the equator. It becomes Taiwan's 27th diplomatic ally and the first one added since President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) took office. \nThe Kiribati Foreign Ministry made the same announcement earlier than its counterpart here, stating that it will "continue to recognize the government of [the People's Republic of China]" and expressing the hope that its relations with China "will continue to prosper in the future." \nNevertheless, China is expected to cut ties with Kiribati within a fortnight, as it has to several previous allies that opted to also recognize Taiwan, Chien said. \nIn the Pacific, Kiribati joins the Marshall Islands, Palau, Tuvalu and the Solomon Islands in having ties with Taiwan. \nKiribati said it will support international recognition of Taiwan, which is not a member of the UN and many other international organizations because of China's opposition. \nChien said diplomats from Taiwan had been visiting Kiribati in secret since the middle of last year and that the diplomatic achievement was the result of a "long, nervous, tortuous and complicated" negotiating process. \nKiribati provides one of three Chinese space-monitoring stations overseas and played a role in China's first manned space mission. Financial aid from China is a critical supplement to Kiribati's income. \nAccording to Chien's description, an intense tug-of-war between diplomats from Taiwan and China had been running on the arena of tiny Kiribati, with 811km2 of land -- three times the size of Taipei City. \nSome high-ranking Chinese officials were present in Kiribati last week, said Chien, to make last-minute efforts to stop the country from forging diplomatic ties with Taiwan. \nChien refused to give any details of aid packages offered to Kiribati by either China or Taiwan but said that one of the reasons for establishing ties with Taiwan was that China had failed to make good on many of its promises of aid to the island nation. \nChien stressed that Taiwan will cooperate with Kiribati on agriculture, fisheries, health and education. \nAnote Tong, Kiribati's part ethnic-Chinese president, played "a significant role" in establishing the diplomatic ties with Taiwan, Chien said. \nChien said his first talks with Tong, which were conducted outside Taiwan, were very pleasant, and he praised the London School of Economics and Political Science graduate's views on international relations. \nTong and Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Tou Chou-seng (杜筑生) held talks over the past week that led to an agreement, Kiribati's Foreign Ministry said. \nTaiwan's embassy officially opened in Tarawa, the capital of Kiribati, yesterday. \nPresident Chen and Premier Yu Shyi-kun have been aware of the progress of negotiations with Kiribati, said Chien. \nChen, who just returned from a trip to the US and Panama on Thursday, lauded the ministry's performance, Chien said. \nReporters asked Chien whether the government intended to boost Chen's diplomatic credits by choosing to announce the new ties with Kiribati one day after Chen returned from his foreign trip. \nChien denied the timing of the announcement had anything to do with next March's presidential election. \nTarawa is about one-half of the way from Hawaii to Australia. Its islands were granted self-rule by the UK in 1971 and the country completed independence in 1979. It is a member of the Commonwealth. \nHome to a population less than 100,000, Kiribati's ethnic groups are predominantly Micronesian with some Polynesians. Kiribati has few natural resources. Tourism provides more than one-fifth of its GDP.
SOURED RELATIONS: Program director Jennifer Liu said the move to Taipei was due to a ‘perceived lack of friendliness’ from Beijing Language and Culture University Harvard University is to relocate its summer Mandarin program from Beijing to National Taiwan University (NTU) starting next year, a student publication reported on Thursday last week. Run at Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU) since 2004, the Harvard Beijing Academy is to become the Harvard Taipei Academy once it moves to Taiwan, Crimson magazine reported. Program director Jennifer Liu (劉力嘉) attributed the decision to a “perceived lack of friendliness” from the Chinese university, potentially due to shifting political winds. Liu told the magazine that BLCU in recent years had failed to provide a single dorm for the students or separate accommodation of
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday issued a rebuttal to former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, who said a fistfight in the Legislative Yuan might have been “provoked from the outside” to destabilize Taiwan. Rice made the comment in an online discussion about the AUKUS alliance of Australia, the UK and the US hosted by the Policy Exchange forum in London on Thursday. On mention of Taiwan, she was quoted by The Australian as predicting that Beijing would use paramilitary forces and acts of sabotage to destabilize the nation. “There was a fistfight in the Taiwanese parliament a few weeks ago
ADVANCING TECH: With revenue on target to reach US$15.4 billion, the Hsinchu-based chipmaker said it is looking to produce 3-nanometer chips later this year Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday announced plans to build a new plant in Japan next year to produce 22-nanometer and 28-nanometer chips in its latest effort to expand its global manufacturing footprint. The Japanese fab is to start operations in 2024, the world’s biggest contract chipmaker said, ending months of speculation. “We have received strong commitment to supporting this project from our customers and the Japanese government,” TSMC chief executive officer C.C. Wei (魏哲家) told a quarterly investors’ conference. “We believe the expansion of our global manufacturing footprint will enable us to better serve our customers’ needs and reach global talent,
KNOWN ISSUES: Fire safety issues were found in the 40-year-old building, which previously housed a theater and restaurants, in 2019, last year and May, an official said Forty-six people died and 41 were injured in a building fire that raged out of control for hours overnight in Kaohsiung, authorities said yesterday. Flames and smoke billowed from the lower floors of the 13-story Cheng Chung Cheng (城中城) building on Fubei Road in Yancheng District (鹽埕), as firefighters tried to douse the blaze from the street and aerial platforms. The death toll rose steadily through the day as rescue workers searched the combined commercial and residential building. By late afternoon, authorities said 32 bodies had been found, while a further 14 people who showed no signs of life were among 55