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Taiwan president says China threat growing ‘every day’ as Biden criticises Beijing


Taiwan president says China threat growing ‘every day’ as Biden criticises Beijing

Taiwan is on the “front lines” in the fight for democracy as the threat from China grows “every day”, its president Tsai Ing-wen has said, as US president Joe Biden criticised China’s “coercive” actions in the Taiwan Strait.

The democratically elected Tsai told CNN she remained open to dialogue with China’s leader Xi Jinping, but amid increased risk of military action she had “faith” that the US would come to the island’s defence.

She also confirmed the presence of US military trainers on the island, the first time she has personally done so. But she it was “not as many as people thought”, adding: “We have a wide range of cooperation with the US aiming at increasing our defence capability.”

In an interview recorded on Tuesday, Tsai repeated calls for other democracies in the region, including Japan, Australia and South Korea, to help support Taiwan.

“When authoritarian regimes demonstrate expansionist tendencies, democratic countries should come together to stand against them. Taiwan is on the front lines.”

Tsai said the Chinese Communist party needed to decide what sort of relationship it wanted with the world.

“Does Xi want to have a peaceful relationship with everybody in the region or in the world, or does he want to be a in a dominant position so that everybody listens to him, listens to China?” she said.

China is becoming increasingly isolated on the world stage as Xi stands by the goal of annexing Taiwan. Beijing considers Taiwan to be a province of China, and has not ruled out using force to “reunify”.

Tsai first came to power in 2016, and was reelected in 2020. Beijing considers her stance – that Taiwan is a sovereign nation with no need to declare independence – to be separatist, and has refused to engage with her government. Speaking to CNN, Tsai said more communication “would be helpful” between the two governments “so we can reduce misunderstandings”.

“Given our differences in terms of political systems, we can sit down and talk about our differences and try to make arrangements so we can coexist peacefully,” she said.

Asked why cross-straits dialogue had deteriorated, Tsai said the situation and China’s plan for the region had “changed a lot”.

China’s military activity in the region and acts of intimidation towards Taiwan have grown in recent years, and increased dramatically in the last few months. In the first four days of October China’s air force sent 149 warplanes into Taiwan’s air defence identification zone.

PLA drills and exercises have also increased in the region as China modernises and expands its military, and in response western nations and allies have increased their military presence and participation in joint exercises.

Taiwan’s military can not match China’s but Tsai has pledged to increase military spending and focus on an asymmetric defence system to make it more difficult for China to attack or consider attacking.

Last week, Biden set off alarm bells in Beijing by saying the US had a firm commitment to help Taiwan defend itself in the event of a Chinese attack. The White House later downplayed the president’s comments, which came during a CNN town hall, and said he did not mean to imply any changes in the US “one-China policy”, which recognises Beijing but allows informal relations and defence ties with Taipei.

On Tuesday Tsai told CNN people had different interpretations of Biden’s comments but she had faith the US would defend Taiwan if China made a move.

On Wednesday Biden told leaders at the east Asia Summit – an annual meeting of 18 Asia-Pacific nations which was also attended by Chinese premier Li Keqiang – of his concern at China’s actions in the Taiwan Strait, saying they undermined peace and stability in the region.

“The president also reiterated the US commitment to the international rules-based order and expressed concern over threats to that order,” the White House said in a statement. “He made clear that the United States will continue to stand with allies and partners in support of democracy, human rights, rule of law, and freedom of the seas.”

His comments came after China said Taiwan had no right to join the United Nations, in response to a US call for the democratic island to have greater involvement in the world body.

In a statement marking 50 years since the UN general assembly voted to seat Beijing and boot out Taipei, the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, said on Tuesday he regretted that Taiwan had been increasingly excluded on the world stage.

“Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the UN system is not a political issue, but a pragmatic one. That is why we encourage all UN member states to join us in supporting Taiwan’s robust, meaningful participation throughout the UN system and in the international community,” he said.

