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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Slovakian official lauds trade relations


Slovakian Second State Secretary of the Ministry of Economy Karol Galek addresses the opening of the Taiwanese-Slovak Commission on Economic Cooperation meeting in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: Tien Yu-hua, Taipei Times

Taiwan and Slovakia are headed for closer trade relations, Slovak Second State Secretary of the Ministry of Economy Karol Galek said yesterday at the Taiwanese-Slovak Commission on Economic Cooperation meeting in Taipei.

Taiwan and Slovakia’s cooperation during the COVID-19 pandemic proves the countries’ ability to work together as equal partners “in good times and the bad,” and Slovakia is ready to work with Taiwan as “small but open economies” to “find our place in an ever-changing global economy,” Galek said.

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China centenaries pose triple threat

The Legislative Yuan on Nov. 23 approved a bill authorizing the government to draft a special budget of up to NT$240 billion (US$8.66 billion) for arms procurements through the end of 2026.

The law allows the government to tap into a special budget to fund increased production of a range of important indigenous military armaments, including Hsiung Feng III (“Brave Wind”) supersonic anti-ship missiles, Tien Kung (“Sky Bow”) air-defense missiles and the Hsiung Feng IIE cruise missile, which possesses a medium-range ground attack capability.

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China is holding the planet hostage

The verbal emissions at the recent UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, were understandably extensive, but fortunately less environmentally damaging than the energy path on which the world remains set.

Governments reached a fragile agreement that still just about keeps in play the 2015 Paris climate agreement’s main target of limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. However, unless countries do a great deal more, and quickly, the actual temperature rise is likely to be at least a full degree higher.

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Chinese miscalculation a real threat

When analyzing Taiwan-China tensions, most people assume that the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) consists of rational actors. Embedded within this belief are three further suppositions: First, Beijing would only launch an attack on Taiwan if it were in China’s national interest; second, it would only attack if the odds were overwhelmingly in its favor; and third, Chinese decisionmakers interpret information objectively and through the same lens as other actors.

These assumptions have underpinned recent analyses — including by Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) — concluding that there is no immediate danger of a Chinese attack against Taiwan. The consensus is that the earliest an attack could occur is 2025, and there is a substantial body of opinion that an invasion even then is unlikely.

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Japan, US ‘could not stand by’: Abe


Former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe speaks via video link to a forum organized by the Institute for National Policy Research in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times

Japan and the US could not stand by if China attacked Taiwan, and Beijing needs to understand this, former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe said yesterday.

Speaking virtually to a forum organized by Taiwanese think tank the Institute for National Policy Research, Abe said that the Senkaku Islands — known as the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) in Taiwan — the Sakishima Islands and Yonaguni Island are only about 100km from Taiwan.

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Xi’s troubles as the fantasy melts

The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) sixth plenary session has ended and from all appearances, Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) has set the stage to rule for the rest of his life.

Some might be tempted to declare that this calls for Xi to do a victory lap, but all is not well on the other side of the Taiwan Strait.

To parody a line from Ya Got Trouble, a song from Broadway musical The Music Man: “There’s trouble in River City, (aka, Beijing). Trouble with a capital T, which rhymes with C for CCP.”

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Newsflash

A senior US senator said on Wednesday that US arms sales to Taiwan were hurting closer ties with China and asked US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates what Beijing would have to do for the Pentagon to reconsider the transfers.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein told Gates that Chinese leaders had offered to reposition at least some of their military forces opposite Taiwan. An aide said she was referring to an offer that was made in the past and was no longer on the table.