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US warns China over meddling


White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders points to reporter during the daily news briefing in Washington on Wednesday.
Photo: AP

The White House late on Thursday cautioned China against luring away Taiwan’s allies, in the latest sign that trade friction between Washington and Beijing is expanding into a broader struggle for global clout.

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AIT head pledges US support to Tsai


President Tsai Ing-wen, right, shakes hands with American Institute in Taiwan Director Brent Christensen at the Presidential Office Building in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: CNA

American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Brent Christensen yesterday pledged the US’ support for Taiwan’s global contributions and participation, and denounced China’s interference in the domestic politics of Western nations.

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China’s growing economic clout

Announcements by the US’ three biggest airlines that they are to list Taiwan as part of China might have registered as a tiny blip on the news radar, but some experts say that it represents efforts by Chinese authorities to assert control over the de facto island state.

Forty-four other airlines — including British Airways, Lufthansa and Qantas — also complied with China’s called-for changes, prompting American Airlines to respond: “Air travel is a global business and we abide by the rules in countries where we operate.”

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Drop ‘status quo’ and promote ‘Taiwan,’ NPP says

The New Power Party (NPP) yesterday urged the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration to abandon the policy of maintaining the “status quo” and begin promoting the nation’s status under the name “Taiwan” after the loss of diplomatic ally El Salvador.

The party condemned China for its “malicious attempt” to suppress Taiwan and blamed it for “undermining the regional security and peace of East Asia” by manipulating other nations into isolating Taiwan.

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Standing up to China the bully

While it is no secret that China has long employed the carrot-and-stick approach in its nefarious scheme to bring Taiwan into its fold, it has of late turned up the intensity and frequency of its efforts to stifle Taiwan’s global presence.

On the one hand, Beijing has stepped up its suppression of Taiwan internationally through arbitrary acts, such as demanding that international airlines and hotel groups designate Taiwan as part of China on their official Web sites, revoking Taichung’s right to host the East Asian Youth Games and pressuring Taiwan-based bakery chain 85°C to show its support for Beijing after President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) visited a Los Angeles branch on Aug. 12.

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Academics call for Dalai Lama visit

Academics yesterday called on the government to invite the Dalai Lama, Nobel Peace Prize laurete Liu Xiaobo’s (劉曉波) widow, Liu Xia (劉霞), and World Uyghur Congress president Rebiya Kadeer to Taiwan, as pressure from Beijing is bound to continue regardless.

China has over the past year snatched away diplomatic allies, contrived to terminate Taichung’s right to host the East Asian Youth Games, and demanded that foreign airlines and businesses change how they refer to Taiwan.

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Newsflash

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) could face yet another crisis other than its dismal presidential campaign, as a group of pro-localization members are allegedly planning to form a splinter group to force KMT headquarters to respond directly to their calls for a change of candidate.

According to people familiar with the matter, the plan to establish a new party — which would be called the “Taiwan Chinese Nationalist Party Alliance” (台灣國民黨聯盟) — is spearheaded by several influential local members, including senior presidential adviser Liao Liou-yi (廖了以) and former Yunlin County commissioner Chang Jung-wei (張榮味).