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Secretary of state pick affirms US backing of Taiwan

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US president-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of state reaffirmed the US’ commitment to Taiwan based on the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) and the “six assurances” during a US Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday.

“We’ve made an important commitment to Taiwan,” through the TRA and the “six assurances,” and such commitments should be reaffirmed, former Exxon Mobil chief executive Rex Tillerson said in response to questions from US Senator Cory Gardner regarding the incoming administration’s position on Taiwan and the “one China” policy.

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Groups demand Ma’s imprisonment

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Photo: CNA

Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) yesterday attended a court hearing at the Taipei District Court over a 2013 wiretapping case, while Taiwanese independence groups protested outside, demanding that Ma be imprisoned over alleged abuses of power and illegal activities.

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NPP holds forum with HK politicians

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The New Power Party (NPP) yesterday held the first of two forums with pro-localization Hong Kong politicians, with party aides discussing common challenges and problems.

“We hope to use this opportunity to link together the democratic energy in Hong Kong and Taiwan,” NPP Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) said. “We invited them here, because it is difficult for NPP lawmakers to gain entrance to Hong Kong.”

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Military ready for moves by ‘Liaoning’

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China’s aircraft carrier Liaoning, with accompanying vessels, conducts a drill in the South China Sea in and undated photograph taken last month.
Photo: Reuters

The Taiwanese military is prepared for possible maneuvers by the China’s aircraft carrier group in the Taiwan Strait, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said yesterday.

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Government to crack down on ‘fake news’ sites

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A spate of “fake news” believed to be fabricated by Chinese netizens has prompted the Presidential Office and the Executive Yuan to call a meeting to discuss countermeasures, a government official said.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the Presidential Office, the Cabinet and national security agencies held a meeting to discuss countermeasures after suspected intervention from China in many of the government’s policy proposals.

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Radical wings evicted from ceremony

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A woman holds a banner promoting Taiwanese independence in front of people holding Republic of China national flags at a New Year’s Day flag-raising ceremony outside the Presidential Office Building in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: CNA

Members of the pro-independence Taiwan Radical Wings party were evicted from a New Year’s Day ceremony in front of the Presidential Office Building for waving flags promoting Taiwanese independence yesterday, while the party accused the authorities of failing to protect free speech.

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Japan association name-change lauded

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Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday lauded the Interchange Association, Japan’s decision to change its name to the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, saying that the move would clarify Taiwan-Japan ties and be a milestone in relations between the two nations.

Japan ended formal recognition of Taiwan in 1972 and subsequently established the non-official Interchange Association, Japan, to act as its de facto embassy in Taipei.

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Newsflash

Tibetans and supporters in Canberra, Australia carry a coffin symbolic of the 12 Tibetans who self-immolated in Tibet since March this year.

DHARAMSHALA, December 14: Tibetans and supporters across the world commemorated the 63rd Human Rights Day with protest marches and campaigns calling on China to respect the fundamental human rights in Tibet, Saturday.

Tibetans and supporters in the Australian capital city of Canberra carried out a 24-hour hunger strike in front of the Chinese embassy, culminating with a peace march on December 10, which was attended by over 300 people.