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Visiting US ambassador calls on China to release Taiwanese activist

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A visiting US official responsible for religious freedom yesterday urged the Chinese government to release jailed Taiwanese democracy activist Lee Ming-che (李明哲), who is serving a five-year prison term in China on charges of subversion of state power.

US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback, who is visiting Taiwan for a regional religious freedom forum, the first of its kind, made the call during a news briefing in Taipei after a meeting with Lee’s wife, Lee Ching-yu (李凈瑜).

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Tibetan uprising: Groups call for Dalai Lama visit

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The Dalai Lama, center, arrives at a Long Life offering prayer at the main Buddhist temple of Tsuglagkhang, near the town of Dharamsala, India, on Feb. 27.
Photo: EPA-EFE

Tibetan advocates yesterday joined New Power Party (NPP) Legislator Freddy Lim (林昶佐) in launching a petition to invite the Dalai Lama to visit Taiwan this year, and urged civic organizations, religious groups and the public to help make it happen.

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US’ Ted Yoho plugs WHA role

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US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar speaks during healthcare pricing roundtable in the White House in Washington on Jan. 23.
Photo: Bloomberg

US Representative Ted Yoho on Friday sent a letter to US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, urging him to visit Taiwan next month to attend an international workshop on public health and advocate for Taiwan’s participation in the upcoming World Health Assembly (WHA).

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Su demands action on violence

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Armed police officers raid the night club X-Cube in Taichung on Wednesday.
Photo: Chang Jui-chen, Taipei Times

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday reiterated a warning to late-night entertainment proprietors and local police to better combat street fighting after a spate of violence in the past few weeks.

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Senators urge visit by Trump official

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The new American Institute in Taiwan compound is pictured in Taipei’s Neihu District on June 12 last year.
Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times

Sixteen US senators on Monday wrote a joint letter urging US President Donald Trump to send a Cabinet official to Taipei next month to attend a major event to be held by the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT).

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Nation protests WHO denigration: Wu

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A child receives a vaccination shot at a hospital in Huaibei in China’s Anhui Province on July 26 last year.
Photo: AFP

Taiwan did not participate in a WHO-organized vaccines conference in Beijing on Feb. 21 to protest the global body’s denigration of the country, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said yesterday.

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Tsai eyes security dialogue with Japan

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A photograph of President Tsai Ing-wen is pictured in yesterday’s edition of the Sankei Shimbun, which contained an interview with Tsai.
Photo: CNA

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has for the first time expressed intent to conduct direct dialogue with the Japanese government on cybersecurity and regional security issues.

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Newsflash

The Chinese navy has commissioned three new amphibious transport docks over the past few years that could improve Beijing’s ability to seize and hold Taiwan’s outlying islands.

According to a report to be unveiled by the US House Armed Services Committee yesterday, each of the docks can carry a mix of air-cushion landing craft, amphibious armored vehicles, helicopters and marines.

Nevertheless, the report says that “at this time” China does not appear to be pursuing the amphibious capabilities necessary to conduct a large-scale invasion of Taiwan.