President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday toured several military bases in Kaohsiung to thank military personnel for their contributions to safeguarding the country in the face of repeated incursions by the Chinese air force.
Tsai visited the air force’s 3rd Logistics Command in the city’s Gangshan District (岡山), the army’s Engineer Group in Yanchao District (燕巢) and the navy’s Underwater Operations Unit (UOU) in Zuoying District (左營).
“I found that the troops I encountered today have a common characteristic, that is, they are all unsung heroes,” she said in Zuoying.
She said that since taking office in 2016, her administration has improved the working conditions and welfare of military personnel.
For example, a new dormitory is being built at the UOU base in Zuoying, which will hopefully improve the quality of life for officers and soldiers at the base, Tsai said.
Also, the government last year began building a facility in Kaohsiung where the country’s first indigenous submarine is to be made, she said.
Tsai said that her ultimate goal is to improve the dignity of soldiers so that military service can increasingly become an interesting career for young people.
China has intensified its military maneuvers in the region, including sending warplanes into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone.
The Ministry of National Defense this month said that the “dramatic increase” in threat level and the military’s aircraft being “middle-aged” required a considerable increase in maintenance costs, which had not been budgeted for.
Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) on Wednesday voiced concern over the cost of tensions with China.
“Each time the communist aircraft harass Taiwan, our air force takes to the skies, and it is extremely costly. This isn’t only a burden for Taiwan, but quite a big one for China, too,” he said.
One Taiwan-based diplomat, citing conversations with security officials, said that China appeared to be waging a campaign of attrition with its frequent flybys.
“China is trying to wear out Taiwan’s pilots by keeping them constantly on edge,” the diplomat said on condition of anonymity.
RULES TIGHTENED: Passengers arriving from Sydney and Los Angeles tested positive for COVID-19, while passengers arriving from Seattle all tested negative Seventeen of the 217 passengers who arrived on long-haul at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport yesterday morning tested positive for COVID-19, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said, adding that the positivity rate was higher than expected. Yesterday was the first day that the government enforced stricter health guidelines for the testing of passengers arriving on long-haul flights. They must undergo a polymerase chain reaction test immediately after arriving at the nation’s international airports. Those who test positive are sent directly to hospitals to avoid spreading the virus to people working in and around the airports and at quarantine hotels. Victor Wang (王必勝),
‘NEW YEAR GIFT’: While the MAC called the song propaganda, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said that it addressed the homesickness of ‘Taiwanese compatriots’ A pro-unification pop song aired on Chinese television earlier this month would only further sour Taiwanese sentiment toward China, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said on Wednesday. The music video for We Sing the Same Song (我們同唱一首歌), which aired on China Central Television, features Chinese artists performing alongside Taiwanese singers Jam Hsiao (蕭敬騰), Ouyang Nana (歐陽娜娜) and Chen Li-nong (陳立農). The lyrics were reportedly written by Taiwanese lyricist Vincent Fang (方文山), known for his collaborations with Jay Chou (周杰倫), to music composed by a Chinese musician. Sung in Chinese and Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese), the song is about three Taiwanese siblings who
President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration is seeking to join an Indo-Pacific economic framework being planned by the US, a senior official said. The government is paying close attention to the regional economic pact being touted by US President Joe Biden, although too few details have emerged from Washington for Taipei to make specific plans, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The US is expected to launch the Indo-Pacific economic framework next month after negotiations with Australia, India and Japan, the official said. The economic initiative is to tackle trade facilitation, standards for the digital economy and technology, supply-chain resiliency and
‘CHAOS’: Victor Wang, the CECC’s on-site commander at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, said testing of arrivals has sped up in time to meet holiday demand For now, people are not banned from eating and drinking on trains, despite the rise in locally transmitted cases of COVID-19, Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of the legislature’s Transportation Committee yesterday. “On Sunday, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced that the nation would remain on a level 2 COVID-19 alert until at least Jan. 24. So we will follow the center’s disease prevention guidelines for passengers on public transport systems,” Wang said. However, bus and train depots have been asked to disinfect facilities more frequently, he said. The center’s new