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Church shooting suspect tied to pro-China group

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Suspect in the Laguna Woods church shooting David Chou, 68, of Las Vegas is shown in this police booking photo released by the Orange County Sheriff`s Department on May 16, 2022.
Photo: Reuters

The Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) on Monday called on the US to label organizations associated with the suspect in the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church shooting as domestic terrorists, following accusations that he was a member of a group backing unification with ties to the Chinese government.

David Wenwei Chou (周文偉), 68, was arrested on Sunday and is being held in lieu of US$1 million bail at the Orange County Intake Release Center over a mass shooting at the California church that left one dead and five wounded.

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Taiwan Internet celebrities being paid by CCP: NSB

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National Security Bureau Director-General Chen Ming-tong arrives at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday for a meeting of the Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

The nation’s intelligence chief yesterday said that some local Internet celebrities are being paid by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to conduct “cognitive warfare” campaigns in Taiwan and help Beijing spread propaganda.

National Security Bureau (NSB) Director-General Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) said that one example happened in early March following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, when a Taiwanese Internet celebrity on TikTok claimed that the Chinese government was offering to evacuate Taiwanese from the European nation.

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Fourth shots to start soon, CECC says

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A nurse administers a vaccine to a child in Chiayi City yesterday.
Photo: Wang Shan-yen, Taipei Times

People aged 65 or older, and those over 60 who are immunocompromised, will be eligible for a fourth dose of a COVID-19 vaccine beginning next week at the earliest, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as COVID-19 cases topped 60,000 for a second day.

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US official says China threat ‘critical’

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US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines testifies during a US Senate Committee on Armed Services hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday.
Photo: AP

The threat posed by China to Taiwan until 2030 is “critical,” US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said on Tuesday while testifying on worldwide threats at a hearing of the US Senate Committee on Armed Services.

“I think it’s fair to say that it’s critical, or acute,” Haines said when asked by US Senator Josh Hawley if she viewed the threat facing Taiwan to be acute from now until 2030.

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US’ new fact sheet reflects ‘warming’ ties

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Old and new versions of the US Department of State’s online fact sheet on Taiwan are pictured in a composite screen grab, with notable changes highlighted for emphasis.
Photo: Screen grab and graphic by the Taipei Times

Changes to the US Department of State’s fact sheet on Taiwan indicate a significant warming in relations between the two nations, an academic said yesterday, as Beijing denounced them as “political manipulation.”

The department’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs on Thursday updated its online fact sheet on Taiwan-US relations, removing statements saying that Washington acknowledged Beijing’s “one China” position and did not support Taiwanese independence.

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Ukrainians and Taiwanese rally in show of solidarity

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Protesters display placards in front of Liberty Square in Taipei during a “Toward Victory” rally organized by Ukainians and Taiwanese supporters.
Photo: Ritchie B. Tongo, EPA-EFE

Ukrainians and their supporters yesterday held “Toward Victory” rallies in Hsinchu, Taichung and Taipei to show solidarity with Ukraine, as Russia’s invasion of the country enters its third month.

At a rally in front of Liberty Square in Taipei, dozens of people unfurled a 7m wide and 3m long handmade Ukrainian flag while singing the country’s national anthem.

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Peace in Taiwan Strait critical: Kishida

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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida front, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson walk past honor guards at Westminster Hall in London on Thursday.
Photo: AFP

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Thursday warned that the invasion of Ukraine could be replicated in East Asia if leading powers do not respond as one, saying that peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait must be maintained.

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Newsflash

Senior WHO officials sent out an internal memo on Sept. 14 last year asking WHO agencies to be kept aware that Taiwan is a “Province of China,” pursuant to an arrangement with Beijing.

The confidential memo, released by a lawmaker yesterday and published by the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) the same day, says that procedures used by the WHO to facilitate relations with Taiwan and how these relations operate were subject to Chinese — and not Taiwanese — approval.

The authenticity of the document has been confirmed with the WHO, which is based in Geneva, Switzerland.