The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) yesterday called for understanding after receiving complaints about its request that a ceremony for a water supply project between Kinmen and China be postponed.
The Kinmen County Government asked the council to reconsider its request, while opposition politicians criticized the move.
The government this week asked the Kinmen County Government to delay the ceremony for the system — which is to deliver water from China’s Fujian Province to Kinmen — after Beijing pushed the East Asian Olympic Committee to strip Taichung of its right to host the East Asian Youth Games.
Beijing has been employing carrot-and-stick tactics to whitewash its attempts to squeeze Taiwan’s space for survival and development, and to undermine its national dignity and interests, the council said.
“On the one hand, it suppresses and belittles us, and on the other hand, it tries to show our people friendly gestures... This is utterly unacceptable,” it said, adding that the unveiling ceremony should be held at a more appropriate time.
Due to Kinmen’s limited water supply, the Executive Yuan in April 2013 approved a plan to allow the island to diversify its water sources, paving the way for a deal between the Straits Exchange Foundation and China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits in June of that year that the Chinese province would provide water to Kinmen.
According to the deal, Kinmen is to maintain its self-sufficiency at 70 percent and will be responsible for filtering and purifying the water provided by China.
Upon completion of the project and trial operations, the Kinmen County Government and Chinese authorities reached an agreement to hold separate unveiling ceremonies on Sunday next week, one in Kinmen and one in China.
However, the MAC stepped in.
“Although it is a good thing for both sides to be working to solve Kinmen’s water problem, Beijing’s increasing suppression of Taiwan in the international arena, most notably the Games incident, has driven up [anti-China] sentiment in society and cast cross-strait relations in a negative light,” MAC Deputy Minister Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) said on Thursday.
Now is not an opportune time to hold the ceremony, Chiu said, urging Kinmen to “look at the big picture.”
Later on Thursday, Kinmen issued a statement asking the central government to reconsider its stance, saying the islands are in urgent need of water from China, because the water in its lakes and reservoirs could only sustain residents for another 118 days.
The council said that even without a ceremony, the system could still become operational as scheduled.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Culture and Communications Committee deputy director-general Hung Meng-kai (洪孟楷) called on the Democratic Progressive Party administration to refrain from punishing Taiwanese for its failure to manage cross-strait ties.
PALAU LAUNCHES: The source said that Taiwanese military personnel traveled to Palau, where a US brigade watched their work amid plans for a defense network The military last month participated in live-fire launches of MM-104F Patriot (PAC-3) missiles under US observation in an undisclosed location in Palau, a step forward in a US-led plan to create a joint defense missile system in the first island chain, a source said on condition of anonymity. The PAC-3 is the mainstay surface-to-air missile of the US, NATO and democratic nations in East Asia, the source said, adding that it has never been live-tested within Taiwan’s borders, the source said. The proximity of Taiwan to China and China’s close surveillance of the nation’s borders and nearby sea zones is a significant
IN MOURNING: Tsai visited the site and spoke with family members of those killed, while all the major presidential candidates said they would temporarily halt campaigning A fire and subsequent explosions at a golf ball factory at Pingtung Technology Industrial Park (屏東科技產業園區) killed at least seven people, including four firefighters, and injured 98, while three were still missing, authorities said yesterday. The blaze at Launch Technologies Co’s (明揚國際) plant on Jingjian Road raged for more than 12 hours after it started at about 5pm on Friday, officials said. The Pingtung County Fire Bureau early yesterday used large excavators to search for missing people, while family members waited at the scene. Pingtung County Fire Bureau Director Hsu Mei-hsueh (許美雪) said the bureau received a call about the fire at 5:31pm
DETERRENCE: The president on Thursday is to launch the first indigenous submarine, which is to enter sea trials next month before being delivered to the navy next year Taiwan hopes to deploy at least two new, domestically developed submarines by 2027, and possibly equip later models with missiles to bolster its deterrence against the Chinese navy and protect key supply lines, the head of the program said. Taiwan has made the Indigenous Submarine Program a key part of an ambitious project to modernize its armed forces as Beijing stages almost daily military exercises. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who initiated the program when she took office in 2016, is expected to launch the first of eight new submarines on Thursday under a plan that has drawn on expertise and technology from
FISHING FUROR: The latest spat was sparked by a floating barrier that was found across the entrance of Scarborough Shoal during a resupply mission to fishers Beijing yesterday warned Manila not to “stir up trouble” after the Philippine Coast Guard said it removed a floating barrier at a disputed reef that was allegedly deployed by China to block Filipino fishers from the area. Scarborough Shoal (Huangyan Island, 黃岩島) in the South China Sea has long been a source of tension between the nations. China seized the ring of reefs from the Philippines in 2012 and has since deployed patrol boats. The latest spat was sparked by a 300m floating barrier that was found across the entrance of the shoal last week during a routine Philippine government resupply mission