Fri, Nov 15, 2002 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan quick take

Diplomacy

Yu meets Singaporean envoy

Premier Yu Shyi-kun received Singapore Trade Office in Taipei Director Ker Sin Tze (柯新治) yesterday and called for the signing of a free trade agreement with the city-state. Yu also called on Singapore to help Taiwan join ASEAN and Ker agreed to convey Taipei's hope to his government. Yu attributed Taiwan's rising unemployment problem to an overall economic decline that has pushed many traditional businesses to relocate to China.The government is seeking to lower the 5.1 percent unemployment rate by providing vocational training, launching public works and increasing domestic demand in an attempt to stimulate the economy, Yu said. Ker, who recently assumed his post, said he is willing to provide Singapore's experience in fighting unemployment and expressed his hope of furthering bilateral substantive exchanges.

Technology

Kaohsiung tops Net survey

Kaohsiung City has the highest Internet penetration rate in the nation, at 73.1 percent, according to the results of a survey released yesterday. The survey shows that 9.53 million people in Taiwan had used Internet as of September, 53.8 percent of whom were male. While the Internet penetration rates in 12 cities and counties stood at more than 50 percent, Kaohsiung took the lead with 73.1 percent of the population having used the Internet, followed by Taipei with a ratio of 72.2 percent. A breakdown of Internet users by age shows that 34.4 percent belonged to the 15 to 24 age group, 28.1 percent to the 25 to 34 group, 28.6 percent to the 35 to 49 group, 8.4 percent to the 50 to 64 group and only 0.5 percent over 65. Among household users, 63.4 percent had broadband or ADSL facilities. Households with Internet access spent an average NT$705 per month surfing.

Society

Chen praises draftees

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) received a group of alternative service draftees headed overseas yesterday and encouraged them to follow in their predecessors' footsteps by making greater contributions to the international community. Describing draftees who serve overseas as Taiwan's pride, Chen said he was pleased to see that the "Taiwan spirit" is being passed on through these children of Taiwan who use their hands and know-how for devoted service in poor countries. He also presented a national flag to the group and asked them to promote the values of democracy, freedom and human rights in their host countries. "The people of Taiwan and I, myself, admire your contribution and high morals," he said. "As a member of the global village, Taiwan should play its divine role by assisting poorer countries, whether in Africa or other parts of the world."

Diplomacy

US soldiers get medals

Taiwan's representative office in the US presented medals to 28 retired US military servicemen on Wednesday in recognition of their direct or indirect assistance in defending Taiwan between 1950 and the 1970s. Representative Chen Chien-jen (程建人) conferred the medals on behalf of the government in a ceremony in Washington. Among those honored was retired general Alfred Gray, a former Marine Corps commander. Gray said he still remembers vividly the courage and fortitude shown by the people of Taiwan in pursuing freedom during his service in Taiwan 46 years ago. Another recipient, Lloyd Evans, said the assistance offered by the US during that period was not only useful in military terms but also helpful to Taiwan's economic and democratic development.

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