In response to Blinken’s statement, China emphasised its position that Taiwan’s government had no place on the global diplomatic stage. “Taiwan has no right to join the United Nations,” Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office in Beijing, said. “The United Nations is an international governmental organisation composed of sovereign states … Taiwan is a part of China.”

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I Will Soon Start Signing Death Warrants- Bala Mohammed

Bauchi state governor, Bala Mohammed has disclosed that he will soon start to sign death warrants.

Mohammed made this known on Friday in Bauchi while signing the Violence against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) bill and a bill for the establishment of the Bauchi state penal code, into law.

In Nigeria, state governors are legally backed to sign the death warrants.

Since 2012, no governor has been reported to have signed death warrants.

“We will soon be signing some death sentences because there are many and because of justice which has to be taken to a logical conclusion

“I know some governors are running away from signing the death sentences because they exercise restraints on the basis that there may be some element of error.

“But to me, I will leave it to my lord (the chief judge) who will prosecute. It’s not my fault. If it is brought to my attention, I will do it.”

“As for the Violence against Persons Prohibition Act, we know that we are the first in the northern part of the country to enact the law, which is a member’s bill incidentally from the honourable speaker, and it has earned us a lot of respect in the country.

“But because of some noticed gaps, it was taken back and it was corrected. We thank the house for making the corrections.”

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Court Sacks 13 Ebonyi LG Bosses, 171 Councilors

A Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki has again nullified the Ebonyi Local Government Elections and sacked all the 13 Council chairmen in the state.

The court also sacked all the councilors and 171 ward chairmen of the state.

The court had on Aug. 25, nullified the council polls of May 31.

Ruling on the matter with suit NO: FHC/AI/CS/224/2022 on Friday, Justice Fatun Riman ordered the seizure of the monthly federal allocation of the chairmen pending when rightful Chief Executives were elected into office.

Fatun restated that the councils election by the State Independent Electoral Commission (EBSIEC) on May 31 was illegal and unconstitutional.

Mr Mudi Erenede, Counsel to the plaintiff said he was happy over the judgment and commended the court.

“In the judgement today, the court has agreed that the Ebonyi State High court has no powers to override or set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court because it is not an Appeal Court.

“Those people, who are parading themselves as chairmen are not there legally.

“They were appointed by whoever that appointed them. CBN, Attorney General of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Finance are all defendants in this suits,” he stated.

The counsel to Ebonyi State Government, Mr Roy Nweze, said there was no need responding to a judgment that had already been delivered by the court.

Nweze said that the matter would be appealed without delay.


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Naval College Graduates 245 Officers, Personnel

The newly graduated personnel of the Officers’ Application Course 20 of the Nigerian Naval Engineering College (NNEC), Sapele in Delta, have been urged to remain committed to the service of the nation.

Rear Adm. Monday Unurhiere, the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Naval Training Command, made the plea at the graduation ceremony of the 245 Under Training Personnel of the Officers’ Application Course 20 in Sapele.

Unurhiere, represented by Rear Adm. Baratuaipri Iyalla, said that the call became necessary in view of the security, economic and social challenges currently facing the country.

The naval chief urged the graduands to make deliberate efforts to improve themselves on the job by way of taking advantage of modern technology and also tapping into the wealth of experience of their superiors.

“Let me remind you that as officers of the Nigerian Navy, you are charged with enormous responsibility and your unswerving allegiance is to the Nation.

“The confidence reposed in you must not be taking for granted, especially at this time that our national aspirations are being threatened by numerous security, economic and social challenges.

“As such, you may find yourself being called upon to serve beyond your technical capability due to the prevailing situation in the country,” he said.

Unurhiere acknowledged the efforts of the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Awwal Gambo, for creating the enabling environment for training and continued financial support to NNEC.

According to him, this has helped the College to contribute more to the technological advancement of Nigerian Navy and the nation at large.

He urged the graduands, especially the under training personnel, to maintain the current tempo in sustaining training and other naval activities.

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