Taiwan not intimidated by Chinese military drills: president

President Tsai Ing-wen said on Tuesday that Taiwan ‘will not make any compromise on our territory for even one inch.’ (Reuters)
Updated 16 April 2019
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Taiwan not intimidated by Chinese military drills: president

  • China’s People’s Liberation Army said its warships, bombers and reconnaissance aircraft had conducted ‘necessary drills’ around Taiwan on Monday
  • Taiwan scrambled jets and ships to monitor the Chinese forces

TAIPEI: Taiwan is not intimidated by China’s military drills this week, President Tsai Ing-wen said on Tuesday, after the latest Chinese military maneuvers were denounced by a senior US official as “coercion” and a threat to stability in the region.
China’s People’s Liberation Army said its warships, bombers and reconnaissance aircraft had conducted “necessary drills” around Taiwan on Monday, though it described them as routine.
“We will not make any compromise on our territory for even one inch. We always hold on tight to our democracy and freedom,” Tsai told reporters at an event to mark Taiwan-US ties in Taipei, adding US arm sales to Taiwan would help reinforce the capability of Taiwan’s Air Force.
Tsai was speaking at a forum co-hosted by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to mark the 40th anniversary of Taiwan-US ties, following Washington’s decision to ditch formal recognition of Taiwan in favor of China in 1979.
Taiwan scrambled jets and ships to monitor the Chinese forces on Monday, its defense ministry said, accusing Beijing of “trying to change the status quo of the Taiwan Strait.”
China has repeatedly carried out what it calls “island encirclement patrols” in the past few years.
A delegation led by former US speaker of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, is in Taipei to mark 40 years since the signing of the Taiwan Relations Act, which governs US-Taiwan relations, and to reaffirm Washington’s commitment.
Ryan said the United States considers any military threat to Taiwan a concern and urged China to stop, saying the moves were counterproductive.
The United States has no formal ties with Taiwan but is bound by law to help provide the island with the means to defend itself and is its main source of arms.
China has stepped up pressure on Taiwan. Beijing suspects Taiwan’s president is pushing for the island’s formal independence, a red line for China which has never renounced the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control.
Tsai says she wants to maintain the status quo with China but will defend Taiwan’s security and democracy.
The visit by US officials comes just weeks after Tsai said the United States was responding positively to Taipei’s requests for new arms sales to bolster its defenses in the face of growing pressure from China.
Last month, Washington sent Navy and Coast Guard ships through the narrow strait separating the island from the mainland, part of an increase in the frequency of US movement through the strategic waterway to show support for Taipei.


World population expected to rise to 9.7 billion in 2050: UN

In this Jan. 31, 2014 file photo released by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), shows residents of the besieged Palestinian camp of Yarmouk, lining up to receive food supplies, in Damascus, Syria. (AP)
Updated 11 min 3 sec ago
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World population expected to rise to 9.7 billion in 2050: UN

  • The global fertility rate fell from 3.2 births per woman in 1990 to 2.5 births in 2019 and is projected to decline further to 2.2 births by 2050

UNITED NATIONS: The world’s population is getting older and growing at a slower pace but is still expected to increase from 7.7 billion currently to 9.7 billion in 2050, the United Nations said Monday.
The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs’ Population Division said in a new report that world population could reach its peak of nearly 11 billion around the end of the century.
But Population Division Director John Wilmoth cautioned that because 2100 is many decades away this outcome “is not certain, and in the end the peak could come earlier or later, at a lower or higher level of total population.”
The new population projections indicate that nine countries will be responsible for more than half the projected population growth between now and 2050. In descending order of the expected increase, they are: India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Indonesia, Egypt and the United States.
In sub-Saharan Africa, population is projected to nearly double by 2050, the report said.
Undersecretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Lu Zhenmin said in a statement: “Many of the fastest growing populations are in the poorest countries, where population growth brings additional challenges in the effort to eradicate poverty,” promote gender equality and improve health care and education.
The report confirmed that the world’s population is growing older due to increasing life expectancy and falling fertility levels.
The global fertility rate fell from 3.2 births per woman in 1990 to 2.5 births in 2019 and is projected to decline further to 2.2 births by 2050.
A fertility rate of 2.1 births per woman is need to ensure population replacement and avoid declines, according to the report.
In 2019, the fertility rate in sub-Saharan Africa was the highest at 4.6 births per woman, with Pacific islands, northern Africa, and western, central and southern Asia above the replacement level, said the report.
But since 2010, it said 27 countries or areas have lost one percent or more of their population.
“Between 2019 and 2050 populations are projected to decrease by one percent or more in 55 countries or areas, of which 26 may see a reduction of at least 10 percent,” the UN said. “In China, for example, the population is projected to decrease by 31.4 million, or around 2.2 percent, between 2019 and 2050.”
Wilmoth, the head of the Population Division, told a news conference launching the report that the population growth rate is slowing down as the fertility level gradually decreases. That decrease usually follows a reduction in the mortality level that initially instigated growth, he said.
Wilmoth stressed that multiple factors lead to lower fertility including increasing education and employment, especially for women, and more jobs in urban than rural areas, which motivate people away from costly large families to smaller families.
But to achieve this, he said, people also need access to modern methods of contraception.
According to the “World Population Prospects 2019: Highlights” report, migration is also a major component of population growth or loss in some countries.
Between 2010 and 2020, it said 14 countries or areas will see a net inflow of more than one million migrants while 10 countries will experience a similar loss.
For example, some of the largest outflows of people — including from Bangladesh, Mepal and the Philippines — are driven by the demand for migrant workers, the report said. But some migrants are driven from their home countries by violence, insecurity and conflict, including from Myanmar, Syria and Venezuela.
The UN said countries experiencing a net inflow of migrants over the decade include Belarus, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Russia, Serbia and Ukraine.