• Taiwan president praises 'heroic' pilots who intercepted Chinese jets
    PENGHU, Taiwan, September 22 (Reuters): Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen praised on Tuesday the "heroic performance" of air force pilots who have been intercepting Chinese jets that have approached the island, as its armed forces held drills to simulate repulsing an attack. Tension between China and the democratic island Beijing claims as sovereign Chinese territory have spiked to their highest in years, with Taiwanese fighters jets scrambling to intercept the Chinese ai
  • Taiwan president says drills show China is threat to region
    TAIPEI, September 20 (Reuters): Two days of Chinese military aircraft approaching Taiwan demonstrate that Beijing is a threat to the entire region and have shown Taiwanese even more clearly the true nature of China's government, President Tsai Ing-wen said on Sunday. Multiple Chinese aircraft flew across the mid-line of the Taiwan Strait and into Taiwan's air defence identification zone on Friday and Saturday, causing Taiwan to scramble jets to intercept. China cla
  • Taiwan scrambles jets as 18 Chinese planes buzz island
    TAIPEI/BEIJING, September 18 (Reuters): Taiwan scrambled fighter jets on Friday as 18 Chinese aircraft buzzed the island, including crossing the sensitive mid-line of the Taiwan Strait, in an escalation of tensions as a senior U.S. official held talks in Taipei. China had earlier announced the start of combat drills near the Taiwan Strait, denouncing what it called collusion between the island, which it claims as part of its territory, and the United States. U.S. Undersecretary f
  • U.S. pushes arms sales surge to Taiwan, needling China - sources
    WASHINGTON, September 16 (Reuters): The United States plans to sell as many as seven major weapons systems, including mines, cruise missiles and drones to Taiwan, four people familiar with the discussions said, as the Trump administration ramps up pressure on China. Pursuing seven sales at once is a rare departure from years of precedent in which U.S. military sales to the island were spaced out and carefully calibrated to minimize tensions with Beijing. But the Trump admini
  • Taiwan says it has Vatican assurances on China accord
    TAIPEI, September 15 (Reuters): The Vatican has asked Taiwan not to worry about the extension of a deal between the Vatican and China on the appointment of bishops as it was a religious matter and not a diplomatic one, the island's foreign ministry said on Tuesday. Pope Francis has signed off on a two-year extension of the agreement that critics have condemned as a sell-out to the communist government, a senior Vatican source said on Monday. The Vatican is Chinese-claime
  • Taiwan denounces large-scale Chinese drills near island
    TAIPEI, September 10 (Reuters): Taiwan denounced China on Thursday over large-scale air and naval drills off its southwestern coast which it called a serious provocation and a threat to international air traffic. It urged Beijing to rein in its armed forces. China, which claims democratic Taiwan as its own, has stepped up military exercises near the island, in what Taipei views as intimidation to force it to accept Chinese rule. Yeh Kuo-hui, from Taiwan's defence
  • Taiwan to change passport, fed up with confusion with China
    TAIPEI, September 2 (Reuters): Fed up with being confused for China amid the coronavirus pandemic and Beijing's stepped-up efforts to assert sovereignty, Taiwan said on Wednesday it would redesign its passport to give greater prominence to the island's name. Taiwan has complained during the outbreak that its nationals have encountered problems entering other countries, as Taiwanese passports have the words "Republic of China", its formal name, written in large
  • 'I am Taiwanese,' Czech speaker says, angering China
    TAIPEI/BERLIN, September 1 (Reuters): The head of the Czech Senate declared himself to be Taiwanese in a speech at Taiwan's parliament on Tuesday, channelling the late U.S. President John F. Kennedy's defiance of communism in Berlin in 1963, as China slammed him for crossing a red line. China, which claims democratic Taiwan as its own territory, has threatened to make Czech Senate speaker Milos Vystrcil pay a "heavy price" for visiting the island. The Czech Re
  • U.S. increases support for Taiwan, says to counter rising China pressure
    WASHINGTON, September 1 (Reuters): The United States said on Monday it was establishing a new bilateral economic dialogue with Taiwan, an initiative it said was aimed at strengthening ties with Taipei and supporting it in the face of increasing pressure from Beijing. Washington also said it had declassified six Reagan-era security assurances given to Taiwan, a move analysts said appeared intended to show further support for Taipei. The announcements come at a time of increas
  • Taiwan warns of accidental conflict as regional tensions rise
    TAIPEI, August 27 (Reuters): The risk of accidental conflict is rising because of tension in the South China Sea and around Taiwan and communication must be maintained to reduce the risk of miscalculation, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said on Thursday. Democratic Taiwan, claimed by Beijing as "scared" Chinese territory, has complained of Chinese military activities near the island, in what it says in an attempt to force Taiwan to accept Chinese sovereignty. The Un
