#AceWorldNews – September 10 – Taiwan and China resumed talks Wednesday at an undisclosed location on a goods free trade agreement, sparking a protest against secrecy by demonstrators suspicious of closer ties with Beijing AFP reported.
Economic affairs minister Woody Duh told reporters before the talks opened in the afternoon that Taiwan would focus on flat panels, petrochemicals, machine tools and auto-mobiles where its industries are competitive.
But his ministry has declined to say where the three-day talks are being held, prompting suspicions from the political opposition and activists opposed to the pact.
“Why are the talks being held when the Legislative Yuan (parliament) is in recess? This is a procedure… intended to skip parliamentary supervision,” activist Chen Wei-ting told reporters as dozens of slogan-chanting demonstrators rallied at the ministry.
“The economics ministry would not even reveal the venue of the talks,” Chen added.
The talks had been delayed about five months following a series of major protests led by Chen and other student leaders against parliament’s earlier approval of a services trade agreement with the mainland.
That pact provoked an unprecedented occupation of Taiwan’s parliament and mass street protests in March and April.
#AceWorldNews – HONG KONG – June 06 – The Hong Kong Airport Authority and two airlines have received a warning from Taiwan authorities regarding a possible bomb aboard a Cathay Pacific or Dragonair flight arriving from mainland China in the next two days, Reuters said.
“We are aware of a threat message with reference to our flights from mainland China to Hong Kong as shared by the Taiwan authorities,” a spokesperson for Cathay Pacific and its unit Dragonair said. Flight operations at the Hong Kong Airport were running as normal Friday, authorities said.
The Hong Kong Airport Authority and two airlines said on Friday they had received a warning from Taiwan authorities regarding a possible bomb aboard a Cathay Pacific or Dragonair flight arriving from mainland China in the next two days.
The warning comes amid heightened security concerns in China following suicide bombings and stabbings that have been blamed on Uighur separatists and after authorities in the restive region of Xinjiang region sentenced nine people to death on Thursday for “violent terrorism”.
It also comes just two days after more than 180,000 people gathered for a candlelight vigil in Hong Kong to mark the bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters 25 years ago in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.
“We are aware of a threat message with reference to our flights from mainland China to Hong Kong as shared by the Taiwan authorities,” a spokesperson for Cathay Pacific and its unit Dragonair said in an emailed statement to Reuters.
“We will continue to work closely with the relevant authorities and have reminded our frontline teams to remain vigilant as usual.”
The Hong Kong Airport authority said flight operations at the airport were normal on Friday.
Spokespeople for the Hong Kong Airport Authority, Taiwan’s Civil Aeronautics Administration and budget carrier HK Express confirmed the warning and said they were taking steps to maintain the safety of their passengers.
The Hong Kong bomb warning involves a woman who may be planning to board a Dragonair or Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong on Friday or Saturday, the South China Morning Post reported, citing a Taiwanese airport police source and intelligence from Taiwan’s National Security Bureau.
Read More: NYD
#AceNewsServices – BEIJING – June 04 – China is marking 25 years since the suppression of pro-democracy protests on Wednesday under a cloak of security, Reuters reported.
The 1989 ‘counter-revolutionary’ demonstrations on Tiananmen Square, which spread to other cities, have never been publicly marked in mainland China.
Every year, there are commemorations in Hong Kong and in self-ruled Taiwan.
Several governments including the United States urged China to account for what happened on June 4, 1989, comments that riled China, which has said the protest movement was “counter-revolutionary”. Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama used the anniversary to call on China to embrace democracy.
China has never released a death toll for the crackdown, but estimates from human rights groups and witnesses range from several hundred to several thousand.
Troops shot their way into central Beijing after demonstrators had clogged Tiananmen Square in Beijing for about six weeks.
There were also protests in many other cities.
Taking no chances on Wednesday, police, soldiers and plain-clothes security personnel enveloped Tiananmen Square, checking identity cards and rummaging through bags looking for any hint that people might try to sneak onto the square to commemorate the day.
Police escorted a Reuters reporter off the square, which was thronged with tourists, saying it was closed to foreign media. Police also detained another Reuters journalist for trying to report on the anniversary in one of Beijing’s university districts, releasing him after a few hours.
Public discussion of the crackdown is off-limits in China. Many young people are unaware of what happened because of years of government efforts to banish memories of the People’s Liberation Army shooting its own citizens.
“They have covered up history. They don’t want people to know the truth of what they did,” veteran activist Hu Jia told Reuters from his home in Beijing, where he said police were present to prevent him from leaving.
“Nobody would have confidence in them if they knew what they did… They should have fallen because of what they did,” he added, speaking by mobile telephone.
Reuters – BBC News – China Daily
#AceWorldNews – TOKYO – May 19 – Japan will establish new military outposts on remote islands as the country looks to bolster its defence amid a territorial dispute with China, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported on Monday.
Up to 350 troops each could be stationed on three islands in the far south-west, close to the Senkakus, which Beijing claims as its own under the name Diaoyus.
With the exception of the main Okinawa Island, Japan’s army has no bases on the chain of islands that runs from the bottom of Kyushu to Taiwan, AFP said.
#AceWorldNews – TAIWAN – May 15 – A top Taiwanese diplomat says rioters attacked a Taiwanese-owned steel mill in central Vietnam, killing at least one Chinese worker and injuring 90 others.
According to AP, Ambassador to Vietnam Huang Chih-peng said the violence late Wednesday and early Thursday happened at a steel plant owned by Formosa Plastics Group.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported that five Vietnamese workers and 16 other individuals described as Chinese died Wednesday night during riots in the central Vietnamese province of Ha Tinh, according to a doctor at a hospital in the province.
