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Taiwan and US to launch trade talks


From left, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu, Executive Yuan spokesman Lo Ping-cheng, Minister Without Portfolio John Deng and Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua attend a news conference in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: Lee Hsin-fang, Taipei Times

Taiwan and the US yesterday announced that they would commence negotiations on a new trade agreement, dubbed the “Taiwan-US Initiative on 21st-century Trade,” signaling a breakthrough after Taiwan was excluded from a US-led regional trade framework.

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Taiwan must rid military of spies

Thirty Chinese military aircraft on Monday entered Taiwan’s southwestern air defense identification zone — the second-biggest single-day incursion this year.

The latest incident involved 22 fighter jets as well as electronic warfare aircraft, and anti-submarine and airborne early warning and control aircraft. They flew on a course close to the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands (Dongsha Islands, 東沙群島) and the strategically important Bashi Channel.

As per standard practice, Taiwan’s military scrambled interceptor jets, issued radio warnings and deployed defense missile systems to track the Chinese aircraft.

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US, Taiwan troops to ‘cooperate’: Tsai


Premier Su Tseng-chang, right, bumps elbows with visiting US Senator Tammy Duckworth at the Executive Yuan in Taipei yesterday.
Photo courtesy of the Executive Yuan

The US National Guard is planning to cooperate with the Taiwanese military, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday, a day after China made its second-largest incursion into the nation’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) this year.

Meeting visiting US Senator Tammy Duckworth at the Presidential Office in Taipei, Tsai said the lawmaker was one of the main sponsors of the Taiwan partnership act, which had received bipartisan support in the US Congress, although it has yet to become law.

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Apple pushing shift away from China

Vietnam or other ASEAN states, and India could become the next manufacturing hubs of Taiwanese firms over the next one to two decades, especially after Apple Inc reportedly told its major contract manufacturers to boost capacity outside China to avert risks of production disruptions.

Apple is a key client of many Taiwanese manufacturers, which assemble iPhones, iPads, MacBook laptops and airPods in China or supply components for those gadgets. Some of Apple’s suppliers and manufacturing partners had to suspend production this month to comply with China’s “zero COVID” policy and strict restrictions to curb the spread of the virus in Shanghai.

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China makes CCP its state religion

A key difference between Taiwan’s democracy and the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) autocracy is how they handle issues of church and state. In Taiwan, the two are separate and citizens are free to practice any religion. China is totally different.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) sees religion as a threat to the state. Hong Kong’s 90 year-old Cardinal Joseph Zen (陳日君) was arrested this month under Hong Kong’s National Security Law. Zen is an outspoken retired Catholic bishop, and the CCP, which wants to control the naming of Catholic bishops, is sending a message.

In Xinjiang, Muslim Uighurs are the target. They are regularly imprisoned and “retrained in state indoctrination camps.” They are a threat to the state.

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COVID-19: Police probe if celebrity’s post came from content farm


Criminal Investigation Bureau Deputy Director Huang Chia-chi, center, speaks at a news conference in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: CNA

Police are investigating whether an alleged piece of disinformation posted on Facebook by TV celebrity Antony Kuo (郭彥均) originated from a content farm.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Kuo shared a conversation that he allegedly had with a doctor friend in which the doctor said he had not rested one day since April 5 due to an increasing number of COVID-19 cases.

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Newsflash

A student group at National Chengchi University is vowing to boycott the school anthem in the Culture Cup chorus competition, saying the lyrics are propaganda for “party-state ideology” and that it hopes to get other students to join in.

The Wildfire Front this week launched a signature drive for a petition calling on the school to abolish the anthem. It also called on all departmental choruses that are going to take part in the singing competition not to sing the anthem, even though it is a required element of the competition. So far, five have agreed.