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Taiwan earns money off Korean fighter jet purchase

144 updated F-16 fighter jets ready in Taiwan by 2022
Taiwan News
Date: 2018/02/23
By: Renée Salmonsen, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — South Korea’s recent purchase of F-16V fighter jets will put

The F-16 aircraft is a coveted fighter jet. (By Wikimedia Commons)

money into American and Taiwanese pockets.

Taiwan and the United States were the initial investors of the F-16V, with Taiwan originally fronting US$38 billion toward the aircraft’s development, according to Now News. Even though the original plan was abandoned and many changes have taken place since, whenever any country purchases or upgrades an F-16V, Taiwan and U.S. alike continue to receive dividends.

The first of such F-16V sales was to Bahrain in September 2017, according to Now News.

The Republic of Korea Air Force will spend around US$1.2 billion on military upgrade by replacing 134 KF-16 fighter aircrafts with F-16V jets. The F-16V jets are an advanced version of the American Lockheed F-16 jets. In 1996 South Korea was authorized to produce 140 F-16s, which was called KF-16s to mark the country of manufacture.      [FULL  STORY]

Taipei sends US experts to diplomatic front line to ward off hostile Beijing

Taiwanese president picks new foreign and defence chiefs as she seeks closer contact with the United States

Date: 23 February, 2018
By: Lawrence Chung

Taiwan has appointed two men well-versed in American affairs to top security and foreign relations jobs as the island tries to engage the US in its grand strategy to counter military intimidation from the mainland.

The appointments were part of a partial shake-up of the island’s cabinet, which saw the replacement of heads of the foreign, defence, mainland, labour and veterans’ affairs ministries.

Presidential Office chief Joseph Wu, 64, will be sworn in as foreign minister on Monday, taking over from David Lee, 69, who has been named secretary general of the National Security Council.    [FULL  STORY]

Premier Lai awards outstanding officers, groups in drug crackdown

Radio Taiwan International
Date: 2018-02-23

Premier William Lai on Friday presented awards to the officers and organizations who

Premier William Lai (left) at an award ceremony on Friday.

made an outstanding contribution to the government’s latest drug crackdown operation.

Earlier this year, Lai called on the six major drug enforcement agencies in Taiwan to collaborate on drug crackdown operations. During an eight-day long operation, some 8,000 police officers intercepted and seized over four tons of illegal drugs. The officers also caught 431 suspects who were involved in the production and trafficking of the drugs.

At the award ceremony on Friday, Lai presented awards to officers and organizations that made an outstanding contribution during the drug operation. Lai said that the latest operation has been effective because the different government bodies, including police agencies, maritime and border officials have worked together. He also said the operation was different than those in the past because officers have sought out the suspects in local communities and those involved in drug production.

Premier Lai thanks retiring Central Bank governor for outstanding service

Taiwan News  
Date: 2018/02/23
By: Taiwan Today,Agencies

During his 20 years at the helm of the Central Bank, “Gov. Perng adopted flexible monetary and foreign exchange policies and advanced forward-looking reforms to the nation’s financial system,” Lai said.

According to the premier, under Perng’s leadership the Central Bank responded swiftly and decisively to the myriad challenges Taiwan has faced over the past two decades, including the Asian financial crisis in 1997, massive earthquake that struck Sept. 21, 1999, and U.S. subprime mortgage collapse and subsequent global financial meltdown.

During the two financial crises, the bank adopted effective monetary measures to inject liquidity and soothe the foreign exchange market, Lai said, adding that these actions helped soften the blow on Taiwan and accelerate the country’s economic recovery.

Five suspects arrested for telecom fraud in central Taiwan: CIB

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2018/02/23
By: Liu Chien-pang and Ko Lin

Taipei, Feb. 23 (CNA) Five people have been arrested in two raids on the operational

Photo courtesy of Criminal Investigation Bureau

bases of a crime ring that was allegedly committing telecommunication fraud in central Taiwan against people in China, the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) said Friday.

One of the five suspects, identified only by his last name Wang (王), is believed to be the ringleader, according to the CIB’s Ninth Investigation Corps, which was responsible for handling the case.

The arrests were carried out in two separate raids, with Wang and his two accomplices arrested on Jan. 3 and the other suspects nabbed on Feb. 5, authorities said.

During the raids, local authorities found several pieces of equipment possibly related to the scam, ranging from laptop computers to mobile phones and fake official Chinese documents.    [FULL  STORY]

Sources cast doubt on Koo’s denials of cover-up

Taipei Times
Date: Feb 24, 2018
By: Chen Yu-fu and Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporters

Whether office items retrieved by former National Women’s League chairwoman Cecilia

Dozens of boxes of documents and office items belonging to the National Women’s League, previously thought to have been lost, are delivered to the front door of the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee office in Taipei yesterday by a removal company.  Photo: Chen Yu-fu, Taipei Times

Koo’s (辜嚴倬雲) daughter were indeed all personal effects has devolved into a he-said-she-said situation, with the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee yesterday maintaining that the location where the league supposedly stored its financial records was found empty.

A source with knowledge of the matter, who requested anonymity, said that after asking the league to hand over archives and financial documents predating 2006, the committee received an overview listing the league’s account books, archives and financial records that were relocated in May last year.

