Displaying items by tag: Taiwan
London’s Chinese embassy called Liz Truss’s trip to Taiwan a ‘dangerous political stunt’ which will bring nothing but harm to the UK. In a pre-briefed extract of her speech to the Prospect Foundation, Truss was expected to say, ‘Last summer Rishi Sunak described China as the biggest long-term threat to Britain, and he promised to close all thirty of UK’s Confucius Institutes, which promote Chinese culture on campus in higher education and in some British schools. Sunak was right; we need to see those policies enacted urgently. Confucius Institutes must close, and the service supplied by Hong Kong and Taiwanese nationals in the UK on a free basis.’ The embassy urged Truss to stop supporting ‘Taiwan independence’. Taiwan has been separate from the People’s Republic of China since 1949, but Beijing insists on reuniting Taiwan with the mainland, by force if necessary.
Robert Tsao, a retired billionaire, is pledging one billion Taiwan dollars (£28m) to create a civilian army to help his countrymen and women fight China. The aim is to train up three million civilian ‘warriors’ - a seventh of the population - in three years. Office workers, students, shopkeepers, parents could all learn to pick up a gun; he wants 300,000 sharpshooters. He acknowledges the task is ambitious, but vows it could be done. Born in China but raised in Taiwan, he created the United Microelectronics Corp semiconductor company, making his fortune in an industry Taiwan is now globally known for. As a businessman, he had many dealings in China. An ardent student of history, he has been a high-profile voice in policy debates for decades. He is now among an increasing number of Taiwanese who feel they need to prepare for a possible invasion. See previous article, on military drills.
China sees the self-ruled island of Taiwan as a part of its territory and insists it be unified with them, by force if necessary. Taiwan has its own constitution, democratically elected leaders, and 300,000 troops; also, the USA is available to provide it with the means to defend itself. After Beijing recently conducted air and sea military drills with live ammunition around Taiwan, the US accused it of ‘provocative’ actions. Taiwan said China is using military exercises to disrupt regional stability, and responded by launching a two-day exercise, simulating a Chinese invasion, to show it is ready to defend the island from any attack. China is signalling to Taiwan that it is ready to invade, while Taipei is telling China ‘You can hurt us, but we will also hurt you.’ Beijing’s extended drills are disrupting air travel and trade in the Taiwan Strait, one of the world's busiest waterways. The aggression could spill into the South China Sea, where many countries which rely on China economically would have to contend with a more geopolitically belligerent Beijing.
A meeting between China’s defence minister Wei Fenghe and his US counterpart Lloyd Austin took place during an Asian security summit in Singapore. The hour-long meeting took double the time allotted. The USA is concerned about China’s increasingly unsafe, aggressive, unprofessional military behaviour, which indicates an attempt to change the status quo. A Chinese fighter plane dangerously intercepted an Australian military surveillance plane over the South China Sea, and Chinese warplanes harassed Canada’s aircraft monitoring North Korean sanction evasions. ‘If anyone dares to split Taiwan from China, the Chinese army will definitely not hesitate to start a war no matter the cost,’ said Fenghe. The Chinese minister also pledged, ‘Beijing will smash to smithereens any Taiwan independence plot and resolutely uphold the unification of the motherland. Taiwan is China’s Taiwan. Using Taiwan to contain China will never prevail.’ Joe Biden intends to spend more time on Asian security issues after months focusing on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
China is engaged in a massive nuclear weapons buildup that includes hundreds of new strategic missiles, and Chinese President Xi Jinping is preparing the military to retake Taiwan, USA’s most senior intelligence official told Congress on 8 March. Avril Haines, director of national intelligence, disclosed new information on threats from China and dangers posed by Russia, North Korea and Iran at the annual briefing on threats to US security around the globe. China’s military buildup includes the largest ever nuclear force expansion and arsenal diversification in its history, and there were 39 incursions Into Taiwan's airspace by fighter planes in one day. The Pentagon is warning that China is preparing for a military campaign, so it is sending new sales of advanced-grade military drones to Taiwan.
Just days after 150 Chinese military jets conducted drills close to Taiwan, escalating tensions between the two sides, President Xi Jinping spoke at an event to commemorate 110 years since the revolution that overthrew China’s last imperial dynasty. He said, ‘Compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait should stand on the right side of history and join hands to achieve China’s complete unification. The historic mission of achieving the complete unification of our country must be, and can be, realised.’ However, Taiwan’s defence minister said that military tensions with Beijing were at their worst point in more than four decades. China claims that Taiwan is part of its sovereign territory, in the same way as Hong Kong, and threatens to take control by force. Taiwan has its own elected government and constitution, maintaining that it will defend its democracy and independence.
