India seeks Chinese teachers
India plans to recruit up to 10,000 teachers from Taiwan to meet growing demand for Chinese language classes, the Ministry of Education said yesterday. Indian Minister of Human Resources Kapil Sibal made the proposal during a meeting with Minister of Education Wu Ching-ji (吳清基) in India last week, an education official said. Sibal said there was a strong demand for Chinese teachers, as about 10,000 Indian high schools currently offer Chinese classes, or plan to do so, the official added. Taipei will set up a taskforce to train India-bound teachers and hold more talks with New Delhi on the teaching program before the end of this year, she said. India’s Education Ministry could not be immediately reached for comment. Taiwan has previously supplied Chinese language teachers to France, the US and Vietnam, the education ministry said.
Food security meeting held
A conference aimed at developing solutions to the nation’s “food deficit” and new approaches to food security opened yesterday in Taipei. The two-day “National Food Security Conference” brought together nearly 100 experts and professionals from the private and public sectors and academia, to discuss how to respond to what has become a global challenge. Borrowing a phrase coined by Josette Sheeran from the World Food Programme, Deputy Premier Sean Chen (陳?) opened the conference by comparing the food crisis to a “silent tsunami.” Chen said the government was taking the issue very seriously, promising to study opinions and proposals offered at the conference. Organized by the Council of Agriculture, the conference will focus on five main issues, including increasing domestic production, boosting international investment and cooperation, risk management and providing a safe and stable supply of water for irrigation.
Temperatures reach 35.5oC
The Central Weather Bureau yesterday reported that the temperature in Taipei hit 35.5oC yesterday, the highest temperature recorded so far this year, and follows Monday’s high of 35.1oC. Meanwhile, the circumfluence of Tropical Storm Aere mainly affected Hualien, Taitung and the Hengchun Peninsula, increasing the chances of rain in those areas, the bureau said. Conditions on the west coast were relatively stable because of descending air currents. The bureau also lifted its sea warning at 5:30pm as the storm moved away from Taiwan. Temperatures on the west coast were expected to drop as well, it said.
Sand theft sentence upheld
The High Court’s Greater Tainan branch office overturned a not-guilty verdict in a sand-stealing case against city councilor Wu Chien-pao (吳健保) yesterday, ruling that he must serve a three-and-a-half-year prison sentence. Wu and former city councilor Lee Chuan-fu (李全富) were charged with the illegal removal of sand from the Tsengwen River (曾文溪) after using questionable methods to win a contract to dredge the river in 2004. Wu and 25 others were indicted in August 2004 on charges of bribing officials, breaking government procurement laws and colluding to steal public assets. In August 2008, the Tainan District Court found Wu not guilty of the charges, but sentenced Lee to two years, a sentence that was later commuted to one year.
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