A US warship sailed through the Taiwan Strait, the US Navy said yesterday, a day after a top US commander warned of the threat to Taiwan of a Chinese invasion within the next six years.
“The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS John Finn conducted a routine Taiwan Strait transit” yesterday, the US Seventh Fleet said on its Web site.
The third such voyage since US President Joe Biden took office “demonstrates the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” it said in a statement.
US warships periodically conduct navigation exercises in the Strait, often triggering angry responses from Bejing. The US and many other countries view the route as international waters open to all.
The latest transit came the same day Beijing accused US Admiral Philip Davidson, the top US military officer in the Asia-Pacific region, of attempting to “hype up” China’s military threat.
At a US Senate Committee on Armed Forces hearing in Washington on Tuesday, Davidson warned that the US was losing its military edge to China in the Pacific and gave a stark assessment that he believed an invasion of Taiwan by Beijing could be imminent.
“I worry that they’re [China] accelerating their ambitions to supplant the United States and our leadership role in the rules-based international order ... by 2050,” Davidson said.
“Taiwan is clearly one of their ambitions before that, and I think the threat is manifest during this decade, in fact, in the next six years,” he said.
The Hualien District Prosecutors’ Office has listed six people as suspects in a judicial investigation into a fatal train crash on Friday last week. Fifty people were killed and more than 200 were injured when the Taroko Express No. 408 train slammed into a crane truck that had slid onto the tracks near the entrance of Cingshuei Tunnel (清水隧道) in Hualien’s Sioulin Township (秀林). The office also summoned six officials at the Taiwan Railways Administration’s (TRA) Hualien Engineering Section for questioning about alleged illegal business operations and unsafe work conditions by Yi Hsiang Industry Co and Tung Hsin Construction Co, the two
SUPPORTING DEMOCRACY IN ASIA: Twitter aims to ‘play a unique role in enabling the public conversation around important social movements,’ the US company said Twitter has thrown its support behind the “Milk Tea Alliance” of democracy movements in Taiwan, Hong Kong and elsewhere in Asia, defying China at a time when Beijing is punishing Western companies for commenting on what it considers internal matters. The social media company yesterday prominently displayed flags of Taiwan, Hong Kong, Myanmar and Thailand while unveiling an emoji to support democracy advocates in places that have in the past few years seen historic protests and share a love for the beverage. The emoji will automatically show up when users post the #MilkTeaAlliance hashtag, which was posted been 11 million times
A pig carcass found in New Taipei City on Sunday has been confirmed to be infected with African swine fever (ASF), the Council of Agriculture said on Tuesday. It is the first case of a pig being confirmed with the disease on Taiwan proper, although nearby pig farms have been cleared of the disease, the council said. Coast guard officials found the carcass near Guihou Harbor (龜吼漁港) in Wanli District (萬里) early on Sunday, and test results the next day showed that it had been infected with African swine fever, Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) told a news
TEMPERED EXPECTATIONS: Although analysts welcomed the updated guidance from Washington, Taipei should push back on ‘unnecessary’ restrictions, they said New US guidelines expanding official contacts with Taiwan might be a positive step, but Taipei should still try to break down limits on bilateral interactions that stem from Washington’s “one China” policy, foreign affairs analysts said on Saturday. On Friday, the US Department of State announced that it had issued new guidelines to “liberalize” government contacts with Taiwan, which it said were designed to “encourage engagement ... that reflects our deepening unofficial relationship.” Although not made public, the guidelines would reportedly allow US officials to meet with their Taiwanese counterparts in US federal buildings and at Taiwanese representative offices in the US,