■ Diplomacy Singapore ties strong: MND \n \nMinister of National Defense Lee Jye (李傑) yesterday expressed the hope that military cooperation between Taiwan and Singapore will continue despite a recent diplomatic row. Taiwan has for years helped Singapore train its soldiers under the "Starlight Project." Although Lee declined to comment on the row triggered by Minister of Foreign Affairs Mark Chen (陳唐山), he said he hopes "Singapore will not be influenced" in future cooperation regarding the "Starlight Project." Chen on Monday called Singapore a nation "no bigger than a piece of snot" and criticized the authorities of the city-state of "holding China's balls" after Singaporean Foreign Minister George Yeo (楊榮文) had spoken out against campaigns seeking membership for Taiwan at the UN. "Holding another's testicles" is a euphemism in Taiwan meaning to curry favor with someone. \n \n■ Health \nHepatitis carriers defended \n \nIn an effort to protect hepatitis B carriers' right to work, Taipei City's Bureau of Health will fine the Civil Aeronautics Administration if the agency fails to lift a measure that prohibits the hiring of hepatitis B virus carriers. The administration is recruiting 137 firefighters for the country's airports. Over 600 applicants are scheduled to take written and physical tests in the middle of this month. However, those applicants diagnosed with hepatitis B during a health check will be disqualified. "Hepatitis B is transmitted only through blood transfusion and sexual contact," said Shih Wen-yi (施文儀), deputy director-general of the Center for Disease Control. "Hepatitis B virus carriers pose no danger in a working environment." According to Article 12 of the Communicable Disease Prevention Law (傳染病 防治法), the bureau can fine the administration up to NT$150,000 if it fails to cancel the regulation within 15 days. \n \n■ Society \n`English corner' set up \n \nThe group Core & Corner yesterday introduced a new way of English learning by holding topical meetings at coffee shops, restaurants and corporate cafeterias. The program, known as English corner, aims to bring people together to practice their English by meeting with native English speakers. Taiwanese nationals who speak fluent English as well as those who wish to perfect their English-speaking skills are encouraged to join in. Practice sessions will be broken down by topics such as wine-tasting, gourmet cooking and scuba diving. \n \n■ Diplomacy \nGambians start classes \n \nTaiwan is helping the Gambia train specialists in crude oil exploration and other areas of the petroleum industry by offering university courses to 25 Gambian citizens. A ceremony marking the beginning of the first semester of the Gambian Petroleum Class at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology's department of materials and resources engineering was held on campus yesterday. Addressing the ceremony, Chang Pei-chi (張北齊), director-general of the foreign ministry's African Affairs Department, said that the Gambian government attaches great importance to the students receiving an education in Taiwan. Gambian Vice President Isatou Njie-Saidy met with the students at a reception prior to their recent departure for Taiwan, Chang said. Ministry officials said the students were in a scholarship program set up last month to promote international exchanges.
A series of discussions on the legacy of martial law and authoritarianism are to be held at the Taipei International Book Exhibition this month, featuring findings and analysis by the Transitional Justice Commission. The commission and publisher Book Republic organized the series, entitled “Escaping the Nation’s Labyrinth of Memory: What Authoritarian Symbols and Records Can Tell Us,” to help people navigate narratives through textual analysis and comparisons with other nations. The four-day series is to begin on Thursday next week with a discussion between commission Chairwoman Yang Tsui (楊翠), Polish-language translator Lin Wei-yun (林蔚昀), and Polish author and artist Pawel Gorecki comparing
‘EFFECTIVE DETERRENCE’: If the Biden administration suspends arms sales to Taiwan, the military could still ready a nimble fighting force for defense, an analyst said The “US Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific” last week sparked debate among analysts after US President Donald Trump declassified the document 20 years ahead of schedule. Trump on Tuesday last week released the document that had governed US strategic action in the region since the US leader approved its use in 2018. The document, which outlines US priorities in the region, emphasizes the importance of defending Taiwan against military aggression and facilitating the country’s development of asymmetric strategies and capabilities. The overall directive of the document is for the US to prevent China from establishing sustained air and sea dominance inside the first
MOVING OUT: A former professor said that rent and early education costs in Taipei are the nation’s highest, which makes it difficult for young people to start families The population of Taipei last year fell to the lowest in 23 years due to high rent, more transportation options and the expansion of northern cities into a single metropolis, academics and city officials said on Monday. Data released this month by the Ministry of the Interior showed that the capital was home to 2,602,418 people last year, down 42,623 from 2019. The decline is second only to 1993, when the population fell by 42,828 people, while Taipei’s population was the lowest it has been since 1997. Taipei saw the biggest drop among the six special municipalities, while Taoyuan led the group in
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT: A US Air Force KC-135 tanker came less than 1,000 feet of an EVA plane and was warned off by a Taipei air traffic controller, a report said A US aerial refueling aircraft came very close to an EVA Airways jet in the airspace over southern Taiwan, a military aviation news Web site said. A report published by Alert 5 on Tuesday said that automatic dependent surveillance–broadcast (ADS-B) data captured by planfinder.net on Wednesday last week showed a US Air Force KC-135 tanker “coming less than 1,000 feet [305m] vertically with EVA Air flight BR225 as both aircraft crossed path south of Taiwan” that morning. The report included an audio recording of a female controller from the Taipei air traffic control center telling the unidentified aircraft that it was