Front Page

China Is Increasing Taiwan Airspace Incursions

VOA (Voice of America)
Date: January 06, 2021
By John Xie

FILE – This photo taken May 25, 2018, by Taiwan’s Defense Ministry shows Taiwan’s F-16 fighter jet, left, monitoring one of two Chinese H-6 bombers that flew over the Bashi Channel south of Taiwan and the Miyako Strait, near Japan’s Okinawa Island.

The number of Chinese incursions into Taiwan’s airspace last year was the highest since 1996, which experts say is worsening the risk for conflict without drawing international headlines.

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) flew about 380 sorties into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) last year, a defense ministry statement said last week.

The PLA began dispatching warplanes toward the island after Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen was re-elected for a second term in January, but the activity dramatically increased in the second half of the year in 2020 and is now almost a daily occurrence.

According to a VOA compilation of flight data drawn from official statements by Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense, Chinese warplanes have flown 138 of these missions since mid-September. Only four days into 2021, six Chinese warplanes had flown into the island's ADIZ.

Taiwan prepares to roll out redesigned passport

Radio Taiwan International
Date: 07 January, 2021
By: John Van Trieste

Taiwan’s redesigned passport cover. (Photo Courtesy Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Taiwan is set to begin issuing passports with a new design on January 11.

The cover of the new passport is designed to make the word “Taiwan” more prominent. The new cover has also been designed to minimize possible confusion between Taiwanese and Chinese passports: on the new passport cover, the country’s official English name, “The Republic of China” to small text inconspicuously circling the national emblem.   

Chaos, violence, mockery as pro-Trump mob occupies Congress

Taiwan News
Date: 2021/01/07
By:  Associated Press

Supporters of President Donald Trump are confronted by U.S. Capitol Police officers outside the Senate Chamber inside the Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 6, …

WASHINGTON (AP) — “Where are they?” a Trump supporter demanded in a crowd of dozens roaming the halls of the Capitol, bearing Trump flags and pounding on doors.

They — lawmakers, staff members and more — were hiding under tables, hunkered in lockdowns, saying prayers and seeing the fruits of the country’s divisions up close and violent.

Guns were drawn. A woman was shot and killed by police, and three others died in apparent medical emergencies. A Trump flag hung on the Capitol. The graceful Rotunda reeked of tear gas. Glass shattered.

On Wednesday, hallowed spaces of American democracy, one after another, yielded to the occupation of Congress.   [FULL  STORY]

Conflicts at U.S. Capitol Hill `regrettable:’ Foreign Ministry

Focus Taiwan
Date: 01/07/2021
By: Chen Yun-yu and Emerson Lim

Taipei, Jan. 7 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said on Thursday that the conflicts in the U.S. Capitol which has resulted in at least one dead and several others injured, were "regrettable."

MOFA spokesperson Joanne Ou (歐江安) made the statement at a regular press briefing, adding that "Taiwan's government is watching related developments closely."

According to foreign media reports, supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday to disrupt the confirmation by lawmakers of Joe Biden's victory in the presidential election held last November.    [FULL  STORY]

Top US official to join virtual dialogue with Taiwan today

Taipei Times
Date: Jan 07, 2021
By: Lin Chia-nan / Staff reporter

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Joanne Ou speaks at a news conference at the ministry in Taipei on Dec. 24 last year.
Photo: CNA

The US Department of State on Tuesday announced that a department official would join a political and military dialogue with Taiwan today.

Taipei did not provide details about the dialogue except to say that both sides maintain close cooperation.

US Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Clarke Cooper is to deliver opening remarks at the virtual dialogue at 7:30am Taipei time, a schedule on the department’s Web site showed.

Cooper, who assumed his post in May 2019, in August posted on Twitter a photograph showing a meeting with then-representative to the US Stanley Kao (高碩泰).

Premier: Quarantine tracking system does not infringe on privacy

Radio Taiwan International
Date: 04 January, 2021
By: Leslie Liao

Premier Su Tseng-chang (third from right) and Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (second from right) explain Taiwan’s digital fence policy

Premier Su Tseng-chang says that Taiwan’s digital quarantine tracking system does not infringe on personal privacy. Su made the comment after several people were caught breaking quarantine to attend concerts over the New Year’s long weekend.  

