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Dalai Lama to visit White House: US official

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The US risked inflaming a row on multiple fronts with China on Thursday, saying the Dalai Lama would visit the White House this month despite Beijing’s fierce protests.

But as tensions built over US President Barack Obama’s planned welcome for Tibet’s spiritual leader, officials sought to douse a running row with Beijing, saying the two sides had common interests despite mounting disagreements.

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Taiwanese faces US smuggling charges

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A 40-year-old Taiwanese has been charged with illegally smuggling US-made military items to Iran for use in its missile program.

Chen Yi-lan, also known as Kevin Chen, was arrested in Guam and is now on his way to Miami, Florida, for trial.

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Obama promises tougher stance on trade with China

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US President Barack Obama promised on Wednesday to get tougher with China on enforcing trade rules, stepping up the tone amid rising friction between the two powers over Taiwan and Tibet.

Obama also hinted that he would take Beijing to task over the strength of its yuan currency, responding to growing restlessness in the US Congress over Chinese monetary policy as the US economy charts an uncertain recovery.

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Ex-KMT legislator Diane Lee receives two-year sentence

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Taipei District Court judges yesterday found former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator Diane Lee (李慶安) guilty of fraud and forgery over her possession of dual citizenship and sentenced her to two years in prison.

Lee was convicted of four counts of fraud in connection to her US citizenship. An original four-year sentence was commuted to two years.

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Taiwan’s Air Force buys choppers from Eurocopter

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Washington-based weekly Defense News reported on Tuesday that the Taiwan Air Force had selected the Eurocopter EC225 helicopter, a medium-lift helicopter, for search and rescue operations.

The US$111 million contract for three helicopters, which is to be signed in the next few days, was awarded in December and includes an option for a total of 20 helicopters, Defense News reported.

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Study warns of submarine arms race

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With the US stalling on Taiwan’s request to purchase diesel-electric submarines, The Heritage Foundation said in a study that there is now a “submarine arms race” in the Pacific Ocean.

The 13-page study says that since the end of the Cold War, China has dramatically expanded its Navy, especially its submarine fleet, adding dozens of attack subs since 1995.

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Chinese dissidents urge Taiwan not to compromise

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Chinese dissident Yang Jianli (楊建利) yesterday urged Taiwan not to forget about democracy, freedom or its sovereignty when pursuing closer relations with China.

“I would like to call on President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to use the language of democracy and freedom when developing closer ties with China. Taiwanese should pay more attention to their sovereignty so that it won’t be damaged when interacting with China,” Yang told a press conference coorganized by domestic civic groups to voice their support for democracy and human rights activists in China.

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Newsflash

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lee Chun-yi calls on his audience to learn from history and protect Taiwan’s sovereignty at a march commemorating the 228 Incident in Chiayi County yesterday.
Photo: Wang Shan-yen, Taipei Times

Vice President Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) yesterday paid tribute to a prominent victim of the 228 Massacre, Dr Pan Mu-chih (潘木枝), at a commemorative exhibition held to mark the 65th anniversary of his execution and to honor his dedication to the development of democracy in Taiwan.