Taiwan News: New Typhoon Forms, Belize Supports Taiwan at UN

Taiwan News: New Typhoon Forms, Belize Supports Taiwan at UN
Belize Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington | Credit: Reuters / TPG
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The Central Weather Bureau says it's too early too say whether Typhoon Kong-Rey will directly affect Taiwan.

Kong-Rey developed into a typhoon Sunday afternoon and is the 25th storm of this year's Pacific typhoon season.

The weather bureau is forecasting the storm to strengthen in the coming days and is warning it could develop into a super typhoon.

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Credit: Reuters / TPG
Typhoon Kong-Rey: Headed towards Taiwan?

Kong-Rey is located some 2,000 kilometers east-southeast of the island's southernmost tip and is moving in a west-northwesterly direction at 15 kilometers an hour. The storm is packing sustained wind speeds of 126 kilometers-an-hour, with gusts of up to 162 kilometers-an-hour.

If Kong-Rey follows it current predicted path, the eye of the storm will pass through waters between Taiwan and Okinawa before heading into the East China Sea by Friday.

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Belize has spoken out in support of Taiwan at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Belize's foreign minister, Wilfred Elrington (pictured in cover photo), reiterated his country's call for Taiwan to be allowed to participate equally in the UN system and for a new approach by world leaders aimed at including the island in the global body.

Elrington told the general assembly that Taiwan is a vibrant democracy that has fully embraced international norms and standards, but the UN still refuses to recognize the island's legitimacy.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says 12 of Taiwan's 15 diplomatic allies that have spoken during the session have advocated for Taiwan's inclusion in the UN system.

Nicaragua and the Vatican are scheduled to address the United Nations General Assembly today.

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Two Chinese nationals have applied for political asylum in Taiwan.

The National Immigration Agency said they made the request on their arrival on a transit stop at Taoyuan International Airport.

The two men are currently being held at the airport because they don't have any legal documents allowing them to enter Taiwan.

The agency has not released any information about the identities of the asylum seekers, but says they asked for political protection from prosecution in China.

According to the Mainland Affairs Council, both of the asylum seekers were traveling on valid Chinese passports and made the transit stop en route from Thailand to China.

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The owner of the Changhua Biyun Temple has reportedly fled to Hong Kong after the county government began demolishing the building's numerous illegal structures.

Reports are citing a national security official as saying Wei Ming-jen (魏明仁) left Taiwan the day after demolition work at the temple in Erlin Township began last Wednesday. He reportedly purchased a one-way ticket to Hong Kong Thursday night.

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Credit: Wei Ming-jen Facebook
Temple owner Wei Ming-jen says he's following in Mao's footsteps by retreating to Hong Kong.

Wei released a statement this past weekend in which he said he was following in the footsteps of Mao Zedong by making a "strategic retreat."

He also claimed in an interview with a China-based Internet news service that the temple was being demolished because the Tsai administration is concerned it's popularity would grow.

Wei is facing a NT$5 million (US$163,706) bill for the demolition costs and is also being investigated for assaulting a county government employee.

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Indonesia's top envoy to Taiwan is expressing his country's thanks for the offer of assistance following last Friday's magnitude 7.5 earthquake that struck Sulawesi Island.

Speaking on the sidelines of an Indonesian cultural event in New Taipei, Didi Sumedi said officials have told him the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is ready to send assistance if needed.

The representative went on to say that Indonesian emergency teams are currently handling the situation.

President Tsai expressed her deepest sympathy and concern to Indonesia after the earthquake rocked Sulawesi Island last week.

No Taiwanese nationals have been reported as being killed or injured in the earthquake.

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British Lawmaker and shadow Brexit secretary, Keir Starmer, is visiting Taiwan this week to lobby against the death penalty.

Reports from the UK say the trip is also aimed at demonstrating London's continued commitment to international legal standards following the Brexit vote, that will see Britain leave the European Union next year.

Starmer last visited Taiwan two years ago. The Guardian is quoting him as saying "the most important thing is to ensure that Taiwan's moratorium to stop death sentences being carried out stays in place" and his visit to Taiwan "is part of maintaining the UK's commitment to international human rights."

Starmer will hold talks with Vice-President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁), Justice Minister Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥) and other senior justice ministry officials.

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Wyoming's Governor Matt Mead is visiting Taiwan this week to preside over the opening of a new state trade office and take part in various business-related exchanges.

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Credit: USFWS / BJ Baker, National Elk Refuge volunteer
Wyoming Governor Matt Mead, pictured in August 2012.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says the ribbon-cutting, scheduled to take place Wednesday and will be followed by a reception to celebrate the opening of the Wyoming Pacific Asia office based in Taipei.

Mead will also attend the 2018 US-Taiwan Business Day in Taipei on Thursday, and meet with government officials and business representatives.

It is Mead's third visit to Taiwan for a visit since he assumed office as governor of Wyoming in 2011.

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

Editor: Nick Aspinwall (@Nick1Aspinwall)

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