August 1, 2006
Taiwan's Test Tube Babies and Breeding War
The Bureau of National Health Insurance (BNHI) is considering the inclusion of "test tube babies" in the national health insurance (NHI) program to help lift the birth rate and cut costs for infertile couples eager to have children.
...206,000 babies were born in Taiwan in 2005, among whom, 51 percent were first babies, 37 percent were second babies and only 11 percent were third babies.
This shows that most people will have no siblings in the future, the officials said.
Officials at the DOH's Bureau of Health Promotion said nearly 30 percent of Taiwan people aged between 20 and 39 would rather stay single all their lives than get married.
Other reasons for shunning marriage included celibacy, difficulty in meeting their "Mr. Right" or "Ms. Right", and "too much trouble involving marriage."
People actually choose celibacy? I dunno about that – but this could be an explanation. Who would want to raise kids in this kind of mess?
China will be a force for global peace but it must arm its military with the latest in high-tech weapons and ensure that Taiwan never splits from the mainland, the defense minister said Monday.
Minister Cao Gangchuan said modernization remained the armed forces' priority, the China News Service reported.
"The entire military must eye the historic destiny of China's military in the new century and new era and push forward the main line of a Chinese-style revolution in military affairs," the service quoted Cao as saying.
"We must unswervingly fulfill our sacred duty to defend state sovereignty, territorial integrity and security and never tolerate Taiwan independence and never permit Taiwan independence forces under any name or under any circumstances or form to split Taiwan from the motherland."
The report also said that China's military modernization was largely aimed at retaking Taiwan by force, with Beijing targeting some 800 ballistic missiles at the island which it views as a renegade province awaiting reunification.
And just where does the U.S. stand in this?
We're in talks to sell Taiwan $5 billion in warplanes!
A US official confirmed on Thursday that Taiwan is seeking to buy as many as 66 advanced Lockheed Martin Corp F-16 fighter aircraft over a period of five to 10 years to guard its skies from any Chinese assault.
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Liu Jianchao (劉建超), said in Beijing yesterday that China, prompted by press reports in Taiwan, had urged Washington not to supply the fighters.
A Washington-based representative of the Taiwanese Air Force declined to comment, as did Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon's biggest supplier.
US arms sales to Taiwan are particularly thorny. They are opposed by Beijing, mired in partisan wrangling in Taipei and viewed by Washington as a test of Taiwan's willingness to invest in its own defense and cut the danger of a cross-strait clash into which US forces could be drawn.
Since Bush approved Taiwan's request for submarines, anti-submarine warfare aircraft, four decommissioned Kidd-class destroyers and other weapons in 2001, most of these deals have been held up in Taiwan's legislature, highlighting similar potential snags to an F-16 deal, assuming it is approved by the US, as is expected.
Ya know, the past few weeks have been unnerving for a variety of reasons. The U.S. sells arms to Israel, then turns around and sells arms to Saudi Arabia. Today's warning from Damascus and Dhahran sound a bit ominous, days before Arab leaders convene to decide what to do about the Israel/Lebanon conflict.
Now we're stepping up into this mess between China and Taiwan and all I can think is that what this nation does best is sell weaponry, export violence and market mutually assured destruction all over the world.
I guess that makes us look tough (and industrious) but it makes me understand why so many folks fear, dislike and sometimes, even admire us.
We're a nation of big-pimpin' thugs -- and there's plenty of folks who get off on that.
They probably chew with their mouth open...