Team heads to Honduras
After a month-long search for three representatives to be sent to Honduras to inspect projects in the region, the International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) yesterday announced that Kung Kuo-wei (宮國威), a teacher familiar with Latin American affairs, Lin Shih-yin (林詩音), an employee at Taiwan Fertilization Co and Wu Chia-yin (吳佳音), a media representative, had been chosen out of 149 applicants. The group, headed by author Wu Dan-ru (吳淡如), left on a 10-day trip to Honduras yesterday. ICDF secretary-general Chen Cheng-chung (陳正忠) said that this marked the first time for a civic group to assess an ICDF project. Chen hoped that through the group's trip, the public would understand the importance of development assistance abroad.
Officials warn on smuggling
Quarantine officials warned the public yesterday not to smuggle animals and plants from China into Taiwan and urged people to refuse to purchase a product if its origin cannot be determined, as reinforced measures were taken to prevent infectious diseases from being brought into the country. The Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine under the Council of Agriculture recently killed 20 dogs smuggled from China in an effort to prevent rabies from entering Taiwan, bureau officials said. Rabies is endemic in China but Taiwan is rabies-free. According to bureau statistics, a total of 96 dogs smuggled from China had been seized up to the end of this month. The bureau also called on people to inform officials of animal and plant smuggling activity by calling a telephone hot line at 0800-039-131.
Official proposes exchange
Chinese National Tourism Administration Director Shao Qiwei (邵琪偉) yesterday proposed that Taipei's National Palace Museum enhance its exchanges with Beijing's Palace Museum to attract more Chinese tourists. Shao, who arrived in Taiwan the day earlier as the head of a 66-member delegation, made the proposal during a visit to the National Palace Museum, where a wealth of precious Chinese antiquities are displayed. Shao later visited Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall and the holiday flower market in Taipei, located under the Chienkuo overpass. Shao was invited by the Taiwan Visitors Association to visit Taiwan in his capacity as president of the Chinese National Travel Association. Beijing announced earlier this year that it will allow more Chinese tourists to visit Taiwan and it is widely believed that Shao's visit is aimed at paving the way for this policy.
Train tests to 300kph
A test train on the high-speed railway achieved 300kph, the highest test speed so far, over a distance of around 25km yesterday, the Taiwan High-Speed Rail Corp (THSRC) announced in a press release yesterday. The test took place on the Kueijen (歸仁) village section of the railway in Tainan County. THSRC officials said the tests are done mainly to check the trains' acceleration and braking systems, and their integration with the track, machinery and electronics system. When the new 345km railway is inaugurated, a trip from Taipei to Kaohsiung will take less than 90 minutes. The high-speed railway will form the backbone of western Taiwan's transport network and will connect eight metropolitan areas between the nation's two largest cities.
The coast guard on Friday took a Chinese fishing boat and the 17 people on board into custody, after it rammed into a patrol boat while attempting to flee. A 100-tonne coast guard vessel at about 8am discovered a Chinese fishing boat illegally operating in waters about 11 nautical miles (20.4km) northwest of Hsinchu, the Hsinchu offshore flotilla of the Coast Guard Administration said. The crew refused to allow law enforcement to board the ship and attempted to flee, it added. The coast guard vessel and another ship chased the fishing boat for about a half hour, during which time the Chinese boat
Vice President William Lai (賴清德) yesterday said that Beijing was trying to “annex” Taiwan, while China said its recent series of drills near Taiwan are aimed at combating the “arrogance” of separatist forces. The Ministry of National Defense earlier this month said that it had observed dozens of Chinese fighters, drones, bombers and other aircraft, as well as warships and the Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong, operating nearby. The increased frequency of China’s military activities has raised the risk of events “getting out of hand” and sparking an accidental clash, Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) said last week. Asked about the spurt
China’s Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong has asked foreign consulates in Hong Kong to submit details of their local staff, which is more proof that the “one country, two systems” model no longer exists, a Taiwanese academic said. The office sent letters dated Monday last week to consulates in the territory, giving them one month to submit the information it requires. The move followed Beijing’s attempt to obtain floor plans for all properties used by foreign missions in Hong Kong last year, which raised concerns among diplomats that the information could be used for
‘ABNORMITY’: News of the military exercises on the coast of the Chinese province facing Taiwan were made public by the Ministry of National Defense on Thursday Taiwan’s military yesterday said it has detected the Chinese military initiating a round of exercises at a bay area in coastal Fujian Province, which faces Taiwan, since early yesterday morning and it has been closely monitoring the drills. The exercises being conducted at Fujian’s Dacheng Bay featured an undisclosed number of People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) warplanes, warships and ground troops, the Ministry of National Defense said in a press statement. The ministry did not disclose what kind of military exercises are being conducted there and for how long they would be happening, but it did say that it has been closely watching