US Reportedly Gives Tacit OK to Taiwan’s Fighter Jet Shopping List
Mar 22, 2019MedicalComments Off on US Reportedly Gives Tacit OK to Taiwan’s Fighter Jet Shopping List
STATE DEPARTMENT A senior U.S. State Department official said arms sales to Taiwan are a matter of a policy in the United States that Taiwan's defensive needs are merited, adding China has been busy changing the status quo that has maintained long-standing peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, including threats to use force against Taiwan.
Thursday, Bloomberg News, quoting unnamed sources, reported that the Trump administration has given tacit approval to Taiwan's request to buy more than 60 F-16 fighter jets. Taiwan had submitted a formal request earlier this month. The United States is Taiwan's largest military equipment supplier. China, which claims democratically self-ruled Taiwan as part of its territory, usually condemns such sales.
China changing status quo
In a phone briefing, Patrick Murphy, the State Department's principal deputy assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific affairs, told VOA that arms sales to Taiwan are allowed under the framework of Washington's One China Policy, which is based on three U.S.-China joint communications and the Taiwan Relations Act enacted in 1979 to govern relations between the United States and Taiwan.
Our primary desire is to see a strong commitment to the status quo that has brought about peace, stability and prosperity, Murphy said.
He added China is changing the status quo by threatening the use of violence directed at Taiwan, aggressively trying to reduce the number of diplomatic partners that Taiwan enjoys around the world, and cropping Taiwan out of the international space and international organizations where Taiwan has made important contributions to public health, civil aviation and many more.
In 2018, China persuaded the Dominican Republic, Burkina Faso and El Salvador to forge relations with Beijing, which leaves 17 countries that still recognize Taiwan as a sovereign nation.
Tour of Pacific allies
On Thursday, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen embarked on a diplomatic tour to allies in the Pacific that will end with a stopover in Hawaii on March 27.
China urged the United States to block Tsai's transit through Hawaii on her way home.
We have consistently and resolutely opposed the United States or other countries which have diplomatic relations with China arranging this kind of transit, said Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang on Thursday.
In 2011, the Obama administration rejected a similar Taiwanese request for F-16 fighter jets over concern about antagonizing China.
The Trump administration, however, has taken a more assertive approach toward China. Vice President Mike Pence, in remarks on China policy last year at the Hudson Institute, accused the Chinese Communist Party of rewarding or coercing American businesses, movie studios, universities, think tanks, scholars, journalists, and local, state and federal officials.
Worst of all, China has initiated an unprecedented effort to influence American public opinion, the 2018 elections, and the environment leading into the 2020 presidential elections, Pence added.
Comments Off on Taipei-Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau is promoting mountain tourism at the 4-day Taipei International Travel Fair that began Friday.
The bureau is focusing on five north-south mountain ranges — the Central Mountain, Xueshan, Yushan, Alishan and the Coastal Mountain ranges — in its pavilion at the fair, said bureau Deputy Director-General Chang Shi-chung (???).
Chang said there will be various exhibitions and forums on the mountains of Taiwan, as well as its unique cultural features such as historic trails and aboriginal lifestyles.
Taiwan is preparing to market 2020 as the Year of Mountain Tourism, after its efforts to position the country as an important international mountaineering destination in July, when the government allowed public access to the island’s national parks.
Previously, people who wanted to visit restricted “ecological protected areas” in Taiwan’s national parks had to apply for permits from both the National Police Agency and the Construction and Planning Agency.
Now, however, the Construction and Planning Agency has launched a new mountain permit application portal that requires mountain visitors to apply for only one permit and provides fast-track processing to expedite applications, the bureau said.
Much of Taiwan is covered by mountains, and it has 268 mountains of over 3,000 meters, according to the Tourism Bureau website.
That environment has made hiking and mountain climbing one of the favorite pastimes of Taiwan residents.
The number of permits issued to Taiwanese citizens and foreign nationals for access to trails in Yushan, Taroko and Shei Pa national parks has risen from 153,736 in 2016 to 187,053 in 2017 and 201,526 in 2018, according to Construction and Planning Agency figures.
In 2018, foreign nationals accounted for 7.24 percent of the permits issued.
There will be around 1,700 booths from 60 countries at the fair, to be held Nov. 8-11 at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center.
The fair, the largest of its kind in Taiwan, will feature South Korean and Japanese tourism operators amid growing local interest in travel to those countries.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel