MND, PLA to meet
Representatives from the Ministry of National Defense (MND) and Chinese military will meet this summer in Hawaii in their first formal exchange in six decades, a newspaper reported yesterday. The report said that the militaries would take part in a workshop on regional security and crisis management under the auspices of the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, a think tank with links to the US Pacific Command. The Taiwanese Defense Ministry would not comment on the report. The Chinese-language United Daily News said other militaries would also participate in the workshop, but it did not say which.
Hundreds of pigs culled
Chiayi City has culled a total of 291 pigs after suspected cases of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) were detected two days ago, a Council of Agriculture official said on Sunday. Staff members from the council旧 Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine spotted several pigs showing symptoms of FMD on Friday during a routine inspection of the Chiayi meat market, the official said. The Chiayi City Government was immediately alerted. It tracked the source of the pigs to a farm in neighboring Chiayi County and prohibited movement of pigs from that farm, the official said. On Saturday, the official said the pigs showing FMD symptoms and other pigs kept in the same enclosure were culled, while the remaining pigs in the farm were vaccinated.
Retired officer accused
A retired officer with 20 years of military service has been accused of leaking documents about war plans and other military secrets to Beijing. The report in the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times� sister paper) said the officer, identified only by his surname Chang, took up residence in China after leaking secrets, including troop deployment plans to be used in the event of a war. It said Chang was afraid to return to Taiwan. A Ministry of National Defense official confirmed that Chang was under investigation but refused to elaborate.
Poultry farmers protest
More than 1,000 poultry farmers rallied in front of the Council of Agriculture (COA) yesterday to protest against a planned ban on slaughtering birds in traditional markets. The protest prompted a COA official to say there would be no turning back in implementing the policy. Huang Kuo-ching (黃國青), deputy director-general of the COA旧 Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine, said that butchering poultry in certified slaughterhouses was a modern trend and added that the government would help domestic fowl farmers face the impact of the new measures once the ban is implemented on April 1 next year. Last March, the Executive Yuan passed a resolution prohibiting the old practice and decided to start the ban after two years. The announcement triggered protests by poultry farmers concerned that their livelihoods would be affected because the new law would require them to have their birds butchered at certified facilities. To minimize the impact on small poultry businesses, the COA has prepared a variety of measures, including low-interest loans to help businesses establish integrated production lines from breeding to final sale, the council said.
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
A US aircraft carrier group led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt has entered the South China Sea to promote “freedom of the seas,” the US military said yesterday, as tensions between China and Taiwan raise concerns in Washington. US Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement that the strike group entered the South China Sea on Saturday, the same day Taiwan reported a large incursion of Chinese bombers and fighter jets into its air defense identification zone near the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Islands, 東沙群島). The US military said the carrier strike group was in the South China Sea, a large part of which
STRATEGIC MISTAKE: Beijing’s deployment of aircraft near Taiwan proves the ‘China threat theory’ that sees it attempting to destabilize the region, an analyst said China on Saturday and yesterday sent a record number of military aircraft into the nation’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), in what analysts said was an attempt to flex its military might for US President Joe Biden. Thirteen Chinese warplanes flew into Taiwan’s southwestern ADIZ on Saturday and 15 entered yesterday, the highest number observed in a single day this year, the Ministry of National Defense said. On Saturday, eight Xian H-6K bombers, four Shenyang J-16 fighters and a Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft, entered the ADIZ, while yesterday there were two Y-8s, two Su-30s, four J-16s, six J-10 fighters and a Y-8 reconnaissance
DISPOSING MYTHS: A new constitution would better reflect reality, as the current one was drafted ‘in and for China,’ without the consent of Taiwanese, advocates said Independence advocates yesterday launched the Taiwan New Constitution Alliance to promote drafting a new, localized constitution. “This is a historic moment for Taiwan. Drafting a new constitution is the most important task Taiwanese face,” veteran independence advocate Koo Kwang-ming (辜寬敏) said at the inaugural event in Taipei. “Although the Democratic Progressive Party is in power, its authority is based on the Republic of China [ROC] Constitution, which has no connection to Taiwan,” said the 95-year-old Koo, a former presidential adviser. “The historic task of drafting a new constitution depends on efforts by all Taiwanese,” Koo said. “A constitution for a sovereign, independent Taiwan