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Critics blast Ko over Kinmen-Xiamen bridge

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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.

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Taiwan rejects China’s claims over Taiwan Strait

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Service personnel from the navy’s first minelaying squadron are pictured in an undated photograph during training at Kaohsiung’s Zuoying naval base.
Photo courtesy of the Military News Agency

China’s sovereignty claim over the Taiwan Strait is false, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday, adding that the only waters a country has full sovereignty over are the 12 nautical miles (22km) around its territory.

Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) reiterated that the government considers the Taiwan Strait to be international waters, except for the 12-nautical-mile strip defined as territorial waters.

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If diplomacy provides a way out, ‘use it,’ Zelenskiy says

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy addresses via video link the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on Saturday.
Photo: AFP

Diplomatic solutions can prevent conflicts, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said yesterday, when asked to give Taiwan advice.

Zelenskiy made the remark in response to media queries following a special address he gave via video link to the Shangri-La Dialogue security summit in Singapore from Friday to yesterday.

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US approves a US$120m defense sale

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A RIM-66 missile is launched from a navy ship during a drill on May 17.
Photo courtesy of the Ministry of National Defense

Washington has approved a proposed sale of US$120 million in spare parts for ships and systems, and related equipment to Taiwan, the fourth Taipei-bound defense package approved by the administration of US President Joe Biden.

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Taiwan ‘inclusive’ spot for Muslims

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Nan Shan Plaza, left, and Taipei 101 are pictured from an airplane over Taipei on Aug. 19, 2018.
Photo: Reuters

Taiwan was recognized as the “Inclusive Destination of the Year” among nations that are not members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) at the Halal in Travel Awards this year.

The awards were held on Wednesday last week by Singapore-based CrescentRating, which annually collaborates with Mastercard on the Global Muslim Travel Index. The awards were held for the first time to recognize travel destinations, organizations, companies and individuals with a profound impact on Halal tourism.

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HK removes Tiananmen memory: Tsai

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A child in Taipei yesterday places candles on a banner commemorating the 33rd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
Photo: Sam Yeh, AFP

Hong Kong is systematically removing reminders of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday, the 33rd anniversary of the incident.

Authorities in Hong Kong, where people had held annual candlelight vigils at Victoria Park on the massacre’s anniversary for many years, had not received an application for such an event this year, she said on Facebook.

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US biggest importer of Taiwan’s agricultural products

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Former US secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton, center, tries bubble tea at Kung Fu Tea inside the Queens Crossing mall in New York City on April 17, 2016.
Photo: AFP

The US for the first time became Taiwan’s largest market for exports of agricultural products, with outbound shipments in the first quarter surging 33.3 percent to US$23.2 million from a year earlier, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said yesterday.

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Newsflash

Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) yesterday said that Taipei and Beijing were likely to sign an economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) in June.

As Taipei hopes to ink the proposed pact by the first half of the year, June would be a good time to do so if the SEF and its Chinese counterpart, the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS), could wrap up negotiations next month or by May, Chiang said on the sidelines of an event marking the SEF’s 19th anniversary.