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Taiwan President calls for int’l support to defend democracy amid threats from China

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Monday, January 7th, 2019


Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen. (Photo courtesy: Photoville Taiwan | UNTV News and Rescue)

TAIPEI, Taiwan – President Tsai Ing-wen calls for international support to defend democracy as it faces renewed threats from China particularly it’s “one country, two systems” policy.

“We (Taiwan) are an important and loyal supporter of all internationally important values. So when a country like us faces difficulties and threats, we hope that the international community takes it seriously and can voice support and help us,” she said in a press conference with foreign media including UNTV News in Taipei on Saturday (January 5).

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen during a briefing with foreign media on Saturday (January 5). (Photo courtesy: Office of the President of Taiwan)

Tsai also calls on all parties in Taiwan to rally behind her and fulfill the wishes of the Taiwan people.

She noted that such a threat from China can also happen to any other countries if the international community will just watch and not extend its help to Taiwan.

“When a country that does its best to practice democracy and shared international values face threats and violation, I believe that this is also a violation of democracy and those values. If the international community does not speak out for and support Taiwan while it is facing such a situation, we have to ask which country will be next.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping insists that Taiwan was part of China and offered reunification to its people and pressed the implementation of the “one country, two systems” framework.

Tsai, a pro-independence president, said Taiwan cannot accept such political arrangement with China as it will bring them under Xi’s rule and it will only result to further misunderstandings.

Instead of putting much pressure to Taiwan on territorial matters, Tsai said Xi should pay attention to issues that will affect both countries neighbors such as the outbreak of African Swine Fever.

Taiwan became persistent in its quest for independence since Tsai took office in January 2016. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Amiel Pascual)

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China flood death toll hits 61, over 350,000 evacuated

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, June 14th, 2019

Courtesy : Image grabbed from a Reuters video

As many as 61 people have been killed and 356,000 evacuated from their homes as heavy rain and floods swept through large parts of southern and central China this week, Chinese rescue authorities said on Thursday (June 13).

In a notice published late on Thursday (June 13), China’s Ministry of Emergency Management said 9,300 homes have collapsed and 3.71 million hectares of farmland damaged during the floods, with direct economic losses now estimated at 13.35 billion yuan ($1.93 billion).

It said more than 4,300 people had been rescued from floodwaters, which have affected regions stretching from Guangdong province in the southeast to southwest China’s Chongqing on the upper reaches of the Yangtze river.

During the summer, China routinely suffers from droughts in the far north and floods in the south. The emergency ministry has warned that northern regions face even lower precipitation levels this year, while heavy rains are expected to raise flood risks on the Yellow river’s upstream. (REUTERS)

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Locsin files diplomatic protest vs China after West PH Sea collision

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Thursday, June 13th, 2019

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr. has filed a diplomatic protest against China after a collision with a Filipino vessel.

READ: DND: Chinese ship hit, sank PH vessel in West PH Sea

Locsin condemned the abandonment of the Filipino crew after a Chinese vessel allegedly hit and sank the Filipino vessel last Sunday (June 9).

“We denounce the actions of the Chinese fishing vessel for immediately leaving the scene of the incident, abandoning the 22 Filipino crewmen to the mercy of the elements,” he said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the foreign secretary expressed gratitude to the crew of the Vietnamese vessel for saving the lives of the 22 Filipinos.

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PH wants China to sanction ship crew for sinking Filipino fishing boat

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Thursday, June 13th, 2019

Still image of disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea taken from US Navy surveillance video May 21, 2015. REUTERS/US Navy

MANILA, Philippines – Defense Chief Delfin Lorenzana has called for a diplomatic action in relation to the sea collision between a Chinese vessel and a Filipino fishing boat (F/B GIMVER 1) that left 22 Filipino fishermen adrift in the middle of the sea.

“We call for the conduct of a formal investigation on the matter and for diplomatic steps be taken to prevent a repeat of this incident,” Lorenzana said Wednesday (June 12).

The incident happened on June 9 when a Chinese vessel hit and sank a Filipino vessel near the Recto Bank, a territory in dispute in the West Philippine Sea.

Lorenzana said the Philippines denounced the actions of the Chinese crew as they immediately left the scene and abandoned the Filipino crewmen instead of helping them.

Reports said the F/B GIMVER 1 was anchored at the time when it was hit by the Chinese fishing vessel.

Lorenzana thanked the crewmen of a Vietnamese fishing vessel near the incident for saving the distressed Filipino crewmen in coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Western Command.

The BRP Ramon Alcaraz, which was on routine maritime patrol in the area, was sent to rescue the Filipinos.

“We thank the captain and crew of Vietnamese vessel, for saving the lives of the 22 Filipino crew,” Lorenzana said.

“However, we condemn in the strongest terms the cowardly action of the suspected Chinese fishing vessel and its crew for abandoning the Filipino crew. This is not the expected action from a responsible and friendly people,” he added.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, meanwhile, called the Chinese crewmen’s action as “uncivilised as it is outrageous”.

Panelo said, the Chinese crew should have at least saved the Filipino crewmen even despite the existing territorial dispute between China and the Philippines.

“Regardless of the nature of the collision, whether it was accidental or intentional, common decency and the dictates of humanity require the immediate saving of the crew of the downed Philippine vessel,” he said.

“The safety of the crew of the damaged Filipino vessel should have been the uppermost thought and helping them should have been the natural reaction of the crew of the other vessel,” he added.

Panelo joins Lorenzana in calling for an investigation and sanction against the Chinese crewmen for their actions.

“We call on the appropriate Chinese authorities to probe the collision and impose the proper sanctions to the Chinese crew,” he said.                            

Malacañang assured that concerned agencies are now providing assistance to the Filipino crewmen who were rescued from the incident. (with details from Rosalie Coz)

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