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Taiwan defense analysts play down China military drills

Military analysts say exercises not aimed at Taiwan, no need to overreact

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/08/07
By:  Central News Agency

Chinese Navy ships (AP photo)

Taiwanese security analysts on Friday (August 7) played down the importance of a military exercise to be staged by China in the East China Sea and ruled out a link between the drills and an upcoming visit by a U.S. official to Taiwan.

Taiwanese media have speculated that the military exercise might be a protest against Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Alex Azar's visit to the nation in the coming days. Azar will be the highest-ranking U.S. cabinet official to visit Taiwan in four decades.

Beijing likely sees the visit as Washington disregarding its "one China" principle, under which it defines Taiwan and the mainland as a part of "one China," and violating the agreements between the two sides.

On Thursday, China's Maritime Safety Administration posted a notice on its website about a three-day, live-fire exercise between 6 a.m. and 12 p.m. from Aug. 11-13 in waters off the Zhoushan Archipelago. Commercial ships are not allowed to pass through the designated area during this period of time.    [FULL  STORY]

Taipei court revokes bail, detains lawmaker over bribery case

Focus Taiwan
Date: 08/08/2020
By: Hsiao Po-wen and Ko Lin

Chao Cheng-yu (left). CNA photo Aug. 8, 2020

Taipei, Aug. 8 (CNA) The Taipei District Court on Saturday revoked a bail decision and ordered independent lawmaker Chao Cheng-yu (趙正宇) to be detained and held incommunicado over concerns he could destroy evidence or flee the country as a result of his involvement in a bribery case.

In a statement, the district court said there was a possibility Chao could try to escape and evade trial, since the penalty for corruption carries a minimum five-year sentence.

Considering the influence he has both on the political and business scene, if free to come and go, he could also collude and exert pressure over material witnesses in order to destroy evidence, the Taipei court said.

The suspect has so far been unable to explain the origin of a large amount of cash seized during a recent raid of his home, the court said.    [FULL  STORY]

US’ Azar applauds Taiwan before visit

PARTNERSHIP AND LEARNING: A Princeton University health policy researcher said that the nation would be a ‘treasure trove’ of information for the US health chief

Taipei Times
Date: Aug 09, 2020
By: AP, WASHINGTON

In this July 31 file photo, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar speaks during a roundtable discussion with President Donald Trump on the coronavirus outbreak at Pelican Golf Club in Belleair, Fla.
Photo: AP

US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar on Friday said he wants to learn about Taiwan’s “incredibly effective” response to COVID-19, even though the nation did things that the US has fumbled, such as having a unified strategy and citizens willing to wear masks.

Azar leads a US delegation arriving today for a three-day visit to Taiwan. They are to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and health system leaders, and Azar is to give a speech to public health graduates.

“The message of this trip is about Taiwan,” Azar said in an interview, deflecting a question about China. “It’s about public health, it’s about our partnership with Taiwan, but also the model that Taiwan offers to the world community of a transparent and open healthcare system. It is a model others can learn from.”

The trip is a geopolitical chess move in Washington’s contentious relationship with China, which has voiced concerns about the trip to Washington and called on the US to stop government-to-government interactions with Taiwan.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwanese diplomat in France tests positive for COVID-19

Radio Taiwan International
Date: 07 August, 2020
By: Leslie Liao

Taiwan’s mission in France

A Taiwanese diplomat working at Taiwan’s representative office in France has tested positive for COVID-19. The foreign ministry said Friday that the representative office has already put emergency response protocols into action. 

The foreign ministry says that it has identified one other office employee who came into recent contact with the diplomat. That employee is now in quarantine and will be tested for COVID-19 if necessary.    [FULL  STORY]

Going Fishing: The Taiwanese Air Force Is Preparing for a Fight With Their Eye on China

Although Taipei could not win a war against China, they could make the cost of winning high enough to make Beijing blink.

The National Interest
Date: August 7, 2020
By: Caleb Larson


Living on China’s doorstep is an exercise in patience. As the country with the second-largest military budget in the world, China is well positioned to eventually invade Taiwan, which China sees as a rogue province rather than an independent country.

And Taiwan is in an unenviable position—the island of democracy in the South China Sea is a mere 100 or so miles—about 160 kilometers—from mainland China. The tiny republic has neither the military budget nor the manpower to guarantee a win in a potential fight against China. But, Taipei might just be able to make the cost of winning so great for Beijing, that a Chinese invasion never comes.

Taiwan Strait

Any attack by China on Taiwan is sure at some stage to include hundreds of ships sailing across the Taiwan Strait. This is where Taiwan could excel—repelling an amphibious Chinese invasion. Taiwan boasts a large assortment of missiles that have a modest 100-150 mile range and are intended to take out Chinese ships. 

