President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) will embark on a five-day diplomatic trip to Palau and the Sol-omon Islands, with a stopover in Guam, at the end of this month, the Presidential Office said yesterday. \n"President Chen's visit marks the first time a president of Taiwan has traveled to this nation's diplomatic allies in the South Pacific region. [The trip] therefore carries historical significance," Presidential Office Deputy Secretary-General James Huang (黃志芳) said during a press conference. \nThe main purpose of Chen's trip is to attend Palauan President Tommy Remengesau's inauguration. \n"President Chen's visit to the South Pacific shows that we attach importance to our allies in the South Pacific region. The visit also demonstrates out determination to offer substantial development assistance," Huang added. \nChen will leave on Jan. 27. In Palau, Chen will spend two days attending Remengesau's inauguration and visiting the Rock Islands, a tourist attraction, as well as hosting a dinner for Taiwanese expatriates. \n"While visiting the Rock Islands, we might have a chance to see a dolphin kissing President Chen on the cheek," Huang said. \nRemengesau apparently has a passion for yachting, and Huang said Chen might have a chance to ride on Remengesau's yacht during his time in Palau. \nChen will then travel to the Solomon Islands for a two-day visit. \nDuring his stay there, Chen will sign a joint communique with Solomon Islands Prime Minister Allan Kemakeza and give interviews to the international press. Chen will also visit Taiwan's aide mission and the opening ceremony for a hospital funded by Taiwan. \nChen will address the parliaments of Palau and the Solomon Islands, Huang said. \nHe will also make a five-hour stopover at the US territory of Guam before returning to Taipei on Jan. 31. \nHuang said the leader of Guam, Governor Felix Camacho, had welcomed Chen's stopover but at the moment was unsure of his schedule, and could not guarantee he would be able to greet Chen in person. \n"The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) will have someone of appropriate status greet President Chen [in Guam]," Huang said. \nChen's entourage will include Minister of Foreign Affairs Mark Chen (陳唐山), Government Information Office Director-General Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍), Chiayi County Commissioner Chen Ming-wen (陳明文) and Taitung County Commissioner Hsu Ching-yuan (徐慶元). \nHuang also said that Vice President Annette Lu's (呂秀蓮) visit to Central America next month has been postponed. \n"Our Central American allies responded eagerly to news of the vice president's visit and came up with several suggestions and new ideas," Huang said. \n"To make the visit more substantial, it has been postponed to allow for better preparations and assessments," he said. \nWhile a new timetable is yet to be announced, Huang said it would likely be no later than June.
FORCED LABOR: Customs officials have seized a 11.8 tonne shipment of products made from human hair on suspicion they were produced by people facing human rights abuses Federal authorities in New York City on Wednesday seized a shipment of weaves and other beauty accessories suspected to be made out of human hair taken from people locked inside a Chinese internment camp. US Customs and Border Protection (CPB) officials said that 11.8 tonnes of hair products worth an estimated US$800,000 were in the shipment. “The production of these goods constitutes a very serious human rights violation, and the detention order is intended to send a clear and direct message to all entities seeking to do business with the United States that illicit and inhumane practices will not be tolerated in
JUST QUESTIONS: Expelled reporter Ai Kezhu said that every member of Southeast Television had complied with the law and had not appeared on any talk shows Two Chinese reporters yesterday left Taiwan after the government revoked their accreditation and ordered them to leave amid a probe into allegations that several Chinese media outlets have set up studios and produced political talk shows in Taiwan. The two reporters — Ai Kezhu (艾珂竹) and Lu Qiang (盧薔) — worked for Fujian Province-based Southeast Television and arrived in Taiwan in December last year. The Mainland Affairs Council has launched an investigation after local media reported that Chinese broadcasters — including China Central Television, Southeast Television and FJTV — had set up studios in Taipei and produced political talk shows. Council Deputy Minister
UPTICK IN NUMBERS: The Taipei deputy mayor said the city has services to assist new immigrants, but has established an office specifically to help those from Hong Kong The Taiwan-Hong Kong Services and Exchanges Office today officially opens, where it is to provide humanitarian assistance to Hong Kongers, after Beijing yesterday passed a controversial national security law for the territory. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) expressed dismay over China’s passage of the law, saying that Beijing has broken its pledge to allow Hong Kong to maintain a high degree of autonomy for at least 50 years following its handover from the UK. “I feel extremely disappointed [about the law’s passage], which means China did not keep its promise to Hong Kong,” Tsai said in Taipei. Beijing’s “broken promise” also
‘BASELESS ACCUSATIONS’: Ker Chien-ming said it was not possible to drop Chen Chu’s nomination, while KMT lawmakers accused their DPP rivals of ‘homicidal behavior’ The Legislative Yuan is to vote on President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) nominations for the Control Yuan on July 17 after Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators regained access to the legislative chamber yesterday after it was occupied by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers for about 19 hours. The Legislative Yuan had been scheduled to meet yesterday morning to discuss its planned extraordinary session, but more than 20 KMT lawmakers on Sunday afternoon broke into the main chamber and occupied the legislative speaker’s podium to protest Tsai’s nomination of former Presidential Office secretary-general Chen Chu (陳菊) to be Control Yuan president. The KMT caucus