  • 'Polishing the gun': China, U.S. tensions raise Taiwan conflict fears
    TAIPEI/BEIJING, August 26 (Reuters): Numerous Chinese and U.S. military exercises, Taiwan missiles tracking Chinese fighters and plummeting China-U.S. ties make for a heady cocktail of tension that is raising fears of conflict touched off by a crisis over Taiwan. In the last three weeks, China has announced four separate exercises along its coast, from the Bohai Gulf in the north to the East and Yellow Seas and South China Sea, along with other exercises it said were aimed at &
  • With China tensions rising, U.S. joins Taiwan to mark battle anniversary
    KINMEN, Taiwan, August 23 (Reuters): Amid rising tensions with Beijing, the de facto U.S. ambassador in Chinese-claimed Taiwan took part on Sunday for the first time in commemorations of a key military clash and the last time Taiwanese forces joined battle with China on a large scale. China has stepped up military activity around the democratic island, moves denounced by Taiwan's government as an attempt at intimidation to force them to accept Chinese rule. Taiwan Presid
  • Taiwan says China behind cyberattacks on government agencies, emails
    TAIPEI, August 19 (Reuters): Taiwan said on Wednesday hacking groups linked to the Chinese government had attacked at least 10 government agencies and some 6,000 email accounts of government officials in an "infiltration" to steal important data. Democratic Taiwan has been urging its people to be alert for what officials call "omnipresent infiltration" from China, involving from Beijing-backed media campaigns to cyberattacks, against the island that China co
  • China sends fighter jets as U.S. health chief visits Taiwan
    TAIPEI, August 10 (Reuters): Chinese air force jets briefly crossed the mid-line of the Taiwan Strait on Monday and were tracked by Taiwanese missiles, Taiwan's government said, as U.S. health chief Alex Azar visited the island to offer President Donald Trump's support. Azar arrived in Taiwan on Sunday, the highest-level U.S. official to visit in four decades. China, which claims the island as its own, condemned the visit which comes after a period of sharply deterioratin
  • China threatens countermeasures as Taiwan prepares for U.S. visit
    BEIJING/TAIPEI, August 6 (Reuters): China on Thursday threatened to take countermeasures over a trip to Taiwan by U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, as the Chinese-claimed island geared up for its highest-level U.S. official visit in four decades. The visit, which begins on Sunday, adds to tensions between Beijing and Washington over everything from trade and human rights to the novel coronavirus pandemic. China calls Taiwan the most sensitive and important
  • Taiwan plans state funeral for democracy champion labelled 'sinner' by mainland media
    TAIPEI, July 31 (Reuters): The Taiwanese government on Friday said it will hold a state funeral for former President Lee Teng-hui, a figure respected on the island for ending autocratic rule but branded by mainland Chinese state media as a "national sinner". Dubbed "Mr. Democracy" for ushering freewheeling pluralism and defying China's drive to absorb an island it regards as a wayward province, Lee died late on Thursday aged 97 in Taipei. Vice Preside
  • Taiwan says Dalai Lama welcome to visit, a trip that would infuriate China
    TAIPEI, July 06 (Reuters): Taiwan would welcome a visit by exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, its foreign ministry said on Monday, a trip that would infuriate Beijing which views him as a dangerous separatist.   The Dalai Lama has not visited the Chinese-claimed, democratic island under the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen, who first took office in 2016. He last came in 2009.   In a birthday message via video link to supporters in Taiwan on Su
  • Taiwan advises its citizens to avoid Hong Kong after new law
    TAIPEI, July 2 (Reuters): Taiwan citizens should avoid unnecessary visits to or transit through Hong Kong, Macau or mainland China after the passing of an "outrageous" national security law for the former British colony, a Taiwan government official said on Thursday.   The law, imposed on Hong Kong by Beijing, targets crimes like secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison. It has been widely condemned in C
  • Japan PM Abe: 'Very regrettable' that Taiwan was not observer at WHO assembly
    TOKYO, June 11 (Reuters): Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday that it was "very regrettable" that Taiwan was not accepted to take part as an observer at the World Health Organization assembly last month.   "Japan has consistently argued to prevent a geographical blank in the international response to public health. WHO should eliminate such a political element," Abe told parliament.   "It is important to share informat
  • Taiwan opposition seeks distance from China after poll defeat
    TAIPEI, June 7 (Reuters): Taiwan's main opposition party moved to distance itself from China after one of its most senior officials lost a highly charged recall election, as attitudes harden towards Beijing on the democratic island claimed by China.   The Kuomintang, or KMT, was already reeling from losing presidential and parliamentary elections in January, having failed to shake off accusations from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) it wanted to sell o