Taiwan News: Typhoon Maria, Salacious Impeachment

Taiwan News: Typhoon Maria, Salacious Impeachment
Photo Credit: Depositphotos
What you need to know

Your daily bulletin of Taiwan news, courtesy of ICRT.

Listen
powered by Cyberon

The Central Weather Bureau has upgraded Tropical Storm Maria to a typhoon and says it is likely to be at its closest to Taiwan next Tuesday and Wednesday - if it continues on its projected path and at its current speed.

Typhoon Maria is currently located some 2,600 kilometers south-southeast off Eluanbi at the island's southernmost tip and is moving in a north-northwesterly direction at 9 km per hour.

The storm is packing sustained wind speeds of 126 km an hour, with gusts of up to 162 km an hour.

According to the weather bureau, Maria could move in a westerly direction south of the Ryukyu islands if the Pacific high pressure system remains strong, but could also veer closer to Japan and away from Taiwan if the high pressure system weakens.

The island's weather will not be impacted by the storm this weekend. And the weather bureau said it will have a clearer picture as to the typhoon's path within the next 24 hours.

--------------------

The Control Yuan has impeached judge Chu Liang on charges of soliciting prostitutes and former judge Tseng Mou-kuei on charges of accepting gifts from a person involved in a case he was presiding over.

Both Chu and Tseng worked at the Taichung branch of the Taiwan High Court.

According to the government watchdog, Chu solicited prostitutes at hotels on 16 occasions between December of 2014 and May of last year and more than half of those meetings occurred when Chu was meant to have been at work.

The Control Yuan has impeached him on charges of violating the the Social Order Maintenance Act and the Judges Act.

Tseng has been impeached for accepting gifts from someone involved in a case he was overseeing in 2015 and the Control Yuan said his actions were in violation of the Judges Act.

The Control Yuan committee investigating the charges against Chu and Tseng voted unanimously to impeach the judges in both cases.

The investigations have now been turned over to the Court of Judiciary for review, but it's not yet known when that court will make a ruling on the punishments Chu and Tseng will face.

-------------------

Former vice president Lien Chan is slated to travel to China next week - and reports suggest he could hold talks with Chinese President Xi Jin-ping during the trip.

Lien's office has not commented on the reports and a spokesperson has said the Kuomintang (KMT) Honorary Chairman is in talks with Chinese officials about a possible visit.

The spokesperson also said details of any trip to China will be formally announced when they have been finalized.

Reports have claimed Lien will meet with China's Taiwan Affairs Office chief Liu Jie-yi next Thursday and then hold talks with Xi on Friday in Beijing.

If he does hold talks with China's president, it will be the fourth time the two will have met since 2013.

Lien is reportedly making the trip to China to visit his family's ancestral graves.

RTX1QK01
Photo Credit: Reuters / TPG
China's President Xi Jinping (R) shakes hands with Lien Chan, former chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT), during their meeting in Beijing Sept. 1, 2015.

------------

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says it has lodged a protest with Air India over its decision to change Taiwan's designation to "Chinese Taipei" on its website.

Ministry spokesman Andrew Lee said his office is requesting the airline restore the designation to the proper name.

The protest was filed by Taiwan's representative office in New Delhi following the name change on the airline's official website in late June.

According to Lee, the representative office is also urging India's ministries of external affairs and civil aviation not to allow "political meddling by foreign governments in the independent operations of Indian enterprises."

The ministry spokesman said his office will continue to monitor developments on the issue in order to safeguard "the independent sovereignty and dignity of Taiwan."

Read More: Q&A: TECO New York's Brian Su on Fighting for Taiwan Against China

-------------------

Prosecutors in Hong Kong have said Chan Tong-kai is facing possible murder charges related to the killing of his girlfriend in Taiwan in February.

The statement during a court hearing Thursday is the first time prosecutors in the former British territory have raised the issue of murder charges since Chan's arrest in March.

The 19-year-old was detained by authorities in Hong Kong for being in possession of stolen goods belonging to his dead girlfriend, Poon Hiu-wing and of illegally accessing her bank account.

The South China Morning Post reported that Chan has so far only been charged with dealing with property known or believed to represent proceeds of an indictable offence.

Prosecutors here in Taiwan say Chan killed his girlfriend at a hotel in Taipei before dumping her body near the Zhuwei MRT station, where it was found on March 13.

And they have been seeking to ensure he faces murder charges . However, there is no formal extradition agreement or mutual legal assistance treaty between Taiwan and Hong Kong.

The couple had been in Taiwan on holiday at the time of the murder and Chan returned to Hong Kong alone on Feb. 17.

--------------------

The Kaohsiung District Prosecutors' Office has indicted Chen Shi-hsien on charges of illegal oil sales to North Korea in contravention of United Nations sanctions.

Prosecutors said Chen has been charged with making a false declaration that a ship he chartered was heading for Hong Kong and of knowingly selling oil to North Korea.

The Hong Kong-registered ship was detained by South Korean authorities in November of last year for allegedly transferring 600 tonnes of oil to a North Korean vessel in international waters.

Chen is continuing to claim he is being framed by a Chinese mediator and that he was unaware the cargo was transferred to North Korea.

The government announced it was banning all trade with North Korea in September last year as mandated by United Nations sanctions against Pyongyang.

-------------------

The High Court has sentenced the man who attacked a Presidential Office guard with a sword in August of 2017 to six years and eight months in prison.

The sentence was reduced by two months from a sentence handed down by the Taipei District Court in March.

The High Court said it opted to cut Lu Jun-yi's sentence because he promised to pay compensation for the sword, which he stole from the Armed Forces Museum in Taipei before he tried to break into the Presidential Office Aug. 18, 2017.

Lu slashed a presidential guard in the neck after he had tried to stop the defendant from entering the Presidential Office to attack President Tsai Ing-wen.

He was overpowered by other guards and was unable to enter the building. The High Court ruling can be appealed.

---------------------

Mainland Affairs Council Minister Chen Ming-tong will visit the United States later this month. According to council spokesman Chiu Chui-cheng, Chen is scheduled to visit Washington and New York, from July 16 through 23.

He is expected to attend at least one international symposium and discuss the Taiwan government's cross-Strait policy.

Reports have said Chen will deliver a speech at the Heritage Foundation and hold talks with senior White House and State Department officials and meet with Taiwan-friendly

U.S. senators and representatives.

However, the council spokesman is refusing to disclose Chen's full itinerary or who he will be meeting with. Chen will be the first Mainland Affairs Council minister to visit Washington since President Tsai Ing-wen took office in May 2016.

-----------------------

The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) has a new spokeswoman. Amanda Mansour assumed her duties Thursday.

Mansour succeeds Sonia Urbom, who stepped down as AIT spokeswoman in June. According to AIT, Mansour joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 2007 and most recently, she worked at the Department of State in Washington, where she served on the Secretary of State's Policy Planning Staff, at the Foreign Press Center.

Before that, Mansour served overseas at the U.S. Consulate in Adana, Turkey and at the U.S. Embassy in Prague.

--------------------

Read Next: OPINION: Weighing the Costs of Cambodia's Rental to China

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

TNL Editor: David Green