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Taiwan to Spend $2.5 Billion on Anti-Missile Systems

Taiwan plans to spend Tw$74.8 billion ($2.5 billion) in the next nine years to acquire anti-missile systems to boost its aerial defences against China, a lawmaker and media said Saturday.

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China Defense Ministry Tells U.S. to Stop 'Close-in' Surveillance

China's military on Thursday told the United States to end air and naval surveillance near its borders, saying it was damaging relations between the Pacific powers and could lead to "undesirable accidents".

The U.S. should "take concrete measures to decrease close-in reconnaissance activities against China towards a complete stop", defense ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said at a monthly briefing.

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Taiwan Says Spying Allegations Won't Hurt China Ties

Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou said Thursday ties with Beijing will not be affected by his government's probe into a former top negotiator on China policy accused of leaking state secrets. 

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Taiwan's ex-China Affairs Official Denies Spying Claim

A former top Taiwanese negotiator on China policy on Thursday rejected allegations he was spying for China, after he was forced to step down over suspicions of leaking secrets.

Chang Hsien-hao, ex-deputy minister at Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, resigned last week and has been put under investigation over suspicions of leaking confidential work-related information, according to the council.

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Floods Hit Blast-ravaged Taiwan City

Torrential rain Monday forced the Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung to shut schools and offices as floods overwhelmed its sewage system which was severely damaged by gas explosions last month that killed 30 people and injured 300.

Residents rushed to pile up sandbags in the two districts where drainage systems were affected by the blasts but many were marooned by the rising waters.

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Taiwan City Evacuates Residents from Fatal Gas Blast Site

Authorities in Taiwan's second largest city on Friday temporarily sealed off two streets and evacuated residents over reports of a fresh leak at the site of last week's fatal gas explosions.

The massive blasts in the southern city of Kaohsiung last Thursday left 30 dead and more than 300 injured -- the most deadly of their kind in Taiwan's history.

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Taiwan Raids Gas Blast Firms as Island Mourns Victims

Taiwan authorities raided the offices of two firms linked to massive gas explosions that killed 30 people as the island flew flags at half-mast Tuesday to mourn the blast victims and 48 killed in an earlier plane crash.

The death toll rose to 30 after the family of the two listed as missing agreed to the termination of a grueling and fruitless search by dozens of workers at the blast site in Kaohsiung, Taiwan's second largest city.

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Chemical Firm Apologizes as Taiwan Probes Fatal Gas Blast

The head of the company allegedly responsible for deadly explosions that rocked Taiwan's second city apologized on Sunday, as authorities said the firm failed to notify them quickly enough of a gas leak blamed for the blasts.

"Regarding the Kaohsiung explosion, I would like to make an apology to the public on behalf of the company," Bowei Lee, CEO and chairman of LCY Chemical Corp, told reporters with a deep bow of respect.

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Safety Questioned as China Plant Blast Deaths Rise to 71

The death toll from an explosion at a Taiwan-invested car parts factory in China climbed to 71 on Sunday, state media said, as a labor rights group cast doubt on its safety measures.

The blast on Saturday in a wheel hub polishing workshop at the Zhongrong Metal Products Co. in Kunshan, near Shanghai, also left 186 injured, state television said, many with severe burns and respiratory problems.

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Taiwan Gas Blast City Wants Pipelines Moved

Residents of a Taiwanese neighborhood rocked by deadly gas explosions Saturday accused authorities of not acting quickly enough and called for the relocation of industrial pipelines running underneath the island's densely populated second city.

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