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CNN 10

How The U.S. Factors Into Tensions Between China and Taiwan; The Last Place on Earth You Can Ride Year-Round on A Commercial Hovercraft

Aired October 07, 2021 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Only one day until Friday, awesome. We`ll grateful you`re taking 10 minutes to catch up on current events with us.

My name is Carl Azuz. Let`s go. About 100 miles of seawater separate mainland China from the Island of Taiwan. These two places have a

complicated and sometimes contentious relationship and Taiwan`s defense minister says the military tensions between them now are the worst he`s

seen in 40 years.

Last week, China flew 150 warplanes into Taiwan`s airspace. They included fighter jets and bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons. Taiwan says

it hasn`t done anything since then to provoke an attack from China, but that the island is making military preparations in cases conflict breaks


Why is all this happening? Taiwan is an ally of the United States. Last year, under the Trump Administration the U.S. approved $1.8 billion dollars

in weapon sales to Taiwan. This year under the Biden Administration, the U.S. approved $750 million in weapon sales to Taiwan. Supporters say this

sends a message that America stands with Taiwan and against any move China may make to invade the island.

But even though China has never governed Taiwan, it sees the island as the territory of mainland China, and China`s communist government blames

America for quote, "collusion" with Taiwan and for increasing tensions in the Taiwan Strait by sailing U.S. warships there.

For its part, the American government says it has strongly urged China to stop its military, political and economic pressure of Taiwan. U.S.

officials say their commitment to the island is quote "rock solid", so you could see how when tensions rise in the Taiwan Strait, they stretch across

the Pacific and it`s the same politics that separated China from Taiwan in the first place that still keep them apart.


MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This island of 23 million people is a vibrant democracy that sits just across the sea from the world`s largest

one-party state. I`m Matt Rivers in Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China.

STEVEN JAING, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And I`m Steven Jaing in Beijing, the (inaudible) officially known as the People`s Republic of China. This name

has existed since 1949, when the communist won a brutal civil war and forced the previous government to flee to Taiwan. Both sides set up their

own governments, each claiming to be the only legitimate ruler of the entire Chinese territory and decades of hostility ensued.

RIVERS: There was no travel, trade or communications between both sides and the threat of military action was a constant presence. But tensions

began to ease in the 1990s` when Beijing and Taipei authorities began a series of meetings and correspondence that deliberately put aside the issue

of sovereignty in favor of resolving practical matters.

JAING: These dialogues paved the way for economic and cultural cooperation. Businesses from Taiwan have invested billions of dollars here

on the mainland, the world`s most populous country and second largest economy and millions of mainland tourists have flocked to Taiwan after

direct flights resumed. But still, China insists Taiwan is a breakaway province that must be reunited with the mainland by force if necessary.

RIVERS: With analysts seeing increased Chinese military drills near Taiwan, many people here are wary of the growing strength and ambitions of

their massive neighbor just across the sea. Fearful that their unique way of life cultivated over the last seven decades maybe under rising threat.


AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. Which of these islands is located off the south coast of England? Isle of Man, Isle of Wight, Aran Islands or Orkney

Islands. In the English Channel, just off the coast of southern England is where you`ll find the Isle of Wight.

And one way of getting there is by a mode of transportation that`s extinct everywhere else. This is a hovercraft. Maybe you knew that, but the

hovercraft service that operates on the Isle of Wight is the only one of its kind that runs all year. It`s been doing that since 1965 when there

was no hoverport. Pilots just picked a spot on the beach where there weren`t too many people around. Today it`s a bit more organized and a lot

more nostalgic.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gliding seamlessly across land and water on top of a cushion of air, hovercraft are versatile machines unlike any other. Part

ship and part airplane, they were once held (inaudible) future of travel, but today they`ve almost disappeared.

STEVE ATRILL, PILOT AND HEAD OF MARINE OPERATIONS FOR HOVERTRAVEL: The hovercraft is unique to the island, and I think I speak for all of the

pilots, the ground crew, the engineering teams we have here. It mostly quite proud actually to be involved with such a unique form of transport.

