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.
A video allegedly featuring retired general Kao An-kuo (高安國) calling on Taiwanese military officers to surrender to China and overthrow the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government has sparked outrage and calls for him to be charged with treason. The video, titled “A message to Taiwanese military officers,” allegedly shows Kao saying: “I call on commanding officers of our military troops to stand up for Chinese nationalism, to take up this duty under heaven’s mandate to save Taiwanese from oppression and terrible suffering.” Dressed in military fatigues and a beret, the lieutenant general called on officers to overthrow the “fraudulent DPP regime,”
‘NOT IMPOSSIBLE’: Acceptance to the UN would end the nation’s troubles, but it would be impossible to achieve without US backing, Legislative Speaker You Si-kun said The US might recognize Taiwan if war breaks out in the Taiwan Strait, Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃) said yesterday while discussing politics with former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). Speaking on Chen’s program on Smile Radio, You reminisced about his agrarian childhood, studies, the founding of the Democratic Progressive Party in 1986 and his eight years as Yilan County commissioner. Chen’s appointment of You as premier in February 2002 marked several firsts, as he was Taiwan’s youngest premier, as well as the first from a farming background and first democratically elected county leader to hold the office. Asked to share his views on
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday rejected the claim Beijing has been making about Taiwan’s status, while thanking US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman for raising concerns about Taiwan during her meeting with Chinese officials. Sherman met with Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) on a visit to Tianjin on Sunday and Monday, with Wang urging Washington not to infringe on China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Taiwan is part of China, a fundamental fact that would never change, and China has the right to take any action needed to restrain Taiwanese independence, Wang said, urging Washington to abide
A solo exhibition by Taiwanese artist Lee Kuang-yu (李光裕) at Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay has generated considerable attention since its opening last year, including from Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (李顯龍). Since the COVID-19 pandemic closed borders early last year, domestic tourism in Singapore has soared at destinations such as the popular Gardens by the Bay, a nature park in the city-state’s Central Region. Since the venue’s reopening in August last year, “A Sculptor’s Secret Garden,” a solo exhibition of Lee Kuang-yu’s work curated by Tan Hwee Koon (陳慧君), has been been especially popular. Originally scheduled to close today, the show