by Staff Writers
Taipei (AFP) June 18, 2012
In yet another sign of warming ties with former rival China, Taiwan said Monday that all landmines laid on the frontline islands off the mainland during the 1950s will be removed within six months.
The shores of Kinmen and Matsu, two Taiwan-controlled island groups sitting just a few kilometres away from the southeastern Chinese province of Xiamen, were carpeted with tens of thousands of mines after the two sides split in 1949, at the end of the Chinese Civil War.
The mines had been used as critical weapons by the the Kuomintang troops to fend off several major onslaughts launched by the Chinese communist forces during the 1950s, but have now emerged as a barrier against the ever closer ties between the former cross-strait foes.
"All the mines on Kinmen and Matsu are expected to be removed before the year's end," said President Ma Ying-jeou, the initiator of the ongoing detente with Beijing, according to a statement released by the presidential office.
Ma made the remarks while meeting Jordan's visiting Prince Mired bin Raad Al-Hussein, the special envoy of a United Nations convention against the production and use of anti-personnel mines.
The convention was enacted in 1999 and has so far been ratified by 150 countries. Taiwan has not ratified the convention, which is restricted to UN members.
Taiwan's defence ministry spokesman David Lo told AFP that the de-mining project, launched six years ago, will be completed around six months ahead of the schedule.
Tensions between Taipei and Beijing have eased markedly since Ma came to power in 2008 on a platform of beefing up trade and tourism links with the mainland. Ma was re-elected in January for a second and the last four-year term.
Taiwan News at SinoDaily.com
Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.
Taiwan ex-agent jailed for leaking national secrets
Taipei (AFP) June 13, 2012
Taiwan has sentenced a retired senior military intelligence officer to three years and six months in jail for leaking classified national secrets, a court said Wednesday. Pang Ta-wei, formerly of the military intelligence bureau, was convicted by the High Court Tuesday of leaking sensitive military intelligence in a book he published in Hong Kong in 2010. "What he did, identifying intell ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|