Chiu Yi found innocent
Taipei District Court yesterday found Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅) not guilty in a slander suit filed by former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷). Former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) told a court hearing in February last year that former Bureau of Investigation director-general Yeh Sheng-mao (葉盛茂) told him that Hsieh wired NT$1billion (US$30 million) to Singapore through his family. Asked to comment on the remark, Chiu told reporters that Hsieh wired the fund overseas through his wife’s family, and that it must have been dirty money. The district court ruled that Chiu’s remark was related to corruption and money laundering, which were hot issues at the time and they could be discussed in public, so it found Chiu not guilty. Hsieh can appeal the ruling to the Taiwan High Court.
Ministry wants more babies
The Ministry of the Interior is offering NT$1 million (US$31,000) for a catchy slogan to help boost the nation’s dwindling birth rate, one of the world’s lowest. “We are seeking a creative slogan that would appeal to the public and make everybody want to have children,” an interior ministry statement said. Authorities have offered various incentives in an unsuccessful bid to boost birth rates amid growing concern that a severe manpower shortage will trigger social and economic problems. The birth rate stood at 8.29 births per 1,000 people last year, the ministry said. That compares with a global average of more than 20 births per 1,000 people, according to UN statistics.
Runways to be lengthened
The runways at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport will be lengthened to allow for the landing of the Airbus A380 and other big aircraft, the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) said on Monday. The CEPD approved the project submitted by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications to remodel facilities at the airport in line with an ambitious “Taoyuan Aerotropolis” plan. The Taoyuan Aerotropolis plan — set to be completed in 2020 — involves the expansion of existing airport terminals, the establishment of an aerospace industrial park and special zones for cargo, passenger and logistics services. Under the project, scheduled to be completed by mid-2014 at a cost of NT$10.7 billion (US$310 million), the length of runways and taxiways will be extended to allow for the landing of big planes, including Airbus 380s, the CEPD said.
More missiles in China
Andrei Pinkov, of the Toronto-based Kanwa Asian Defence Monthly, has said S300PMU2 long-range surface-to-air missiles have been deployed at Longtian military airport in China’s Fujian Province. Pinkov said satellite images show that eight launch vehicles for the Russian-model S300PMU2 missiles, which have a range of 200km, are now stationed at the Longtian base. The base also has S300PMU1 missiles that are launched from vehicles made in Belarus and have a range of 150km. The S300PMU2 rockets are guided by 30N6E2 radars that can simultaneously track 100 targets within a 350km range. Also available are 64N6E2 search radars that can seek out 300 airborne targets at the same time, within a range of 300km. The system can guide 72 missiles to attack 36 airborne targets, with a system reaction time of between seven and 11 seconds, the report said.
‘HIDDEN GEM’: The city earned plaudits for its low crime rate, world-class healthcare system, cheap cost of living and easy public transportation Taipei has been named the 10th best city in the world for quality of living in an annual survey by the editors of Monocle, a UK-based global affairs and lifestyle magazine. The survey, which is to be published in the magazine’s July/August issue, selected the world’s top 25 cities based on factors including cost of living, retail, hospitality, culture and access to green spaces, as well as feedback from Monocle correspondents. Taipei’s 10th place finish was one place down from a year earlier. The survey ranked Copenhagen as the world’s best city, with Zurich, Lisbon, Helsinki and Stockholm rounding out the top five.
GLOBAL STRATEGY: Indo-Pacific alliances need reinforcement to prevent Chinese occupation of Taiwan, which would threaten Japan, Hawaii and Australia, Pompeo said The US should officially recognize Taiwan as a free, independent nation and establish official diplomatic ties, former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo told an event at the Hudson Institute in Washington on Friday. Every US president since Harry Truman has considered Taiwan’s existence to be of utmost importance to US national security, Pompeo said. Taiwan is a principal US partner in technology and economic matters, and if China were to capture Taiwan’s semiconductor supply chain, it would severely hamper the US economy, Pompeo said. Should China occupy Taiwan, it would severely weaken US influence in the Indo-Pacific region and its surrounding areas,
NO COMORBIDITIES: The girl died of encephalitis, the sixth COVID-19-related death of the disease this year and 19th death of a child from the virus, the center said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 52,213 new domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases and 171 deaths from the virus, including a four-year-old girl, who had been diagnosed with encephalitis, and a 19-year-old man, who had underlying health conditions. “The caseloads are usually higher on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but they [yesterday] fell 7.3 percent from the day before,” Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said. Chuang, who is the CECC’s spokesman, said that most cities and counties reported a drop in new cases, and the CECC expects fewer than 50,000 new cases today. The center said that 150 of
LIMIT: The CECC has capped the number of weekly arrivals to 25,000, which critics said has limited the number of available flights and caused ticket prices to soar The government is not likely to raise the cap on the number of inbound travelers before the end of this month, despite the apparent effect on the number of inbound flights, Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Wednesday last week eased quarantine rules for inbound travelers, who must undergo three days of home quarantine upon arrival and spend another four days in self-initiated disease prevention. It also capped the number of inbound travelers to 25,000 per week. The weekly limit has drawn criticism that it has limited the number of flights