Minister of Foreign Affairs Mark Chen (陳唐山) yesterday blasted Singapore Foreign Minister George Yeo (楊榮文) for telling the UN that actions by Taiwan's independence groups could lead to war with China. \n"Singapore holds China's lan pa (卵葩, LP) with its hands, if I may use these ugly words," a fuming Chen said. \nIn the Hoklo language (also known as Taiwanese), lan pa means "testicles"; saying that someone holds another's lan pa means that he is fawning over that person. \nChen was speaking during a meeting with a pro-independence group which had requested that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs change the name of Taiwan's representative office in Japan to better express Taiwan's sovereignty. \nChen lamented Taiwan's status in the international community, saying "even a tiny garden country like Singapore, which only has 3 million people, can criticize us." \n"Singapore is a country only as big as a piece of snot," he added. \nThe minister, who returned from the US yesterday, was clearly irritated by Yeo's speech in the 59th session of the UN General Assembly in New York last Friday. \nYeo told the General Assembly that "the push towards independence by certain groups in Taiwan is most dangerous because it will lead to war with mainland China and drag in other countries ... At stake is the stability of the entire Asia-Pacific region." \nTaiwan's 12th bid to join the UN failed earlier this month. \nQuoting Yeo's statement to the pro-independence group yesterday, Chen said people in Taiwan need to persevere if they want to survive. \n"Where is justice in the world? This world has no justice," Chen said. "When [Singaporean Prime Minister] Lee Hsien Loong (李顯龍) visited us two months ago, we treated him very well. He came under tremendous pressure [from China] after the trip." \nChina's pressure influenced Singapore to make the speech in the UN, but "Yeo's remarks went too far," the minister complained. \nBut Chen said Yeo had done at least one good thing by delivering the UN speech. \n"Yeo mentioned that some people in Taiwan want independence," Chen said. "Many countries probably didn't know there are people in Taiwan desiring independence before Yeo talked about it." \nThanks to Yeo's statement, these countries would now "realize our ambition" to achieve independence, he said. \nThe independence group had appealed to Chen to change the name of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Japan by replacing the word "Taipei" with "Taiwan." The group said the name downgraded the country's status as a state. It asked the ministry to negotiate with the Japanese government about the name change as soon as possible. \n"I think the group made the right appeal," Chen said. "Many of us are not clear what our national title is. Even I, as foreign minister, often forget the names of our overseas representative offices. This is ridiculous." \nChen was referring to the various names Taiwan's overseas representative offices have been forced to adopt to prevent political pressure from China being applied on those countries. \nMeanwhile, the minister also said that the arrest of Donald Keyser, the former US deputy assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific affairs, would not affect Taipei-Washington relations. Chen stressed that Taiwan wanted to maintain good ties with the US. \n"Taiwan has no reason to steal classified information from the US," he said.
A debt dispute between a restaurant owner and a criminal ring might be behind a bizarre cockroach attack at the Taipei eatery on Monday night while it was hosting a police gathering, Taipei Police Commissioner Chen Jia-chang (陳嘉昌) said yesterday. Preliminary findings of a police investigation into the case at the G House Taipei suggest that the unusual incident might have been directed at the restaurant’s owner, who allegedly owes money to the Bamboo Union, Chen said. The suspects were Bamboo Union members and there was no evidence indicating that the cockroaches were targeted at the police officers at the restaurant, he
Taiwan’s armed forces should closely monitor China’s development of a new tanker aircraft, as it would significantly boost the Chinese air force’s capability to carry out long-range raids, a military expert said on Wednesday. Ou Si-fu (歐錫富), a research fellow at the Institute for National Defense and Security Research, said in an online article that China is developing a tanker variant of its Y-20 military transport aircraft, known as the Y-20U. The Y-20 has a maximum take-off weight of 220 tonnes and the tanker variant is expected to carry up to 60 tonnes of fuel, more than three times the maximum
QUARANTINE BLUNDER: The government should be responsible for a cluster infection at a hotel, as the cases have caused panic, DPP Legislator Chen Ming-wen said The Ministry of Transportation and Communications should make it mandatory for pilots and flight attendants, as well as their family members, to be vaccinated in view of a cluster of COVID-19 cases at the Novotel Taipei Taoyuan International Airport hotel, lawmakers said at a meeting of the legislature’s Transportation Committee yesterday. The cluster infection at the hotel had led to 28 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday, including hotel workers, as well as China Airlines flight and cabin crew, and their family members. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday tightened quarantine requirements for pilots and flight attendants, who must quarantine
TRAVELING WHILE CONTAGIOUS: The highest risk of infection is indoors, especially in settings where people take off their masks to eat and drink, an expert warned The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday posted a list of places visited by people who were recently diagnosed with COVID-19 while they were likely contagious, urging people who visited the sites at the same time to practice self-health management. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that confirmed case No. 1,129 — a woman in her 60s who works at Novotel Taipei Taoyuan International Airport, a designated quarantine facility, and tested positive on Friday — visited Chiayi between Friday last week and Monday. On the first day of her trip, she visited the Big Chiayi