A system to supply water to Kinmen from China’s Fujian Province is to begin operations today with two simultaneous ceremonies, following a national security official’s remarks yesterday that China is trying to split Taiwanese apart using carrot-and-stick tactics.
The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) late last month asked the Kinmen County Government to delay its ceremony after Beijing pressured the East Asian Olympic Committee into revoking Taichung’s right to host the first East Asian Youth Games next year.
The county government decided to hold the ceremony as scheduled, but said that it would tone down the event’s political effects by downgrading it to a “ritual.”
While the central government does not plan to send any officials to the event, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office Minister Liu Jieyi (劉結一) is reportedly planning to attend the counterpart ceremony in Fujian’s Jinjiang, along with nearly 100 members of the Chinese media.
“Who needs a ceremony? Who needs propaganda? The answers to those questions are obvious,” a national security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity, adding that China surely timed the ceremony to fit in with its strategy to restrict Taiwan’s international space.
The ceremony is a good opportunity for Beijing to extend its goodwill to Taiwanese after it stripped Taichung of the right to host the Games, the official said.
Raising concern about Kinmen’s increasing reliance on China, the official suggested that more national security measures be implemented in the county.
Separately, the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Water Resources Agency said in a statement on Friday that the water supply system is a commercial arrangement between Kinmen and Jinjiang, and that staging a ceremony would not affect its operations.
The project was approved by the Executive Yuan in 2014, the agency said, adding that its underwater pipelines cost NT$1.35 billion (US$43.97 million), 85 percent of which was provided by the central government, while the county government paid for the remainder.
The contract between Kinmen County Waterworks and Fujian Water Supply Co stipulates that the county would purchase water at NT$9.86 per cubic meter, but it does not say anything about a ceremony, the agency said.
The council said that it shares the same stance as the county government regarding the water supply system, but it cannot accept Beijing’s “united front” tactics to split Taiwanese party.
To defend the nation’s interests and dignity, the county government should still postpone the ceremony, given that it is not directly related to the water supply, it added.
A domestically developed “suicide drone,” also known as a loitering munition, would be tested and evaluated in July, and could enter mass production next year, Taiwan’s weapons developer said on Wednesday. The yet-to-be-named drone was among nine drone models unveiled by the National Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) on Tuesday. The drone has been dubbed the “Taiwanese switchblade” by Chinese-language media, due to its similarity to the US-made AeroVironment Switchblade 300, which has been used by Ukraine in counterattacks during Russia’s invasion. It has a range of more than 10km, a flight time of more than 15 minutes, and an electro-optical
WORKING UP AN APPETITE: Sales at the Rueifong Night Market surged 20 to 30 percent, while seats at Liouhe Night Market were packed until 1am, market officials said South Korean pop band Blackpink’s concerts over the weekend in Kaohsiung helped draw large crowds to local night markets, the Kaohsiung City Government said yesterday. The two concerts on Saturday and Sunday at Kaohsiung National Stadium drew more than 90,000 people. The city government offered NT$50 vouchers to spend locally to concertgoers who showed their ticket stubs. Liouhe Night Market (六合夜市) management committee head Chuang Chi-chang (莊其章) said that crowds over the weekend surged at about 10pm and the market remained packed until 1:30am. “Almost all the seats were filled,” Chuang said. Night market stall owners had stocked up in expectation of an increased number
OFFLINE: People who do not wish to register can get the money from select ATMs using their bank card, ID number and National Health Insurance card number Online registration for NT$6,000 (US$196.32) cash payments drawn from last year’s tax surplus is to open today for eligible people whose national ID or permanent residency number ends in either a zero or a one, the Ministry of Finance said on Monday. Officials from the ministry revealed which days Taiwanese and eligible foreigners would be able to register for the cash payments at a joint news conference with the Ministry of Digital Affairs. Online registration is to open tomorrow for those whose number ends in a two or three; on Friday for those that end in a four or five: on Saturday
The Taipei City Government on Wednesday introduced of a series of tourism promotions, including free sightseeing bus tours and hotel discounts, in a bid to boost the number of international visitors. From now until June 30, 10,000 free Taipei Sightseeing Bus tickets are to be made available to travelers who stay in designated hotels for two nights, cruise passengers and European visitors transiting for more than 15 hours, the Taipei Department of Information and Tourism said. Eligible tourists can ask for the free four-hour unlimited ride bus tickets by presenting their passports at the hotels they stay in or from the