The GuardianJapan is to acquire at least one aircraft carrier for the first time since World War II as it attempts to counter Chinese maritime expansion in the Pacific. The government is to upgrade its two existing Izumo-class helicopter carriers so they can transport and launch fighter jets, media reported. Previous Japanese governments have ruled out acquiring aircraft carriers, adhering to the postwar consensus that the vessels’ capabilities could be interpreted as offensive. In its latest defense white paper, Japan said that China had acquired and built aircraft carriers to enable it to expand into Pacific waters near Japan’s outlying southwestern islands. The white paper, published in August, also voiced concern about Chinese military spending and activity in the South China Sea.
AP, OKLAHOMA CITY, OklahomaRussell Westbrook was more introspective than usual on Wednesday night. Last year’s Most Valuable Player moved into a tie for third place on the NBA list for triple-doubles with 23 points, 19 rebounds and 15 assists as the Oklahoma City Thunder completed a regular-season sweep of the shorthanded Cleveland Cavaliers with a 100-83 victory. Jordan Clarkson led Cleveland with 25 points, while Collin Sexton (21 points, 10 rebounds) and Cedi Osman (14 points, 10 rebounds) each had a double-double. Oklahoma City trailed 55-51 in the third quarter when Westbrook started a 13-0 run with a three-pointer. By the end of the quarter, the Thunder led 73-62 and the Cavaliers got no closer than nine the rest of the way.
Staff writer, with CNAThe American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) yesterday confirmed that it purchased a plot of land in Taipei to build a residential complex for its staff, saying the decision reflects the US’ strong long-term commitment to the nation. “On Nov. 28, 2018, AIT finalized a conditional purchase agreement with Jean Co, Ltd [新美齊] for the construction of a new residential tower in Tianmu [天母] and purchase of the underlying land,” AIT spokesperson Jesse Curtis said in an e-mail. “When completed, AIT plans to use the residential tower as housing for AIT staff and their families,” Curtis said, confirming a report in the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) about the deal. It was not the AIT’s first real-estate purchase in Taiwan, as the newspaper had reported, he said without elaborating. The 1,000m2 plot of land and construction of the building is to cost NT$1.16 billion (US$37.6 million), Jean Co said.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs would not have to pay, the ruling added. Lin Hsuan-chi (林媗琪), representative of the victims’ legal team, said the team approved of the court’s decision to reject the majority of the company’s appeals. However, they regret the decision to overrule a previous ruling requiring the ministry to pay compensation, as it should also be held liable, she said. In the first trial, the court had ruled that the ministry should pay compensation, but in the second and third trials, it reversed the ruling, she said. If CPDC does not make the payments of its own initiative, the legal team would take action, she added.
AP, MADRIDChinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) yesterday issued an impassioned defense of free markets’ ability to combat economic uncertainty as he sought allies in Europe. However, Xi’s two-day visit to Spain is presenting the Chinese leader with the opportunity to charm a country that has traditionally avoided confrontation with Beijing. However, top officials said that Spain would not officially endorse Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative. Spain and Portugal, for example, were among the countries whose ambassadors did not back a letter by 15 Western diplomats about China’s rights record in Xinjiang. Xi is to fly to Argentina today for tomorrow’s G20 leaders’ summit, after which he is to visit Panama and Portugal.
Staff writer, with CNAThe family of a trainee police officer killed in the line of duty have decided to donate his organs and said they hope that action would be taken to ensure the safety of law enforcement officers. The parents of National Highway Police Bureau trainee officer Wang Huang Kuan-chun (王黃冠鈞) will donate their son’s heart, liver, kidneys, corneas and blood vessels, Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital deputy superintendent Huang Jing-long (黃璟隆) said. Wang Huang’s father, a squad leader at the Fifth Special Police Corps, said that although he was never worried by the danger associated with being a police officer, he was afraid of losing his child. The organ donations are a way to ensure that his son’s life continues to have meaning and benefits others, he added. Wang Huang sustained fatal injuries when his car was rear-ended on Friday last week, the bureau said.
The peaceful development of cross-strait relations would bring both sides concrete benefits, which would include economic, cultural and other types of exchanges, he said. The Chinese Communist Party hopes that the livelihood of Taiwanese would be improved more easily through economic development, he said. Taichung mayor-elect Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕), who also acknowledges the “1992 consensus,” said she would endeavor to have the Games reinstated. China had originally objected to Taichung hosting the Games on the basis that Taiwanese groups were calling for the name change. Ma said the decision to reinstate the city’s right to host the Games ultimately rests with the East Asian Olympic Committee.
Staff writer, with CNAInternational Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach yesterday said he welcomes Taiwan’s participation in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics under the name “Chinese Taipei” after a referendum in Taiwan to apply for a name change was rejected. Taiwan has taken part in all editions of the Olympic Games under the name “Chinese Taipei” since 1984 after China refused to allow Taiwan to participate officially as the Republic of China (ROC) in the 1976 Summer Games in Montreal. The nation had competed in the Olympic Games from 1956 to 1972 as the ROC, but it did not take part in the 1976 and 1980 Olympics because of disputes over protocol and national recognition. Taiwan first participated as “Chinese Taipei” at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo after the IOC passed the Nagoya Resolution in 1979, which led to the Lausanne Agreement in 1981. The agreement requires Taiwan to compete under the name “Chinese Taipei” and bans its Olympic committee from using the ROC flag or national anthem.
