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Taiwan urges Japan to apologize, compensate "comfort women"

Taiwan called on the Japanese government on Thursday to apologize and compensate Taiwanese women forced to work in military brothels during World War II. President Ma Ying-jeou said the U.N. Human Rights Council declared in 1995 that Japan's military sexual slavery system constituted a war crime.

Japan's Abe dubs China vital partner amid territorial disputes

By Kiyoshi Takenaka TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe criticized Beijing for trying to "change the status quo" with force in maritime disputes but said China was a vital economic partner, as a series of visits suggested a possible thaw in ties between the Asian rivals. Sino-Japanese ties have been strained by a territorial row over tiny disputed isles in the East China Sea and perceptions in Beijing that Abe wants to rewrite Japan's wartime history and tone down past apologies.

China angered by U.S. environment chief's visit to Taiwan

BEIJING (Reuters) - China said on Tuesday it had lodged a protest with the United States over a visit by Washington's environmental protection chief to self-ruled Taiwan this week. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Gina McCarthy's visit is the first by a cabinet-level official since 2000, according to Taiwan's presidential office. Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou met her on Monday. McCarthy was visiting to highlight environmental cooperation between the United States and partners in the Asia-Pacific region.

Taiwan hails first US cabinet-level visit for 14 years

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou on Monday met Gina McCarthy, the first US cabinet-level official to visit the island in 14 years, and hailed her trip as important for ties with Washington. "This is the first time since 2000 for a cabinet-level official to visit Taiwan from the United States. It is of great significance for bilateral ties," Ma said while meeting McCarthy, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. The United States switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China in 1979.

US plans first cabinet visit to Taiwan in 14 years

The top US environmental official will visit Taiwan in the first trip by a cabinet-level leader from Washington to the Chinese-claimed island in 14 years, officials aid Saturday. Gina McCarthy, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, will travel to Taiwan and Vietnam from Monday through Wednesday to discuss cooperation, her agency said in a statement. The trip would be the first by a cabinet-level US official to Taiwan since 2000 when then US president Bill Clinton sent transportation secretary Rodney Slater.

China says Taiwan protests won't affect relations

BEIJING (Reuters) - Protests by students in Taiwan who occupied the island's parliament in opposition to a trade pact with China will not affect the development of relations between Beijing and Taipei, state media quoted a top Chinese official as saying on Friday. The three-week occupation of parliament - which had been accompanied by mass street demonstrations - ended on Thursday, although the students have vowed to press on with the campaign against the trade deal.

Ma's pro-China drive hits trouble as Taiwan students come of age

The last time Taiwanese students mobilised en masse, they brought about an end to decades of martial rule. Now, they are scenting victory in a new battle for the island's soul as they repel government plans to embrace China ever closer. For both sides, the debate about strengthening trade ties with the giant mainland is an existential one. President Ma Ying-jeou says that without his mooted pact in services, the economy of heavily export-reliant Taiwan risks sliding into irrelevancy.

US has given China a 'mission impossible' on N.Korea

The United States is giving China a "mission impossible" by insisting it exert pressure on neighboring North Korea to halt its nuclear program or face US consequences, Beijing's ambassador said Thursday. "There is one thing that worries me a little bit, and even more than a little bit, is that we're very often told that China has such an influence over DPRK and we should force the DPRK to do this or that," Cui Tiankai told a Washington think-tank.

Anti-China protesters leave Taiwan parliament, vow to fight on against pact

By Michael Gold TAIPEI (Reuters) - Hundreds of student protesters filed out of Taiwan's parliament on Thursday after occupying the legislature for more than three weeks and vowed to press on with their campaign against a trade pact with Communist mainland China. A crowd of thousands gathered outside the parliament to greet the demonstrators after they marched out in single file.

Taipei, Manila make progress in fishery cooperation talks

Taiwanese and Philippine fishery officials have made progress in negotiations meant to better protect the lives of Taiwanese fishermen in disputed areas of the South China Sea, a Taiwanese official told Kyodo News on Thursday. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anna Kao said "a lot of concrete progress has been achieved" in the talks held earlier this week. "However, some differences remain," she said.
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