Report remains unconfirmed
The Ministry of National Defense yesterday refused to confirm reports that the military had been instructed to manufacture up to 300 cruise missiles. When contacted by the Taipei Times for comment, officials from the ministry’s spokesman’s office would not confirm whether they had received the order, but said that it was their duty to follow government policy. The comments came in response to a report in yesterday’s Chinese-language China Times that quoted an unnamed military source as saying: “President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has given the order for the production of 300 Hsiung Feng 2E cruise missiles.” However, the paper said it was not clear when the missiles would be put into service. The paper said that Hsiung Feng 2E, which was developed by the military-run Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology, has a range of around 600km. The missile could be launched on land or at sea, the paper said.
Ma ‘working hard’ on envoy
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday that the government was “working hard” to send a high level official to the annual meeting of the APEC forum scheduled to open in Lima, Peru, on Nov. 22. In an interview with CNA on Friday, Ma said that the annual APEC informal leadership meeting is attended by the heads of government of all the member economies except for Taiwan, which faces restrictions because of various factors. Saying that concerted efforts were being made to address this issue, Ma said that the government would soon announce its plans regarding sending an envoy to the APEC meeting. Pressure from China means that Taiwan has had to send a special envoy to represent the president at the annual APEC gathering in past years.
Koo returns from California
China Development Financial Holding Corp president Angelo Koo (辜仲瑩) returned to Taiwan from Los Angeles yesterday ahead of his likely questioning by prosecutors investigating charges of money laundering against the former first family. The Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Panel wants to talk to Koo about US$1 million that was wired from the company to the former first family’s foreign bank accounts. Koo arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 7am. Upon his arrival, customs officers alerted prosecutors, but they decided not to detain him, instead asking him to wait for further notice over questioning. Panel spokesman Chen Yun-nan (陳雲南) said that prosecutors would speak to Koo before the end of the week.
Chen allegations probed
Prosecutors said yesterday they were looking into allegations that former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) removed more than 400 confidential national security documents from government files. Prosecutor Chen Yun-nan (陳雲南), director of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Panel, said the division would seek the assistance of leading national security agencies to investigate the allegations. “The division will not exclude the possibility of assigning the matter to a prosecutor to initiate a probe if the report is found to be true,” Chen Yun-nan said. Chen made the remarks in response to reporters’ questions about a report in yesterday’s Chinese-language China Times that the former president had spirited away 449 national security documents classified as “confidential” while he was in office.
An improvised protective device for use when intubating patients designed by Taiwanese doctor Lai Hsien-yung (賴賢勇) is being adopted in the Philippines to help doctors there stay safe amid the worsening COVID-19 pandemic. “We made this acrylic aerosol box for my sister Dra. Frances Legaspi for Antipolo Doctors Hospital. Credits to Dr Lai Hsien-yung for the concept and design,” Anton Legaspi, whose family owns a business that makes customized designs, said on Facebook on Monday. The hospital is in Antipolo, about 25km east of Manila. Legaspi’s post was accompanied by several photographs of the box and a short demonstration video
Nearly 60 percent of Kaohsiung residents polled said that they would vote to recall Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), think tank Taiwan Brain Trust, which conducted the survey, said yesterday. A petition to recall the mayor is undergoing a second review and if it is passed, a vote is to be held in the latter half of June. Of those polled, 69.7 percent said that they would participate in a vote, while 56 percent said they would still participate if there was a sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 infections. The data showed that, irrespective of the COVID-19 pandemic, Han would likely
FALSE INFORMATION: The report quoted the mother of a British woman quarantined in Taiwan as saying that her daughter and the daughter’s partner are ‘in prison-like conditions’ A BBC report that quotes Britons’ complaints about quarantine conditions they experienced in Taiwan is not true, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday, expressing regret over damage done to the nation’s reputation for competent disease-prevention measures. The BBC report published on Wednesday quoted the mother of a British woman quarantined in Taiwan as saying that her daughter and the daughter’s partner were quarantined on Wednesday last week and are being kept “in prison-like conditions.” “The room is filthy. She has no hot water and nowhere to wash her clothes,” the mother was quoted as saying, without naming the location of
ODD TIMING: Taiwan has called Chinese drills around the Taiwan Strait provocative and urged Beijing to focus on combating COVID-19 rather than harass its neighbor China yesterday accused the US of playing a dangerous game with its support for Taiwan, after a US warship passed through Taiwan Strait. China has been angered by the administration of US President Donald Trump stepping up support for the nation, such as through more arms sales, US patrols near Taiwan and last month’s visit to Washington by former premier and vice president-elect William Lai (賴清德). US Seventh Fleet spokesman Lieutenant Anthony Junco said the guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell conducted “a routine Taiwan Strait transit” on Wednesday, in line with international law. “The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US’ commitment