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Changes in Taiwan’s military drill schedule linked to Chinese exercises off Fujian?

Formosa News
Date: 2018/04/18

China conducted live fire drills over the waters of Quanzhou Bay in Fujian Province today, which some have linked to recent changes in the schedule of Taiwan’s military drills. A more intense-than-usual drill program has been observed at Chih Hang Air Force Base in Taitung recently, despite cancelation of some exercises on Taiwan’s outlying islands today. The National Defense Ministry denies stepping up preparations for combat and says everything is routine.

Chinese state media reported that military live fire exercises would be conducted today off the coast of Fujian.


But while the People’s Liberation Army tested its mettle, just 60 kilometers away on Kinmen Island, things were unusually quiet, with the firing exercises of Taiwan’s military suspended, and gates shut, while soldiers took care of routine tasks.

By contrast, yesterday rumbles filled the air over Kinmen and Matsu Islands, as a series of live fire drills took place. But today Taiwan’s outlying islands were eerily quiet, with drills scheduled to take place on Penghu also cancelled.    [FULL  STORY]

Tsai signs communique with Swaziland’s King Mswati

Radio Taiwan International
Date: 2018-04-18

President Tsai Ing-wen’s trip to the African country of Swaziland got underway Tuesday as

President Tsai Ing-wen (front, left) and Swazi King Mswati III (front, right) pictured on Tuesday after Tsai’s arrival in Swaziland. (Photo by CNA)

she met with the country’s King Mswati III. During the meeting, the two leaders took steps towards strengthening bilateral ties.


President Tsai arrived in Swaziland on Tuesday, beginning her first trip as president to one of Taiwan’s two diplomatic allies in Africa.

She and Swaziland’s King Mswati III signed a joint communique calling for further cooperation in public health, trade and investment, vocational training, education, women’s employment, agriculture, and tourism.

In the communique, King Mswati also voiced support for Taiwan’s participation in international organizations such as the UN, the WHO, and Interpol.    [FULL  STORY]

Thai prostitute working in southern Taiwan tests positive for HIV

A Thai sex worker who has traveled to Taiwan 5 times since October has tested positive for HIV, possibly exposing hundreds of customers

Taiwan News 
Date: 2018/04/18
By: Keoni Everington, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Thai national who had engaged in prostitution while in multiple

Thai women identified as “Alice.” (Photo from LINE)

trips on a visitor visa in southern Taiwan has tested positive for HIV, possibly infecting hundreds of clients, announced Tainan City police today (April 18).


During an investigation of a case of a man posing as a cop to rob people engaged in illicit sex in recent days, police happened upon a Thai woman suspected of engaging in prostitution who goes by the name “Alice.” After submitting to an HIV test, she was found to have contracted the disease.

Police found that since October of last year, Alice had already visited Taiwan five times, all on the pretense of “sightseeing,” but in fact to engage in the sex trade in hotel rooms.

Alice confessed to police that she had sex with seven to eight clients a day during her visits to Taiwan, with each trip lasting around 15 days, at the most that could be 120 customers per visit and a total of 600 over five trips.     [FULL  STORY]

Taiwanese actor Chang Chen joins Cannes Film Festival jury

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2018/04/18
By: Kuan-lin Liu and Wang Yi-ru

Taipei, April 18 (CNA) Internationally renowned Taiwanese actor Chang Chen (張震) was

Chang Chen (張震)/ Photo courtesy of Jet Tone Film Production

announced on Wednesday as a member of the 71st Cannes Film Festival jury, making him the only Asian on the panel this year and only the third Taiwan national to ever receive the honor.


Chang, who has starred in films previously nominated at the annual, international film awards held in the south of France, said that being part of the jury will be a learning experience, one informed by the many different skills and professions it takes to create a movie.

With 20 years of acting experience, the award-winning actor said that for him, a good film must have warmth.

Good films have a warmth that remains in the hearts of audience members long after they leave the cinema, Chang said, giving an indication of how he might rate films at the Cannes awards this year.    [FULL  STORY]

US lawmakers say China military drill a threat to ignore

Taipei Times
Date: Apr 19, 2018
By: Jake Chung  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Members of a subcommittee of the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs on Tuesday

US Representative Ted Yoho, second right, poses with other members of a subcommittee in Washington on Tuesday.  Photo: CNA

decried China’s live-fire exercise in the Taiwan Strait yesterday as “cheap … and tawdry,” saying that if it was a warning, it would be ignored.


Many Taiwanese hope to maintain the “status quo,” but that is already changing due to China’s rise bringing about a threat, not only to the region, but also to Taiwan’s democracy, US Representative Ted Yoho said.

The US should work with Taiwan to find a solution that would provide a sense of safety for Taiwanese, as well as maintaining Taiwan’s democracy and economic liberty, Yoho said.

