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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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US bill aims to fast-track arms sales

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US Senator Marco Rubio speaks at the Heritage Foundation in Washington on March 29.
Photo: AFP

US Senator Marco Rubio on Tuesday introduced a bill aimed at fast-tracking the transfer of US weapon systems to Taiwan and improving joint military training to make sure Taiwan can defend itself in case of a Chinese invasion.

In a statement released by his office, Rubio said he proposed the bill because Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would not be the last time an authoritarian regime invades its neighbor.

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Delegation from Japanese ruling party’s Youth Division visits Taiwan this week

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A delegation from the Youth Division of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party led by Japanese House of Representatives Member Masanobu Ogura, third left, pose with Representative to Japan Frank Hsieh, third right, at the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Japan in January.
Photo: Lin Tsuei-yi, Taipei Times

A delegation from the Youth Division of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is arriving in Taiwan tomorrow on a five-day trip that includes a meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and a visit to the grave of former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) to pay their respects.

The 11-person delegation, led by division head Masanobu Ogura, a member of the Japanese House of Representatives for Tokyo’s 23rd District, are also to meet with other senior government officials before they leave on Saturday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

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Anti-Nuclear Action Alliance convener Kao Cheng-yan, center, and others hold up signs with the text “Fourth Nuclear Power Plant referendum, let the public decide” outside the Joint Central Government Office Building in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: Lo Pei-der, Taipei Times

Supporters and opponents of nuclear energy verbally clashed yesterday at a public hearing held by the Central Election Commission, as it reviews a referendum proposal on whether fuel rods should be inserted to start test operations of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City.

“How will we handle nuclear waste? How will we evacuate the millions of residents in Greater Taipei in the event of a nuclear disaster? I don’t think we should continue developing nuclear energy until we can answer these questions,” an anti-nuclear activist surnamed Sui (隋) said. “Moreover, a nuclear power plant can operate for up to 40 years, and produce hundreds of tonnes of nuclear waste. How much should we pay for 40 years of energy supply?”