The results showed that 59.5 percent of the nearly 10 million people who voted are against abolishing nuclear power, Central Election Commission figures showed. The Executive Yuan respects the result and would work with concerned ministries to re-evaluate the nation’s energy policies, Kolas said. After the 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster in Japan, public opinion took a strong turn against nuclear energy, so the Democratic Progressive Party vowed to phase out nuclear power by 2025, Kolas said. Although nuclear energy produces less air pollution, the problem of handling and storing nuclear waste remains a serious issue, she added. In keeping with voters’ wishes, the new strategy would prioritize renewable sources, energy conservation and nuclear power, Shen said.
The league applied to unfreeze its assets because it was dissatisfied with the committee’s decision to file an administrative suit, sources said. The court in its press release disregarded the fact that transitional justice projects must always race against time and said that lifting the penalty would merely postpone the realization of transitional justice, the committee said. Central Investment Co (中央投資公司) and Hsinyutai Co (欣裕台) had also applied to end the administrative penalties placed against them, but the Supreme Administrative Court rejected their requests, the committee added. The Taipei High Administrative Court only urged the league to consider the potential legal risks it might face and to handle its assets in a reasonable manner, it said. If the league uses large amounts of its assets and in doing so harms the public interest, the Taipei High Administrative Court should be held responsible, it added.
AP, BEIJINGLu Guang’s (盧廣) photographs exposed the everyday realities of people on the margins of Chinese society: coal miners, drug addicts, HIV patients. Lu was taken away by state security agents three weeks ago for unknown reasons, his wife, Xu Xiaoli (徐小莉), told reporters late on Tuesday. A friend of Xu helped her inquire about her husband’s whereabouts in his home province of Zhejiang, where authorities said that Lu and a fellow photographer had been taken away by Xinjiang state security. His photos tackle gritty subjects, such as pollution and industrial environmental destruction — issues traditionally avoided by the Chinese press because they risk punishment for exposing societal problems that the government might consider sensitive. Lu was the first photographer from China to be invited by the US Department of State as a visiting academic, it said.
By Stacy Hsu / Staff reporterWith the Kaohsiung mayoral election having become a flashpoint of the nine-in-one local elections, the candidates from the two largest political parties last night made a last-ditch effort with large-scale campaign rallies ahead of today’s vote. Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Kaohsiung mayoral candidate Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) urged his supporters at his election-eve rally to get justice for Kaohsiung and for the city’s three-term former mayor, Presidential Office Secretary-General Chen Chu (陳菊), by voting today. “Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT] Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) called her [Chen Chu] a ‘fat sow’ and [KMT Kaohsiung mayoral candidate] Han Kuo-yu [韓國瑜] described Kaohsiung as an old and poor city,” Chen Chi-mai said. Although President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) did not attend the rally, she had joined Chen Chi-mai at campaign activities earlier in the day. “After suffering from 20 to 30 years of political ideology, elections have become a curse that gives Kaohsiung residents a headache...
By Christopher Bodeen and Johnson Lai / AP, TAIPEIChina’s pressure campaign looms large as Taiwan holds local elections today in what is seen partly as a referendum on the policies of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文). Driven from power two years ago, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is hoping to regain territory by leaning on its pro-business image and a more accommodating line toward Beijing. “It’s more important than the usual local elections,” Huang said. The elections are being portrayed as the largest ever on the island of 23 million, with about 19 million voters casting ballots for more than 11,000 local officials. A result that ends in Tsai stepping down as party chair could also energize the KMT and create problems for the DPP in the 2020 elections, he said.
Staff writerChina has been employing “a Russia-style influence campaign” to meddle in Taiwan’s elections, the New York Times said on Thursday. The volley of misinformation appeared aimed at undermining President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), it said. “Authorities say they suspect that Beijing is also illegally funneling money to political campaigns through Taiwan businesses in mainland China. “Taiwan’s government fears the use of social media misinformation campaigns are a new front for meddling,” it added. “Taiwan leaders say the propaganda is now carried over the Strait through posts on Facebook, the chat app Line and a popular online bulletin board,” it said.
By Han Cheung / Staff reporterDora Chou (周楷茵) is often told that she doesn’t look like a borough warden (里長). Across town in New Taipei City’s Sanchong District (三重), Yongan Borough (永安) warden hopeful Huang Li-yu (黃麗伃) is out shaking hands the traditional way, shouting “Give young people a chance!” through a megaphone. Both alumni of the female borough warden training program put on by the National Alliance of Taiwan Women’s Associations (台灣婦女團體全國聯合會) this summer, the two are part of the association’s push to get more women into neighborhood-level politics. Unlike Chou, Huang Li-yu’s family is one of the largest and oldest in her area, providing her with ample support. When Huang Li-yu cycles around the community, her stereo blares an original Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese) rap song about why she should be warden.