TERRY FROST, DUTY MANAGER FOR HOVERTRAVEL: We are the world`s only all year-round commercial passenger hovercraft in service.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Connecting south sea and the Isle of Wight off England`s south coast in less than 10 minutes, this hovercraft carrying

nearly 1 million passengers each year.

FROST: In the winter months, it`s mainly people traveling to and from work but come the summer is when we are a tourist attraction in our own right.

ATRILL: The bit that makes the hovercraft work is the skirt. The skirts will lift the hovercraft to around a meter and a half off of the surface.

The craft is very maneuverable. It`s a very hands-on machine to fly. It is rather like driving a land rover on ice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Position then to Sir Christopher Cockerell came up with the hovercraft in the 1950s`. Even using one to cross the English Channel

to France in 1959, they soon caught on and by 1968, huge Mountbatten class hovercraft like these were routinely taking passengers and their cars

across the channel in about 30 minutes.

ATRILL: They were expecting that one day it would replace ocean liners. Well quite clearly, that wasn`t going to come true.

ALAN BARKLEY, LEAD TOUR GUIDE AT THE HOVERCRAFT MUSEUM: I wouldn`t like to call it a graveyard. I`d like to call it a living museum. We have 65

large models, 250 smaller models, all scattered throughout on open display.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After being retired in 2000, what remained of the cross-channel giants came to rest here at the Hovercraft Museum.

BARKLEY: Really the golden age of the hovercraft were the 80`s. This was when a lot of people were taking the cross-channel trip just as an

experience. Not quite as first-class as Concord but definitely an experience. The biggest passenger hovercraft in the world, now you can

really see the size of the thing. You pay an extra five pounds for the privilege into what was called "premier" class. There were half a dozen

reasons on the demise of the large craft. They were very expensive to run. The channel tunnel was very heavy influence, the loss of duty-free revenue

really the final nail in the coffin.

ATRILL: People look at the hovercraft as not working as a passenger agency, but we`ve been operating for over 50 years. And those operations

have virtually been unbroken in all that time. You`re really got to be able to do something with the hovercraft you couldn`t do with a normal

vessel. The hovercraft is here because when the tide goes out, there is at least a half of mile of sand to travel over before we reach the water. Now

we can avoid the needs to travel down the pier to get on the conventional vessel.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For the craft to complete the journey here in less than half of the time of the speediest catamaran ferries, making it the fastest

link to the mainland and not just for commuters and holiday makers.

ATRILL: On the (inaudible) reliance on helicopters to transfer critically ill patients to mainland hospitals, and during COVID we were able to convey

a patient quicker than the helicopters were doing it. The pandemic has been a great (inaudible) of pride really for us to support the community.

BARKLEY: The future, I don`t see is dead for hovercraft. They do have a use.


AZUZ: Farmers put up scarecrows to keep birds out of their crops. Homeowners in Wisconsin put up this to keep speeders out of their

neighborhood. They named it "Frank" and they say he`s necessary because reckless drivers keep flying down a nearby hill, sometimes wrecking and

damaging property. Hard to say how effective the mannequin has been, but local officials say more speed bumps could be installed down the road. So

"Frank" may only be a temporary worker.

But let`s be "Frank", if you`re trying to take some "speedy" or some "seedy" drivers without "breaking the bank". Why not build a "scare

speeder" with a "scarecrow plan". Because if "Frank" can`t do it, "man" the "can". Let`s not be "coy", it`s a "decoy" that`s designed to "profect"

the art of taking a "stand man" and to serve and "protect" against the "reckless" or the "feckless" who might let off the "throttle" if they think

they see a "cop" and stop for what`s a "model". Halt. No, Holt as in Holt High School. Shout out to our viewers watching from Holt, Michigan and

thank you for subscribing and leaving a comment on our You Tube channel which is the only place we look for shout out schools. I`m Carl Azuz.