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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Streamers paid to misinform: minister

>Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang speaks to the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper ) in an interview aired yesterday.
Photo: screen grab from Guan Wo Shenme Shi

The Ministry of Justice has become aware of “external forces” paying Internet streamers to make false statements in an attempt to influence November’s nine-in-one elections, Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥) said yesterday.

Tsai made the remarks in an interview with the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper), the contents of which were aired yesterday.


US House eyes Taiwan defense ties

Police officers wearing face masks guard the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, U.S., May 14, 2020.
Photo: Reuters

The US House of Representatives Armed Services Committee yesterday passed its version of the US annual defense policy bill — the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2023 — which includes provisions for enhancing military ties with Taiwan.

The committee passed the draft bill in a 57-to-one vote early in the morning, following 16 hours of debate.


The high price of attacking Taiwan

As Taiwan is facing global crises from the COVID-19 pandemic to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it is again time to take stock.

In terms of public health, Taiwan has made it through the COVID-19 challenge quite well. By combining masking, vaccinations and border controls, it has achieved a sufficiently protective herd immunity and is expected to end quarantine requirements for incoming travelers by the end of the summer.

What about Ukraine? Here, Taiwan must assess four key players in its region.


Ko’s bridge a road to nowhere

As the Russia-Ukraine war continues, barely a day goes by without a report of a bridge being blown to smithereens by one side or the other. The tactical destruction of bridges is as old as war itself, with structures dismantled or dynamited to slow the progress of advancing forces, cut off supply lines or pin down a retreating army.

Amid the destruction, new bridges are also built during conflict to rapidly ferry troops and materials across rivers. During peacetime, bridges are economic corridors, linking population centers separated by nature. Bridges can also be used to advance diplomatic goals, such as the Sino-Nepal Friendship Bridge.


Critics blast Ko over Kinmen-Xiamen bridge

A view of China’s Xiamen taken from Kinmen County’s Lieyu Township is pictured in an undated photograph.
Photo: Taipei Times

Critics accused Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) of being oblivious to national security concerns after he proposed constructing a bridge to link Kinmen and China’s Xiamen (廈門).

Ko, who is also the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) chairman, made the proposal when presiding over the opening ceremony of the party’s office in Kinmen on Saturday.


A lesson from Bachelet’s China visit

When commenting on her decision to not seek a second term as UN high commissioner for human rights, Michelle Bachelet said it was unrelated to criticism she faced over her visit to China’s Xinjiang region.

“Having been president [of Chile] twice, I have received a lot of criticism in my life,” she said. “That’s not what makes me [come to] certain decisions.”

The comments clearly expose who Bachelet is.

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Pakistan gave China access to the previously unknown US “stealth” helicopter that crashed during the commando raid that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in May despite explicit requests from the CIA not to, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

The disclosure, if confirmed, is likely to further shake the US-Pakistan relationship, which has been improving slightly after hitting its lowest point in decades following the killing of bin Laden.

During the raid, one of two modified Blackhawk helicopters, believed to employ unknown stealth capability, malfunctioned and crashed, forcing the commandos to abandon it.