Taiwan News: Tsai Condemns China, US Concerned After El Salvador Switches Ties

Taiwan News: Tsai Condemns China, US Concerned After El Salvador Switches Ties
Photo Credit: Reuters / TPG

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Your daily bulletin of Taiwan news, courtesy of ICRT.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said China’s pressure on Taiwan's allies to switch diplomatic recognition from the ROC (Taiwan) to the PRC (China) is an "infringement" on the island's "sovereignty."

Speaking after Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) announced Taiwan is cutting diplomatic relations with El Salvador, Tsai called for national unity to, in her words, "defend the status quo" of Taiwan.

According to Tsai, Taiwan is entitled to its independent sovereignty and dignity, despite China's efforts to suppress the island through intimidation, military coercion, and by luring its diplomatic allies away.

The president also warned Beijing about its actions, saying that China has now crossed the line with all of Taiwan's major political parties.

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Photo Credit: Reuters / TPG
Read More: El Salvador Cuts Diplomatic Ties with Taiwan

Ruling and opposition lawmakers have voiced their concerns that China's luring away of Taiwan's allies does little to help cross-Strait ties.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker Wang Ding-yu (王定宇) said Beijing is acting to "stifle Taiwan's diplomatic progress in the United States."

Kuomintang (KMT) spokesman Hung Meng-kai (洪孟楷) urged China to recognize the existence of the ROC and refrain from squeezing Taiwan's international space.

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said Beijing should "not let nationalism expand and be wiser in handling cross-Strait affairs."

El Salvador is the fifth diplomatic ally to switch its loyalty from Taiwan to China since President Tsai of the DPP took office in May 2016 and the third this year, after the Dominican Republic and Burkina Faso defected in May.

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The Mainland Affairs Council said it has lodged a strong protest over China's poaching of the island's diplomatic allies.

According to the council, Beijing has repeatedly ignored Taipei's requests for cross-Strait dialogue and its suppression of Taiwan is "damaging peace and stability in the strait and the region."

The council also reiterated the government's determination to defend the country's national sovereignty and dignity, saying existing cross-Strait policies will remain in place.

It said that "Taiwan has stern faith in self-defense and a democratic system against communist China's brutish practices."

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The United States government expressed concern about El Salvador's decision to shift diplomatic relations to China from Taiwan.

U.S. Ambassador to San Salvador Jean Manes wrote in a tweet that El Salvador's decision "is worrisome for many reasons," and "without doubt" will impact Washington's relationship with the government."

Here in Taiwan, the American Institute in Taiwan has released a statement saying: "China's efforts to unilaterally alter the status quo are harmful and do not contribute to regional stability."

According to spokesperson Amanda Mansour, Beijing's efforts to take away Taiwan's allies "undermine the framework that has enabled peace, stability, and development for decades."

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Taiwan has slipped into eighth place in the overall medals table at the Asian Games, with a medal tally of three gold, two silver and five bronze.

Yang Kung-pi (楊昆弼) and Lin Yi-chun (林怡君) won Taiwan's second silver of the Games in the mixed trap shooting event with a score of 42.

The women's kabaddi team is guaranteed a bronze medal after beating Iran 22-18 to advance to a semi-final against defending champions India. The event does not feature a third-place match, so both the losing semi-finalists get a third-place podium finish.

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Photo Credit: Reuters / TPG
Chanhung Kao of Taiwan competes in the Men's 62kg Group A Weightlifting event at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Chen Wei-ting advanced to the semi-finals of the women's sanda event after beating her Pakistani opponent in the 52-kilogram category.

In tennis, Liang En-shuo (梁恩碩) has advanced to the women's singles quarter-finals., while Hsieh Cheng-peng (謝政鵬) and Yang Tsung-hua (楊宗樺) have qualified for the men's doubles quarter-finals.

The women's basketball team beat Indonesia 115-51 to top Group A and claim a spot in the quarterfinals. The women's soccer team beat the Maldives 7-0 Tuesday evening, while the women's softball team lost 5-0 to China in Jakarta.

