US journalists ‘welcome’
US journalists expelled by China are welcome to set up shop in Taiwan, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said yesterday. Beijing ordered the expulsion of 13 journalists from the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal earlier this month as part of a spat over media freedoms with the US. Wu said on Twitter that the journalists would be warmly received on the other side of the Taiwan Strait. “I’d like to welcome you to be stationed in Taiwan — a country that is a beacon of freedom and democracy,” Wu wrote. “You’ll find people here greeting you with open arms & lots of genuine smiles.”
Cooler weather forecast
Temperatures today would be similar to yesterday’s throughout Taiwan, but without rain, the Central Weather Bureau said, adding that the weather would gradually become warmer from Tuesday. A front passed through Taiwan and northeasterly winds resulted in a noticeable drop in temperatures yesterday, with lows ranging between 15°C and 19°C across the country and showers or thundershowers in the northern half of Taiwan, the bureau said. Beginning on Wednesday, northeasterly winds and a cloud and moisture system from southern China would approach Taiwan and again reduce temperatures, in particular in northern and eastern Taiwan, the bureau forecast. The cool weather is likely to last through the Tomb Sweeping Day holiday from Thursday to Sunday, it said.
Vietnamese escapees caught
Six Vietnamese who escaped from a Taichung facility have been tracked down and arrested, with the case now under investigation, authorities said on Friday. The six were among 31 Vietnamese arrested on a Taiwanese fishing boat in waters off Pingtung County on Saturday last week, the Coast Guard Administration’s Investigation Branch said. Two Taiwanese crew members were also detained by local prosecutors for suspected involvement in people smuggling. After questioning, the Vietnamese were sent to different quarantine facilities in Taichung, but on Monday night, six escaped from the facility where they were being held. On Friday, coast guard investigators said that four of the Vietnamese were tracked down and arrested in Taipei and Taoyuan on Wednesday, while the remaining two were found in Nantou County and Taichung the next day.
Ex-judge, son sentenced
The Taipei District Court on Thursday gave a former judge and his son, who were accused of renting a cargo ship to smuggle anthracite from North Korea to Vietnam, suspended sentences for forgery. The court sentenced former judge Chiang Kuo-hua (江國華) to one year in prison, suspended for five years, and fined him NT$1 million (US$33,073) to be paid within four years. His son, Chiang Heng (江衡), received separate sentences of six and seven months, also suspended for five years, and a NT$500,000 fine, while their alleged co-conspirator, surnamed Lu (呂), was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for four years, with the choice of paying a fine. In 2017, Chiang and his son hired an intermediary to rent a cargo ship, which they loaded with coal at an unnamed North Korean port, investigators said. The pair then turned off the vessel’s tracking device and traveled to Vietnam, where they used a falsified certificate of origin and sailing records to resell the cargo, they said.
TRAVEL FACTOR: The party’s chairman said that the key to a successful recall of the Kaohsiung mayor was turnout among young voters from outside the city More than 55 percent of Kaohsiung residents said that Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) should be recalled, the New Power Party (NPP) said yesterday, citing a poll. The COVID-19 situation and turnout among young people would be two key factors determining whether Han is removed from office, the NPP said. The telephone survey showed that 59.5 percent of respondents said they would vote in the recall election, down 6.1 percentage points from the results of a similar poll last month. Those who said that Han should be recalled rose 4.3 percentage points to 56.4 percent, while 28.9 percent said they disagreed with the
Wecare Kaohsiung founder Aaron Yin (尹立) yesterday filed a complaint against the Kaohsiung City Government for launching a NT$50 million (US$1.67 million) stimulus program to boost consumer spending, which Yin said has contravened the law, as it uses public money to counter a recall vote against Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜). Yin and his lawyer went to the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office to file a complaint and ask that an investigation be launched. They accused the city government of wrongdoing, illegal activities, undue profiteering and contravening the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法). Han on Tuesday unveiled the program, which is to
’DESPERATION’: Reminiscent of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Beijing is taking a calculated risk by acting first and resolving recriminations later, Wu Rwei-ren said China is sounding the battle horn for a new US-China cold war by proposing a national security law for Hong Kong while the West is preoccupied with the COVID-19 pandemic, an academic said yesterday. Academia Sinica Institute of Taiwan History associate research fellow Wu Ruei-ren (吳叡人) made the comments at a news conference in Taipei, saying that he was representing the Economic Democracy Union’s research branch. The resolution signals China’s abandonment of the “one country, two systems” framework, as it prepares to take full control of Hong Kong, ending the era of Hong Kong as an international financial center, which was made
Suspension of the Act Governing Relations with Hong Kong and Macau (香港澳門關係條例) would be the equivalent of cutting off Hong Kong, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said yesterday. “Without [the act], how will you stand with the people of Hong Kong?” Chiang asked outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Sunday wrote on Facebook that Taiwan, like all democratic nations, stands with the people of Hong Kong as she expressed concern over China’s plan to impose a national security law for Hong Kong. For security reasons, Tsai said her administration would consider invoking Article 60 of