Photos recently surfaced online that show Taiwanese F-16s equipped with the American-designed Harpoon anti-ship missile. The photos, published in the Taiwanese Liberty Times, showed that the Taiwanese planes were also armed with AIM-120 a beyond visual range air-to-air missile, as well as smaller Sidewinder missile. The display was considered by some as a pointed show of force for an island country that has typically tried to keep the waters between the two countries calm.    [FULL  STORY]

New Taiwan passport design up for public vote

New Power Party uploads proposed passport designs for public to vote on

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/08/07
By: Keoni Everington, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

(taiwanpassport.tw images)


TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Voting is now underway on a New Power Party (NPP) website for a series of new Taiwanese passport cover designs, which either minimize or entirely eliminate any mention of "China."

On July 22, Taiwan's Legislative Yuan passed a resolution to emphasize "Taiwan" over "China" on both the name of the nation's flagship carrier and its passport. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) resolution requires the Cabinet to work out specific measures to further emphasize both the Mandarin and English words for "Taiwan" (台灣) on the passport cover so as to "safeguard the dignity" of the Taiwanese people while contributing to convenient and safe international travel.

In response, the NPP on July 30 announced that it had created a shortlist of proposed designs for the new passport and uploaded them to a dedicated website for public voting. NPP Chairman Chiu Hsien-chih (邱顯智) hoped the online vote would enable the public to discuss the future passport cover design and the image of Taiwan that the documents should present to the international community, reported Liberty Times.

Chen said the finalists for the competition were decided by National Chengchi University Institute of Taiwanese Literature Professor Chen Fang-ming (陳芳明) and five other judges. Online voting will be open to the public on the Taiwanpassport.tw website from Aug. 1 to 30.

An awards ceremony for the winner will be held in September and an exhibition of the designs will run from Sept. 3-7 at the Olympus Plaza Taipei. Chen said the five criteria for the initial selection comprised: design philosophy, aesthetics, innovation, the reflection of Taiwanese society, and imaginativeness.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan analysts play down China military drills

Focus Taiwan
Date: 08/07/2020
By: Flor Wang and Matt Yu

China News Service file photo of a vessel in the PLA’s East China Sea fleet

Taipei, Aug. 7 (CNA) Taiwan security analysts on Friday played down the importance of a military exercise to be staged by China in the East China Sea, and ruled out a link between the drills and an upcoming visit by a U.S. official to Taiwan.

Taiwanese media have speculated that the military exercise might be a protest against a visit to Taiwan by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Alex Azar in the coming days.

Azar will be the highest ranking U.S. cabinet official to visit Taiwan in four decades. Beijing sees the visit as Washington disregarding its One China Policy, under which it defines Taiwan and the mainland as a part of one China, and violating the agreements between the two sides.

On Thursday, China's Maritime Safety Administration posted a notice on its website about a three-day, live-fire exercise between 6 a.m. and 12 p.m. from Aug. 11-13 in waters off the Zhoushan Archipelago. Commercial ships are not allowed to pass through the designated area during this period of time.    [FULL  STORY]

US drones deal in pipeline: sources

BOLSTERING DEFENSES: The deal would need the approval of the US Congress, which might receive formal notification as early as next month, two sources said

Taipei Times
Date:  Aug 08, 2020
By: Reuters, WASHINGTON

A US Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone sits in a hanger at the Amari Air Base in Estonia on July 1. SeaGuardian drones, which are also manufactured by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, are similar to Reaper drones.
Photo: Reuters

The US is negotiating the sale of at least four sophisticated aerial drones to Taiwan for the first time, aircraft that can keep watch over huge swathes of sea and land, six US sources familiar with the negotiations said.

The SeaGuardian surveillance drones have a range of 6,000 nautical miles (11,100km), far greater than the 300km range of Taiwan’s fleet of drones, potentially giving the nation greater capacity to peer into China, observing its air force, missiles and other facilities.

While the US Department of State tacitly authorized the sale of the uncrewed aerial vehicles, two of the people said, it is not known whether the US officials have approved exporting the drones with weapons attached, one of them said.

The deal must be approved by the US Congress, which might receive formal notification as soon as next month, two of the people said. Lawmakers could block a final agreement.
[FULL  STORY]

WATCH: Taiwan Insider, Aug 6, 2020

Radio Taiwan International
Date: 06 August, 2020
By: Paula Chao

[Happy Father’s Day!]

[Happy Father’s Day!][/caption] It’s not easy shopping for dads — they already have plenty of ties and wallets! Today, in honor of Taiwan’s Father’s Day (August 8), we turn to one of Taiwan’s most famous and admired dads, the chairman of Dale-Carnegie Taiwan, John Hei, for suggestions.  

U.S. negotiating historic sale of sophisticated drones to Taiwan: Report

The Washington Times
Date: August 6, 2020
By: Lauren Meier – – Thursday,

In this Jan. 11, 2020, file photo, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen celebrates her victory with supporters in Taipei, Taiwan. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying, File) 

U.S. officials are reportedly negotiating the sale of at least four large sophisticated aerial drones to Taiwan in a historic purchase that is all but set to add to heightened tensions with China, which claims Taiwan as its territory.

The purchase includes SeaGuardian surveillance drones that can travel 6,000 nautical miles, Reuters reported, citing six sources familiar with the deal. Taiwan’s current drones max out at a 160-mile range.    [FULL  STORY]