However, when committee staff followed league employees’ instructions and inspected a unit within a residential building on Taipei’s Dehui Street, it had already been emptied, a committee member said, also speaking on condition of anonymity.

The committee member said that testimony provided by a dozen league employees the committee had questioned so far — including league deputy secretary-general Nancy Nee (汲宇荷), the driver who helped deliver the documents and league staff who packed the records — all pointed to the league’s official documents being sent to Koo’s residence.

Taiwan’s Vanishing History

A cemetery’s destruction highlights Taiwan’s systemic lack of cultural preservation.

The Diplomat
Date: February 22, 2018
By: James X. Morris 

Taiwan has a problem with preserving its cultural assets. Despite a rich documented history spanning nearly four centuries of European, Ming, Qing, Japanese, and

The destruction of the front section of Xindian First Public Cemetery, 2016. Several tombstones from the Qing and Japanese periods were salvaged with the help of the demolition crew.
Image Credit: James X. Morris

Republican conquest, each successive administrative government sought to stamp out traces of the previous regime while establishing its own. Understandably many of Taiwan’s cultural assets and heritage sites have been lost due to activities in the past. But today, 30 years after the end of martial law, and 20 years after democratization, in a period where the Taiwanese are free to proudly discuss and display their heritage, there is still a systemic attempt to destroy its ancient, colonial, and cultural artifacts.

Today’s destructive force is development, and the perverse tragedy of modern Taiwan is that in its push to be recognized as a great modern nation, priority is taken away from the cultural assets that give it its identity. The forces of local planning and popular consumption have framed a path that a small but growing voice of preservationists are attempting to pull the island away from, highlighting a split in the debate over Taiwan’s future.

The latest battleground over Taiwan’s future is a cemetery in New Taipei City’s Xindian District. The cemetery was once home to more than 5,000 tombs, many dating to the Qing Dynasty and Japanese colonial period, which, due to terrain constraints, has preserved the traditional worship practices of local families for nearly three centuries. The cemetery is in the process of being demolished to make room to expand Xindian’s industrial cluster, a move that preservationists argue will destroy the district’s anchor to its past. A devastating flood in the early 20th century destroyed much of the district’s buildings from the Qing Dynasty and Japanese colonial period, leaving Xindian First Public Cemetery as one of the area’s oldest remaining sites.    [FULL  STORY]

Foreign ministry: China-Vatican talks have not covered politics

Radio Taiwan International
Date: 2018-02-22

China and the Vatican are reportedly in talks to sign an agreement soon on the

China and the Vatican are reportedly in talks to sign an agreement soon on the appointment of Catholic bishops in China. (CNA file photo)

appointment of Catholic bishops in China. That would overcome the biggest hurdle for the two sides in forming official diplomatic ties.

Taiwan’s foreign ministry spokesperson Andrew Lee said that China and the Vatican have not yet discussed political ties.

Lee said, “The foreign ministry and ambassador to the Vatican are watching closely the dialogue between the Holy See and China. The current progress has covered church affairs. The two sides have not begun to discuss political matters.”

Lee said that Taiwan is facing many diplomatic challenges and its diplomats are watching relevant affairs very closely. Taiwan currently has 20 official diplomatic allies. The Holy See is the only ally in Europe.    [SOURCE]

Yuan Yuan, a female panda at the Taipei Zoo undergoes artificial insemination

Officials chose to artificially inseminate Yuan Yuan after her partner Tuan Tuan’s best efforts failed to get the job done 

Taiwan News 
Date: 2018/02/22
By: Duncan DeAeth, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The large female panda at the Taipei Zoo, Yuan Yuan, has been

Yuan Yuan, a Panda at the Taipei Zoo, undergoes artificial insemination (By Agencies)

artificially inseminated, it has been reported, after her partner Tuan Tuan, failed to mate with her during the height of her fertility cycle.

Despite his best efforts, and being denied the opportunity for almost an entire year, Tuan Tuan was unable to deliver on the spot. The missed opportunity led officials at the zoo to the decision to go ahead and help in the reproduction process.

The two pandas were given to Taiwan as a gesture of goodwill from China in 2008 at the beginning of the first term of the Ma administration. Yuan Yuan has undergone the artificial insemination procedure before, resulting in the birth of the pair’s cub Yuan Zai on July 6, 2013.

According to the report at the Daily Mail, female pandas are generally only in heat for a 24 to 72 hour window every spring. This year, Feb. 20 was decided as the best window of opportunity for Yuan Yuan and Tuan Tuan to do things the old fashioned way.

Riders of public bicycles in 4 cities to enjoy free insurance

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2018/02/22
By: Tsai Yi-chu and Kuan-lin Liu

Taipei, Feb. 22 (CNA) Riders of public bicycles in Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan and

CNA file photo

Kaohsiung will all enjoy free insurance coverage, starting sometime in the second quarter of the year.

Chairman Chen Tsan-huang (陳燦煌) of the Non-Life Insurance Association of the Republic of China announced Thursday that the respective city governments will invest in insurance for users of their bike sharing services.

According to Chen, the Taipei, New Taipei and Taoyuan city governments have all decided to purchase third party public liability insurance for Youbike users, so that they will be covered should they get into an accident or cause damage to another individual while riding the public bikes.

The insurance compensation for the death of a third party individual caused by a bike rider will be a maximum of NT$2 million (US$68,361).    [FULL  STORY]