Taiwan uses a “digital fence” to track quarantined individuals. The system alerts authorities if people subject to quarantine leave their quarantine area. The announcement that quarantine breakers were caught over the weekend has led several citizens to voice concerns about their privacy under the digital fence system.     [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan to develop new version of its CM-32 8×8 armored armed with 105mm cannon

Army Recognition
Date: 04 January 20217

A mobile gun version of the CM-32 armed with a 105mm cannon was presented during a defense exhibition in Taiwan. (Picture source: Wikimedia)

According to information published by the "Taiwan News" website in December 2020, Taiwan will develop a new variant of its CM-32 nicknamed Clouded Leopard armed with a 105mm cannon.

The CM-32 is an 8×8 armored vehicle fully designed and manufactured in Taiwan to meet the operational requirements of the Republic of China (ROC) Army. The project of the new CM-32 was launched in 2002 and the production of the vehicle started in 2007.

The CM-32 is in service with the Taiwanese army in many configurations including the CM-32 command post, CM-33 APC Armored Personnel Carrier, and CM-34 IFV Infantry Fighting Vehicle fitted with a two-man turret armed with an Orbital ATK Mk 44 Bushmaster II 30 mm dual-feed automatic cannon.

The design of the vehicle is very similar to modern 8×8 armored vehicles produced in Europe. The driver and the engine are located at the front of the vehicle, a turret in the middle and a troop's compartment at the rear.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwanese police nab man who threatened New Year’s Eve bloodshed

Widely shared message posted on Dec. 30 aroused fear in Taiwan

Taiwan News
Date: 2021/01/04
By: Sophia Yang, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

27-year-old man surnamed Hung listed as top suspect.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese police have arrested a man who posted on the country's largest internet forum that a string of organized massacres would take place at various New Year's Eve parties as well as railway and metro stations across the country.

The man posted his message to the forum PTT, claiming that a mass killing had been planned by a group of 30 people who aimed to "make history." He threatened that the casualties would be enormous at places such as the popular shopping area Ximending, Taipei 101, Taipei metro stations, and the Presidential Office in Taipei.

The Taiwan High Speed Rail stop in Taichung, various Kaohsiung metro stations, and the Dream Mall in Kaohsiung were also said to be targeted.

"It is sickening to see happy faces and New Year's Eve celebrations,” the man wrote online.

Missing Taiwanese fishing boat located, but no signs of crew

Focus Taiwan0
Date: 01/04/2021
By: Wang Chao-yu and Ko Lin

The fishing port in Su’ao, Yilan. CNA file photo

Taipei, Jan. 4 (CNA) A commercial Taiwanese fishing boat that went missing last week in the middle of the Pacific has been located but there were no signs of its crew, the Su'ao Fishermen's Association said Monday.

Association head Tsai Yuan-lung (蔡源龍) told CNA the National Rescue Command Center was informed of the missing vessel — the Su'ao-registered Yong Yu Sing No. 18 (永裕興18號) — after its owner reported on Jan. 1 that he lost contact with the captain on Dec. 30.

The center sought assistance from U.S. authorities, and an American fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft found the missing boat some 606 nautical miles northeast of Midway Atoll on Jan. 2, Tsai said.

Observers on the plane noticed that the windows of the captain's cabin were smashed open, raising the possibility that the communications equipment onboard may have been damaged in the process.    [FULL  STORY]

‘Pork dashboard’ shows zero imports

PORK WATCH: The dashboard provides daily information on locally produced and imported pork products, including those containing ractopamine residue

Taipei Times
Date: Jan 05, 2021
By: Chien Hui-ju and Chen Hsin-yu / Staff reporters

New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi, right, visits a Cha I Shan Foods Co food processing factory in the city’s Shulin District yesterday.
Photo courtesy of the New Taipei City Education Department

The government yesterday launched an online “pork dashboard,” which showed no pork imports since Friday, when the nation started allowing imports of pork containing residue of the leanness-enhancing additive ractopamine.

A collaboration between the Council of Agriculture and the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the dashboard — — showed that from Friday to Sunday domestically produced pork totaled 3,048 tonnes.

The nation also produced 2,811 tonnes of pork liver, kidney and other edible pig organs, it showed.

Statistics on pork products are collected and compiled by the council, the ministry and the Customs Administration, and uploaded to the dashboard before 9am on workdays.