US official’s trip canceled
A US Department of State official has canceled a visit to Taiwan due to personal reasons, the Presidential Office said yesterday. David Balton, deputy assistant secretary for oceans and fisheries in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, was invited to visit by the Council of Agriculture.
Hualien hit by 4.7 quake
A magnitude 4.7 earthquake jolted Hualien County early yesterday, but there were no reports of casualties, according to the Central Weather Bureau. The quake hit at 6:56am, with the epicenter located in Shoufeng Township (壽豐), about 15.2km southwest of the Hualien County Government building at a depth of 22.2km, the bureau said. The strongest tremor was felt in the county’s Tungmen area (銅門), according to the bureau. Seismologists said more time was needed to determine whether the temblor has anything to do with the 6.3 earthquake that rocked the county’s Rueisuei Township (瑞穗) on Thursday last week.
European film fest opens
The ninth annual Taiwan European Film Festival will open on Friday, offering free viewing of 16 European films over a one-month period. The festival will be hosted by the European Economic and Trade Office (EETO) from Friday through Dec. 8, with the aim of introducing the EU’s cultures, arts and languages, the EETO said on the Web site for the event. The 16 films were recommended by 16 members of the EU, the organizers said, the highest number of films since the festival was launched in Taiwan in 2005. The films will be shown in 477 sessions at 36 venues in 14 counties and cities around the nation, according to the organizers.
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