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The Taoyuan International Airport Corporation said it believes the deaths of three employees of a company contracted to work on water pipes was due to unsafe working conditions.

The three were killed in a mudslide at a construction site at the airport Tuesday. Taoyuan firefighters said the three were trapped under piles of mud while working on water pipes.

According to the airport corporation, the company contracted to carry out the repair work is suspected of failing to provide sufficient protection measures for their employees.

Police are still investigating the exact cause of the accident.

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The New Taipei City government is stepping-up its dengue fever disinfection efforts.

The move comes as the number of indigenous dengue fever cases are continuing to rise after a 12th patient was confirmed to have contracted the mosquito-borne disease earlier this week.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said all of the indigenous cases of dengue fever infection in New Taipei this year have been in Xinzhuang District and include three cluster infections in Qiong-Lin ward.

City Health Commissioner Lin Chi-hung (林奇宏) said disinfection measures will be reinforced from today in Qionglin in order to eliminate mosquito breeding areas.

Residents of the area are being advised to disinfect their own homes or allow city employees access to the properties to carry out disinfection work.

Households that fail to disinfect their homes face a fine of up to NT$300,000 (US$9,764) for violating the Communicable Disease Control Act.

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The government has donated US$250,000 (NT$7.68 million) to Indonesia to help with relief efforts in following this month’s magnitude 7 earthquake on Lombok.

The donation was made in Jakarta by Taiwan's representative to Indonesia Chen Chung (陳忠) to the Indonesian Red Cross Society.

A relief fund of US$63,000 (NT$1.94 million) raised by Taiwanese businesses based in the country has also been made to the Indonesian Red Cross. The chairman of the Taiwan Business Club said those funds will be used to purchase two ambulances and help construction of a clinic in Lombok.

The August 15 earthquake left 460 people dead and over 700 others injured.

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Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) said the government will continue its efforts to combat corruption and pursue clean governance.

Chen made the statement at the opening of a four-day session of the international review on Taiwan's compliance with the United Nations Convention against Corruption.

He said that Taiwan is willing to work with the international community to prevent and combat corruption, as government transparency has a direct impact on foreign investment confidence.

Chen went on to say that Taiwan will work to enhance participation in issues related to government policies as it seeks to improve the country's transparency and create a cleaner investment environment.

The review is being held in Taipei and sees international anti-corruption experts sharing their opinions and suggestions to combat corruption.

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The Civil Aeronautics Administration has said it is now reviewing a series of recommendations aimed at regulating the use of drones.

According to administration officials, talks are ongoing with local governments as it seeks nationwide consensus on laws governing where drones can be flown and who can use them.

The civil aviation body has been asked to draft regulations regarding the registering of larger drones, the issuing of licenses to drone users as well as the inspection and certification of drones. It also has to draft a special anti-drunk drone flying law.

An amendment to the Civil Aviation Act overseeing drone use is set to effect next July.

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The Forestry Bureau has closed the Jiaming Lake National Trail in Taitung County for 15 days from today due to an increase in the number of Formosan black bears being spotted foraging for food in cabins.

Bureau officials say the closure comes as it works on ways to stop the bears from encroaching on areas where hikers cook and rest.

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Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
A Formosan black bear with two cubs. The bears are listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

There have been four sightings of one or two back bears looking for food in cabins in the area over the past 10 days and the bureau says it is seeking to ensure the safety of both the public and the bears.

The Forestry Bureau will meet with black bear experts and representatives from hiking associations next Monday to discuss the situation.

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The first all-female artillery squad to participate in a joint armed forces exercise has been awarded top marks.

The nine female artillery officers were participating in joint military anti-landing exercise in Pingtung County.

They scored "100 points" for accurately hitting their targets with an M110A2 203-millimeter self-propelled gun.

The anti-landing exercise included elements of the Navy, Air Force, and Army.

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Photo Credit: Reuters / TPG
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This news bulletin was provided courtesy of International Community Radio Taipei (ICRT), Taiwan’s leading English-language broadcaster.

TNL Editor: Nick Aspinwall (@Nick1Aspinwall)

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