Early Wednesday, rioters attacked factory buildings in a southern industrial park which were believed to have Chinese owners but were, in fact, mostly owned by Taiwanese or South Koreans. China’s deployment of an oil rig in the South China Sea earlier this month has sparked public anger in Vietnam, as the nation claims the waters as its own.
RT – AP – REUTERS
#AceNewsServices – MANILA – May 14 – (Reuters) – The Philippines accused China on Wednesday of reclaiming land on a reef in disputed islands in the South China Sea, apparently to build an airstrip, only a day after Washington described Beijing’s actions in the region as “provocative”.
If confirmed, the airstrip would be the first built by China on any of the eight reefs and islands it occupies in the Spratly Islands and would mark a significant escalation in tensions involving several nations in the area.
China claims almost the entire South China Sea, an area rich in energy deposits and an important passageway traversed each year by $5 trillion worth of ship-borne goods.
Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims on the area.
Philippine Foreign ministry spokesman Charles Jose told Reuters that China had moved earth and materials to Johnson South Reef, known by the Chinese as Chigua, in recent weeks. He said China was reclaiming land in violation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, an informal code of conduct for the region.
“They’re about to build an airstrip,” Jose said.
Tensions in the South China Sea were already high after China moved a large oil rig into an area also claimed by Vietnam. Beijing and Hanoi each accused the other of ramming its ships near the disputed Paracel Islands.
The Paracel Islands, known as Xisha Islands in Chinese and as Hoàng Sa Archipelago inVietnamese, is a group of islands in the South China Sea whose sovereignty is claimed by the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, and Vietnam.
The islands are currently controlled by China, which captured them from South Vietnam in January 1974.
South Vietnam’s claim was inherited by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, which has ruled all of Vietnam since 1976.
China established the city of Sansha, under Hainan Province in July 2012, to administer the islands.
The islands include over 30 islets, sandbanks and reefs over a maritime area of around 15,000 square kilometres (5,800 sq mi) with less than 8 square kilometres (3.1 sq mi) of land.
The archipelago is approximately equidistant from the coastlines of Vietnam and China: 180 nautical miles (330 km; 210 mi) south-east of Hainan Island, and about one-third of the way between Central Vietnam to the northern Philippines.
Turtles live on the islands, and sea-birds have left nests and guano deposits, but there are no permanent human residents except military personnel and fishermen.
Divided into two main groups, the Paracel Islands comprise the Amphitrite group in the north-east and the Crescent group in the south-west located about 70 km (43 mi) from one another.
Here is the answer to the reason for the dispute in the paragraph below:
Subject to a hot and humid climate with abundant rainfall and frequent typhoons, the archipelago is surrounded by productive fishing grounds along with potential oil and gas reserves.
#AceWorldNews – MANILA/BEIJING – May 07 (Reuters) – Philippines police seized a Chinese fishing boat in the disputed South China Sea on Wednesday, an official told Reuters, the latest flare-up of tensions in the oil and gas-rich waters that are claimed wholly or in part by six Asian nations.
Chief Superintendent Niel Vargas of the Philippine National Police Maritime Group said a maritime police patrol apprehended a Chinese fishing boat around 7 a.m. on Tuesday off Half Moon Shoal.
The boat has 11 crew and police found about 500 turtles in the vessel, some of which were already dead, he said, adding that a Philippine boat with crew was also seized, and found to have 40 turtles on board.
Several species of sea turtles are protected under Philippine law.
Maritime police are now towing the boats to Puerto Princesa town on the island of Palawan where appropriate charges will be filed against them, Vargas said.
The incident is bound to raise the ire of Beijing, which claims almost the entire South China Sea, rejecting rival claims from Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei.
Ace Related News:
1. Reuters – May 07 – http://tinyurl.com/lg23c84
#AceWorldNews – TAIPEI – April 28 – Taiwan police on Monday used water cannon to disperse hundreds of overnight sit-in demonstrators, demanding the scrapping of a nearly completed nuclear power plant, AFP reported.
Tens of thousands of demonstrators blockaded one of the busiest streets in the capital Sunday, forcing the ruling Kuomintang party to yield and halt construction work at the plant as the issue has gripped the island for 30 years.
The concession by the government led to a large number of demonstrators leaving the area in Taipei, but hundreds remained.
A Kuomintang spokesman said Sunday that reactor one would be sealed for storage, and construction of reactor two would be terminated.
#AceWorldNews – April 18 – TOKYO – Japan is sending 100 soldiers and radar to its westernmost outpost, a tropical island off Taiwan, Reuters said.
The deployment could risk angering China amid a dispute over nearby islands that both countries claim. Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera will break ground on Saturday for a military lookout station on Yonaguni.
The island is home to 1,500 people and just 150km from the disputed Japanese-held islands claimed by China. Yonaguni is now defended by two police officers, and the move is part of a plan to improve defence and surveillance in Japan’s far-flung frontier.
#AceWorldNews – BEIJING – April 15 – China lodged a protest with the United States on Tuesday over a visit by Gina McCarthy, Washington’s environmental protection chief, to self-ruled Taiwan this week.
Her visit is the first by a cabinet level official since 2000, according to Taiwan’s presidential office, Reuters reports.
McCarthy was visiting to support environmental cooperation between the United States and countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
Representatives of China and Taiwan met Tuesday in Nanjing for their highest-level talks since their split in 1949, AP reported.
The meeting is a landmark step despite Beijing’s refusal to recognize the self-governing island’s sovereignty. Nanjing was the capital of Chiang Kai-shek‘s Nationalist government during the war against Mao Zedong‘s communists.
The agenda is likely to be heavily focused on trade as Beijing wants Taiwan to ratify a trade services agreement.
This would allow the sides to open a wide range of businesses in each other’s territory.