» 03/17/2017, 13.56
TAIWAN – CHINA
Taiwan to deploy missiles against China, where there is talk of reunification by force
For the first time, Taiwanese Defence Minister Feng Shih-kuan said the island can strike in China targets, up to 1,500 km. Both sides start a military buildup. Trump is set to deliver new sophisticated weapons to Taiwan.
Taipei (AsiaNews) – The cross-straight war of words and sabre-rattling is getting louder. As voices calling for a military solution to bring it the rebel island by force are getting louder in mainland China, Taiwan openly admitted that it has missiles capable of striking Chinese cities.
In a report to parliament on Thursday, Taiwan's Defense Minister Feng Shih-kuan was asked whether Taiwan was capable of launching missiles at mainland China. "Yes," he replied, noting that they can travel over 1,500 kilometres.
Until now, it was known that China had hundreds of missiles pointed at the island and that Taiwan could produce its own cruise missiles, but for the first time the Defence Ministry decided to provide details.
After China announced on 5 March a 7 per cent defence budget increase, Taiwan responded by announcing plans to boost its own defence spending.
Defence Minister Feng said that military expenditures next year would rise to 3 per cent of Taiwan's GDP, up from 2 per cent this year. The Ministry also announced plans to procure stealth fighter jets.
Feng’s report comes a few months after Tsai Ing-wen was elected president with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which backed independence in the past.
Because Tsai did not explicitly endorse the mainland’s ‘One China’ policy in her inaugural speech, , Beijing began to boycott cross-straight relations, communication and Taiwanese goods.
In 1992 Beijing and Taipei had agreed on a One-China policy with reunification as the ultimate goal but with each side free to envisage how it cold be achieved.
This agreement to disagree had fostered cross-straight trade relations, tourism, mail and maritime contacts. However, since Tsai’s victory, voices calling for reunification by force have grown in China.
“All those pro-independence moves will stimulate the mainland to take coercive steps to respond,” Li Yihu, dean of Peking University’s Taiwan Studies Institute, told the South China Morning Post, adding that “The voices have become louder”.
Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang said in his policy report at the opening of the National People’s Congress that Beijing would “absolutely not accept anyone separating Taiwan from China in any way, shape or form”.
In all probability, Li was referring to both Tsai Ing-wen and US president Donald Trump. Upon taking office, the US leader said that he would re-examine US attitudes towards the One-China policy, but later backed away.
Meanwhile, anonymous Taiwanese government officials said the Trump administration is ready to sell the island-nation sophisticated weapon systems to boost its defence, including tactical missiles designed to destroy electronic transmissions coming from surface-to-air radar systems.
01/02/2017 12:59:00 INDIA - USA
Christian leader: not just Trump, India does not welcome Muslims either
World opinion is shocked by the US President decision to block the entry of citizens from seven Muslim majority countries. In India, an amendment to the Citizenship Act provides for a similar solution. Muslims are excluded altogether. They may be naturalized persecuted minorities in neighboring countries, especially Hindus.
16/11/2016 08:59:00 CHINA-US
Yuan value falls, bad and good for the US
The renminbi fell to 6.86 against the US dollar, its lowest value in eight years. Depreciation favors Chinese exports. For Trump (and Obama) China is a "currency manipulator". But with a diving Chinese yuan, capital transfers abroad increase.
16/05/2017 19:00:00 China
Beijing OBOR summit, a partial success
President Xi Jinping says China will not differentiate among countries that want to participate, stressing the initiative’s economic and financial aspects. But this is not enough for a new globalisation. On people-to-people relations, China still has to catch up. Wanda City, China’s Disneyland, will play a role.
15/03/2017 12:49:00 RUSSIA
The Orthodox "recognition" of St. Patrick, "Irish ecumenism" in Russia
The Moscow Patriarchate has decided to include the memory of the patron saint of the Irish in its liturgical calendar. The decision is also perhaps to be seen in light of the desired Russian-American friendship, envisaged after the election of President Trump, or perhaps it is a consequence of the resumption of Catholic-Orthodox dialogue, followed the meeting of Patriarch Kirill with Pope Francis of last February 2016 in Cuba.
06/03/2017 14:08:00 RUSSIA - USA
Trump-Putin: from "Great deal," to specter of Cold War
Everything had seemed set for a great deal that included the cancellation of sanctions against Russia, in exchange for Russian support in the fight against Islamic Terrorism. The new "cold war" 2.0 is not between America and Russia, or between East and West, but everyone against everyone.
Pope: together with the faithful in China on 24 May to celebrate Our Lady of Sheshan
During the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis speaks about the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, instituted by Benedict XVI. Chinese Catholics must make a “personal contribution to communion among believers and to harmony in the whole society." AsiaNews Symposium on the Church in China is set for this week. Francis appeals for peace in the Central African Republic, and for loving “one another following the example of the Lord”. For him, “Sometimes conflicts, pride, envy, and divisions leave a blotch on the beautiful face of the Church.” Five new cardinals will be named, including a bishop from Laos.
May 24, 2017: 'China, the Cross is Red', AsiaNews Symposium
The event will be held to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. A title with many meanings: the Cross is red from the blood of the martyrs; From attempts to suffocate the faith with state control; Bceause of the contribution of hope that Christianity gives to a population tired of materialism and consumerism that is seeking new moral criteria. The theme is also about the great and unexpected religious rebirth in the country. Guests to include: Card. Pietro Parolin, Msgr. Savio Hon, the sociologist of religions Richard Madsen, the testimonies of Chinese priests and laity.
18/05/2017 ASIA - VATICAN
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.