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China conducts fresh drills as US lawmakers visit Taiwan

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Members of a new US congressional delegation met with Taiwan’s president less than two weeks after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to the island nation.

China has announced fresh military drills around Taiwan, as a delegation of visiting United States lawmakers met the island’s leader after a similar trip by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi heightened fears of conflict.

Additional joint drills in the seas and skies surrounding Taiwan were announced by the People’s Liberation Army on Monday, the Defense Ministry and its Eastern Theater Command said in a statement.

The five-member congressional delegation – led by Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts – met with President Tsai Ing-wen on Monday, according to Washington’s de facto embassy.

“The delegation had an opportunity to exchange views with Taiwan counterparts on a wide range of issues of importance to both the United States and Taiwan,” it said.

The bipartisan trip sparked a caustic response from Beijing, which said it had carried out “combat readiness patrol and combat drills in the sea and airspace around Taiwan island” on Monday.

“This is a solemn deterrent against the US and Taiwan for continuing to play political tricks and undermining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” Shi Yi, spokesman for the Chinese military’s Eastern Theater Command, said in a statement, promising to “resolutely defend national sovereignty”.

Taiwan’s government has accused Beijing of using Pelosi’s visit as an excuse to kickstart drills that would allow it to rehearse for an invasion.

READ MORE: US lawmakers visit Taiwan following Pelosi trip that angered China

‘Firm and forcefully measures’

China’s Communist Party has never ruled Taiwan but says it will use force if necessary to take the island and bristles at any perceived treatment of it as a sovereign nation-state.

In response to the delegation’s visit, Beijing called on Washington to “stop going further down the wrong path of hollowing out and distorting the one-China principle, so as not to cause further damage to China-US relations and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait”.

“China will take firm and forceful measures to safeguard its national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a regular briefing.

Taipei has remained defiant throughout the standoff with Beijing, with foreign minister Joseph Wu saying after a meeting with the delegation that their visit showed the island had not been cowed by China’s threats.

“Authoritarian China can’t dictate how democratic Taiwan makes friends, wins support, stays resilient and shines like a beacon of freedom,” Wu said in a tweet.

“Their visit once again demonstrates that China cannot dictate nor instruct other countries’ politicians not to visit Taiwan,” Lo Chih-cheng, a lawmaker with the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), told AFP.

That decades-old threat was reiterated in a white paper published last week when China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said it would “not renounce the use of force” against its neighbour and reserved “the option of taking all necessary measures “.

It added, however: “We will only be forced to take drastic measures to respond to the provocation of separatist elements or external forces should they ever cross our red lines.”

READ MORE: US to boost Taiwan trade, conduct ‘standard air and maritime transits’

Source: TRT

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Gov’t spends USD 298 million on PSIP so far in 2022

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The President’s Office has revealed the administration spent USD298 million on Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) so far in 2022. The Spokesperson at the President’s Office Miuvaan Mohamed made the remarks during a press conference that focused on sharing information on projects under the PSIP initiated by the administration.

Speaking at the press conference, Spokesperson Miuvaan highlighted the administration had spent USD298 million on PSIP projects by the end of August and that it accounted for 76% of the total budget allocated for PSIP projects from the state budget. He conveyed statistical updates and detailed the progress of the projects in various developmental stages including the development of essential services such as electricity, water, and supply networks as well as housing projects. He said changes might be made to the timeline of the projects, depending on changes to global prices and the availability of resources but that all projects will resume without halt, adding that no island has been neglected in terms of developmental initiatives.

Furthermore, Spokesperson Miuvaan also shared insight into the notable events of the past week and elaborated on some of the upcoming events. He highlighted President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s recent visit to four islands of Haa Alifu Atoll and Haa Dhaalu Atoll, during which he met with the island councils and Women’s Development Committee (WDC) members. He noted that the representatives of the islands expressed their appreciation to the president for bringing development to the islands without bias. He also said, previously, the primary concern of council representatives was the delays in providing essential services but that it was no longer the case as the administration has been adamant about developing infrastructure in the islands.

 

Source: psmnews

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President renames Maldivian Embassy in the US

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President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has renamed the Embassy of the Maldives in Washington to the Embassy of the Republic of the Maldives to the United States of America (US).

The announcement was made public through a directive released by the President’s Office. He made the decision under the discretion vested in the President by Section 116(a) of the Constitution of the Maldives. The directive also specifies that the number 488 should be used in all official documents sent to the Maldivian embassy in the US.

Recently, President Solih appointed Abdul Ghafoor Mohamed as the Ambassador to the United States (US).

 

Source: psmnews

 

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President makes first official trip on RTL ferry

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President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has travelled from Utheemu to Dhidhdhoo in Haa Alifu Atoll on a Raajje Transport Link (RTL) ferry.

President Solih concluded the National Day celebrations in Utheemu and received a warm welcome from the residents in Dhidhdhoo upon his arrival. He travelled to the island to officially inaugurate the commencement of the RTL high-speed ferry service in Zone 1 of the National Public Ferry Network. He is accompanied by Minister of National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure Mohamed Aslam, and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC) Adam Azim.

The RTL ferry service was established in Zone 1 of the National Public Ferry Network, which consists of Haa Alifu Atoll, Haa Dhaalu Atoll, and Shaviyani Atoll. Over 50,000 passengers used the service in the first three months and MTCC plans to sign a contract to manufacture 65 ferries to expand the service.

The National Public Ferry Network is a large-scale project that introduces efficient, affordable, and convenient passenger and cargo ferry services to all administrative islands of the country. In line with the Decentralisation Act, it aims to facilitate inclusive regional development by connecting people and services, accelerating social and economic growth, improving efficiency in the delivery of public services, and improving mobility and accessibility for all citizens in all areas of the nation. The government aims to connect all Maldivian islands using the ferry network by the end of 2023.

 

Source: psmnews

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