Scholz warns China
Chancellor Olaf Scholz yesterday told parliament that he had warned China during talks earlier this week against using force to achieve territorial changes, particularly against Taiwan. Scholz this week hosted a large Chinese delegation led by Chinese Premier Li Qiang (李強) in the first face-to-face summit since the COVID-19 pandemic, at a time of rising geopolitical tensions between the West and China. “We firmly reject all unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the East and South China seas by force or coercion. This is especially true for Taiwan,” Scholz said, according to prepared remarks. “We are also concerned about the human rights situation and the state of the rule of law in China,” he added.
Bristol students to arrive
Thirty undergraduate students from the University of Bristol are to study Mandarin in Kaohsiung next month as part of the Turing Scheme, marking the first time the British government-funded program has supported Mandarin learning in Taiwan. The group is to arrive on Friday next week and start taking Mandarin courses on weekdays from July 3 to 28. The curriculum is to include windsurfing and maritime education field trips, local cultural experiences and visits to historic sites, the Education Division of Taiwan’s representative office in the UK said. The British government set up the Turing Scheme after dropping out of the EU’s Erasmus program following the UK’s exit from the EU in 2020. The scheme, named after mathematician Alan Turing, funds students of occupational education, college students and pupils from other educational institutes to study in foreign countries and receive professional training. The university said that the scheme would help students gain basic Mandarin skills, immerse themselves in Taiwanese culture and develop intercultural skills.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has approved the resignation of Representative to Thailand Chuang Suo-hang (莊碩漢), the Presidential Office said late on Wednesday, less than a year since he assumed the post in Bangkok. Chuang resigned due to family reasons, a source speaking on condition of anonymity said. Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Jeff Liu (劉永健) said Chuang offered his resignation in the middle of this month “over personal reasons,” a decision the ministry respects. Neither the Presidential Office nor them ministry announced a replacement for the envoy. Before assuming the post in Thailand, Chuang served as vice chairman of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council. He previously served as a Cabinet spokesman, a deputy minister of the Overseas Community Affairs Council and a Democratic Progressive Party legislator from 2005 to 2008 when the party was in opposition.
New CNA head announced
Minister Without Portfolio Lee Yung-te (李永得) has been appointed chairman of the Central News Agency (CNA), the Ministry of Culture said on Wednesday. Minister of Culture Shih Che (史哲) said Lee would be an ideal leader, as the national news agency prepares to mark its centenary next year. Lee served as culture minister from May 2020 until January, during which he oversaw the launch of TaiwanPlus, the nation’s first English-only video news and programming platform for an international audience.
Staff writer, with agencies
The coast guard on Friday took a Chinese fishing boat and the 17 people on board into custody, after it rammed into a patrol boat while attempting to flee. A 100-tonne coast guard vessel at about 8am discovered a Chinese fishing boat illegally operating in waters about 11 nautical miles (20.4km) northwest of Hsinchu, the Hsinchu offshore flotilla of the Coast Guard Administration said. The crew refused to allow law enforcement to board the ship and attempted to flee, it added. The coast guard vessel and another ship chased the fishing boat for about a half hour, during which time the Chinese boat
Vice President William Lai (賴清德) yesterday said that Beijing was trying to “annex” Taiwan, while China said its recent series of drills near Taiwan are aimed at combating the “arrogance” of separatist forces. The Ministry of National Defense earlier this month said that it had observed dozens of Chinese fighters, drones, bombers and other aircraft, as well as warships and the Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong, operating nearby. The increased frequency of China’s military activities has raised the risk of events “getting out of hand” and sparking an accidental clash, Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) said last week. Asked about the spurt
China’s Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong has asked foreign consulates in Hong Kong to submit details of their local staff, which is more proof that the “one country, two systems” model no longer exists, a Taiwanese academic said. The office sent letters dated Monday last week to consulates in the territory, giving them one month to submit the information it requires. The move followed Beijing’s attempt to obtain floor plans for all properties used by foreign missions in Hong Kong last year, which raised concerns among diplomats that the information could be used for
‘ABNORMITY’: News of the military exercises on the coast of the Chinese province facing Taiwan were made public by the Ministry of National Defense on Thursday Taiwan’s military yesterday said it has detected the Chinese military initiating a round of exercises at a bay area in coastal Fujian Province, which faces Taiwan, since early yesterday morning and it has been closely monitoring the drills. The exercises being conducted at Fujian’s Dacheng Bay featured an undisclosed number of People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) warplanes, warships and ground troops, the Ministry of National Defense said in a press statement. The ministry did not disclose what kind of military exercises are being conducted there and for how long they would be happening, but it did say that it has been closely watching