Critics accused Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) of being oblivious to national security concerns after he proposed constructing a bridge to link Kinmen and China’s Xiamen (廈門).
Ko, who is also the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) chairman, made the proposal when presiding over the opening ceremony of the party’s office in Kinmen on Saturday.
He said the bridge could solve Kinmen’s population, electricity and garbage problems, as well as serve as a shortcut for leaving or entering Taiwan without traveling via Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport).
Photo: Taipei Times
He also proposed building a hospital in Kinmen to attract people who are seeking medical treatment in Taiwan.
“Try it first and deal with the problems if they occur,” he said in response to national security concerns.
Independent Taipei City Councilor Lin Ying-meng (林穎孟) accused Ko of speaking for China, which she said falsely claimed the Taiwan Strait as “China’s inner sea” on Thursday.
Ko’s idea could pose “serious threats to Taiwan regarding diplomacy and national security,” Lin said.
A national security official who wished to remain anonymous asked whether Ko’s proposal was made rashly without considering national security or was catering to Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平).
Kinmen would be completely subject to China if a bridge were built, as the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) could occupy Kinmen and put Taiwan in danger of being annexed, they said.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Mei-hui (王美惠) denounced the proposal as “giving Kinmen away to China,” while DPP Legislator Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) asked: “Why does Ko want to risk everything by building a bridge to open up for an invasion by the PLA ?”
Cross-Strait Policy Association secretary-general Wang Chih-sheng (王智盛) said that Ko’s proposal was either ignorant or oblivious to national security issues, which showed that the TPP lacks a central idea regarding Taiwan’s value.
“If a war breaks out, the PLA could quickly advance into Kinmen, which is the first target, before China’s full military assault against Taiwan... Ko is offering the ‘Trojan Horse’ scheme for China to take over Kinmen,” Taiwan Statebuilding Party spokesman Chang Po-yang (張博洋) said.
Ko yesterday said the proposed bridge could benefit economic cooperation between Kinmen and Taiwan proper, as it would eliminate the need for Taiwan Power Co (台電) to allocate an annual subsidy of NT$2 billion (US$67.25 million) to transport fuel to Kinmen for power generation, adding that buying electricity from Xiamen could save NT$15 per kilowatt-hour.
The bridge could further facilitate the “small three links,” which President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) touted when she headed the Mainland Affairs Council, he said.
The comment that a bridge would allow the PLA to easily launch an attack shows “a lack of backbone,” Ko said.
“Why haven’t they thought of it the other way around — that it would be easier for Taiwan’s military to reconquer mainland China?” he said.
Additional reporting by Jason Pan
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: China might impose a blockade, conduct limited force operations, use an air and missile campaign, or resort to an invasion, the report said The US Department of Defense has identified four possible military courses of action that China could take against Taiwan, but did not offer any guess on when Beijing might be ready to act. In an annual report to the US Congress released on Tuesday titled Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2022, the department gave a broad overview of China’s military capabilities, strategy, ambitions and intentions. The report devoted significant space to developments related to Taiwan, against which it said China had intensified diplomatic, economic, political and military pressure last year. For example, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA)
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) is planning to offer advanced 4-nanometer chips when its new US$12 billion plant in Arizona opens in 2024, an upgrade from its previous public statements, after US customers such as Apple Inc pushed the company to do so, according to people familiar with the matter. TSMC is expected to announce the new plan when US President Joe Biden and US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo visit the facility near Phoenix for a ceremony on Tuesday next week, the people said. The TSMC plant had been slated to make 5-nanometer semiconductors, a standard that would be far
Taipei on Friday rejected Hanoi’s characterization of its recent live-fire drill near Itu Aba Island (Taiping Island, 太平島) as “illegal,” saying that Taiwan’s claim to the small island in the South China Sea was “unquestionable.” The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said in a statement that the comments made by its Vietnamese counterpart about the military’s routine live-fire drills near Itu Aba on Tuesday were “unacceptable.” Earlier on Friday, Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang called Taiwan’s military activity “a serious violation of Vietnam’s territorial sovereignty,” saying it had caused tensions and complicated the situation in the region. Hang
Chinese universities sent students home and police fanned out in Beijing and Shanghai to prevent more protests yesterday after crowds angered by severe anti-virus restrictions called for Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) to resign in the biggest show of public dissent in decades. Authorities have eased some controls after demonstrations in at least eight mainland cities and Hong Kong — but showed no sign of backing off their larger “zero COVID” strategy that has confined millions of people to their homes for months at a time. Security forces have detained an unknown number of people and stepped up surveillance. With police out