Taiwan is administering its domestically developed Covid-19 vaccine, amid criticism that its approval was rushed. The Medigen vaccine had not completed phase three trials when it was granted emergency approval by regulators. Medigen said there were no major safety concerns, and antibodies created were no worse than AstraZeneca's vaccine. It is expected to complete the final round of trials being held in Paraguay later this year. Taiwan's vaccination efforts have been hampered by delivery delays and hesitancy amongst its population. President Tsai Ing-wen led the way in receiving the Medigen jab on 23 August. The objections have mainly come from the opposite political party, the Kuomintang, who say it is unsafe. More than 700,000 people have already signed up for the vaccine, which requires two doses 28 days apart. Less than 5% of Taiwan's population is fully vaccinated: around 40% have received just one dose.
Taiwan has reported a sharp rise in incursions by Chinese warplanes into its air defence identification zone. Foreign minister Joseph Wu urged Beijing to ‘return to civilised international standards’ after a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said there was no so-called median line in the Taiwan Strait ‘as Taiwan is an inseparable part of Chinese territory’, to be taken by force if necessary, even though the island has been self-ruled for more than 70 years. Beijing has ratcheted up pressure on the democratic island since the 2016 election of President Tsai who rejects its view that Taiwan is part of ‘one China’. Taiwan accuses China of violating a long-held tacit agreement after China’s fighter jets began crossing the median line of the waters that separate the two sides. Now tension between the two is at its highest in years, with Taiwanese fighter jets scrambling to intercept the Chinese aircraft last week.
Tim Gillette from YWAM introduces the TAIWAN TRIBAL TRAINING project
Kings Kids International, the children’s ministry of Youth With A Mission, has been equipping children to be fully devoted followers of Christ since their founding in 1976. Tim and Naomi Gillette have been serving with KKI in Taiwan for well over 2 decades. About one year ago Tim was introduced to the Prayer Covenant for Children and found it to be a resource he’d been searching for to equip children for a “life-style” of prayer. He and his team have been actively translating the materials into multiple languages across Asia.
Tim shares a story here about their current plans to use the PC4C in tribal communities in Taiwan. You can meet Tim and learn more about his heart and vision, especially in the area of prayer, on the Prayer Covenant for Children - Part 2 Video. Here’s his story.
May and June we are launching a series of trainings for tribal church youth and leaders each Saturday from 09:30-12:00. We start with a 30 min orientation and preparation for young leaders, reminding them of the importance of their presence, participation as they model for the younger ones.
Then, we run an hour sample program and finish up with 30 minutes of debriefing and processing. An unexpected challenge for us was adjusting for the many children who cannot read or write, as much of the material is geared toward those who can.
However, we found wonderful ways for both to work together and learn from each other. We heard several testimonies of teachers feeling quite dejected, despondent and desperate for quality, meaningful, powerful material, but now feel empowered and equipped. We’ve designed all our summer programs around the Prayer Covenant for Children. From 5 Day Camps to Seminars and Workshops, we are coaching teens and young leaders to passionately invest directly into the younger ones. This fosters responsibility, establishes authority and gives them a much needed sense of ownership and purpose within the Body.
We are very excited as a team to encourage and champion The Children’s Prayer Covenant among the leadership of King’s Kids International. This material fits hand in glove with our values of establishing a lifestyle of daily discipleship, intergenerational engagement, nurturing the spiritual capacity of children while valuing and partnering with families and preparing them for ministry and missions.
Kings Kids International | Youth with a Mission
More info and resources: https://www.kkint.net/who-we-are/ministry-description
The island’s phone-tracking system is an ‘electronic fence’, using existing phone signals to triangulate mobile phone owners’ locations. To ensure users comply, an alert is sent to the authorities if the handset is turned off for more than 15 minutes. More than 6,000 people subjected to home quarantine are monitored this way. Officials phone users up to twice a day to make sure they have their mobile to hand, and to ask about their health. Milo Hsieh is under quarantine. Early on Sunday morning, while he was sleeping, two police officers knocked at his door. His phone had run out of battery; in less than an hour four different administrative units had called. Police were dispatched to check his whereabouts. A text was sent saying that the government had lost track of him, and warning of potential arrest if he had broken quarantine.