The US should reconsider its “one China” policy and increase interactions with Taiwan, while encouraging Beijing to interact with Taipei without prerequisites and to abandon the use of force, Project 2049 Institute executive director Mark Stokes said.   [FULL  STORY]

Liu Jieyi calls Lai Ching-te “nothing but an independence agitator”

Formosa News
Date: 2018/04/17

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office head Liu Jieyi has responded to Premier Lai Ching-te’s latest comments about Taiwan Independence, calling Lai “nothing but an independence agitator”. Liu even added the thinly veiled threat that China’s ongoing military drills are meant to safe-guard the integrity of China’s territory. The Executive Yuan has backed Lai by pointing out that Taiwan is in fact an independent sovereign nation.

No matter how loud reporters shout “Taiwan Independence”, Premier Lai Ching-te doesn’t respond. Instead at the podium he makes a joke at the expense of New Taipei City Deputy Mayor Lee Shu-chuan.


Lai didn’t publically mention Taiwan Independence today. But just days ago he talked at length about his theory of Taiwan independence activism, explaining its pragmatism and various central areas of work. His assertions of Taiwan’s sovereignty have earned him the censure of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, whose head Liu Jieyi says Lai is “nothing but an independence agitator”. Liu also made suggestive comments about how Beijing’s ongoing military exercises are meant to preserve the integrity of China’s territory.  [FULL  STORY]]

Taiwan reaches driver’s license deals with all Canadian provinces

ICRT Radio News
Date: 2018-04-17

Taiwan now has reciprocal driver’s license agreements with all of Canada.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says it has finalized such an arrangement
with Newfoundland and Labrador, the last two of the 10 Canadian provinces.

The agreement allows licensed drivers from Taiwan and Canada to apply to
obtain a license in each other’s territory without having to take road or
written tests.


MOFA says Taiwan has been pushing to sign such deals with all of Canada’s
provinces since 2008.

As of December 2017, over 4-thousand-800 Taiwanese had made use of reciprocal
driver’s license arrangements with Canadian provinces.    [SOURCE]

Essay by young HK student about his desire to live in Taiwan goes viral

‘I wish I could move to Taiwan when I grow up,’ the fifth-grader writes

Taiwan News 
Date: 2018/04/17
By: Huang Tzu-ti, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Essay by HK student (photo from Facebook user 搣時潘)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A photo of an essay by a Hong Kong elementary school student about his yearning to“move to Taiwan” has gone viral after being posted on Facebook by a teacher on April 13.


The teacher, surnamed Pun (who goes by the name 搣時潘 on Facebook), expressed sadness following a voluntary teaching activity where a fifth-grader wrote an essay revealing his desire to move to Taiwan because he can’t afford the astronomical housing prices in Hong Kong.

The essay is as follows:

I will move out of Hong Kong to live in a bigger house when I grow up. I can’t afford the soaring housing prices in Hong Kong, so I’ll be moving to Taiwan where people are friendly and where I can purchase a spacious house at lower prices. How I wish I could reside in Taiwan someday.

The words of the youngster have sparked caustic comments on the social networking platform, with social commentator Lucifer Chu (朱學恆) sarcastically saying that “The essay has managed to upset both Taiwan and HK people at the same time,” implying that the property prices in Taiwan are just as unaffordable as those in the special autonomous region of China.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan approves more naturalization for skilled foreign applicants

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2018/04/17
By: Liu Lee-jung and Ko Lin

Taipei, April 17 (CNA) The Ministry of the Interior (MOI) approved Tuesday a review to allow for the naturalization of nine more skilled foreign professionals in Taiwan while enabling them to retain their original citizenship.

In a statement, the ministry said the latest review brings the number of applicants eligible to apply for Taiwanese citizenship to a total of 32.


With new regulations under the Nationality Act promulgated in 2017 by the MOI, high-level foreign professionals can now obtain Republic of China citizenship without relinquishing their original nationality, as part of the government’s efforts to foster the recruitment and retention of top talent from around the world.

The nine professionals newly added to the list all possess specific qualifications in the categories of education, economics, medicine and human rights, the ministry said.

Lawmakers pass bill that tightens vote-buying rules

Taipei Times
Date: Apr 18, 2018
By: Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

The legislature yesterday passed amendments to the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法) that tighten the rules against vote-buying.

Articles dealing with vote-buying in elections that formerly only allowed police officers and prosecutors to confiscate bribes distributed by “perpetrators” now stipulate that law enforcement officials can confiscate bribes regardless of the party claiming ownership of the bribe.


This allows authorities to confiscate bribes in the event that the recipient has transferred the money elsewhere.

The change applies to the elections of mayors, county commissioners, council speakers, deputy council speakers and township mayors, and to candidates who have been officially nominated by a political party or aspirants in party primaries.    [FULL  STORY]