Sat, Dec 14, 2002 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan quick take


Lawmakers tout donation law

Legislators from across the political spectrum held a joint press conference yesterday to solicit support for a proposed political donation law scheduled for review in 10 days. The legislators said it is crucial that the draft bill passes its third reading before the legislature's winter recess next month. The bill is one of three "sunshine laws" the government has been pushing since the late 1990s in a bid to make the finances and activities of parties more transparent. Allegations of bribery in the recent mayoral and city council elections have given renewed impetus to the political donations proposal. The Zanadau Development Corp scandal has also focused attention on anti-corruption efforts.


Lee urges high-tech focus

Taiwan should go a different way from other developing countries in terms of economic development, former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) said yesterday. Speaking at a Rotary Club meeting in Taichung, Lee said current economic problems are different from those of the past and cannot be solved with the methods that helped the nation weather past recessions. Noting that developing countries have abundant workforces and can readily imitate products that do not require advanced technology, he said that the nation can hardly compete against them in terms of labor costs. Instead, he said, it should concentrate on the research and development of high-tech products. Lee warned that China's cheap labor costs will not last long because of skyrocketing inflation and predicted that Taiwanese businesspeople who have invested in China will end up coming back home.


Aboriginal canoe given to US

Representative to the US Chen Chien-jen (程建人) donated a wooden canoe made by Aborigines to the Mariners Museum in Newport News, Virginia, on Thursday to symbolize the friendship between the two countries. Chen presented the canoe to curator John Hightower in a ceremony held at the museum, one of the world's largest and most comprehensive maritime museums. "The donation signifies the cordial relations between our two countries," Chen said. "I have brought with me not only the canoe but also the goodwill and blessing of the 23 million people of Taiwan to all Americans," he said. The canoe was made by elders of the Tao tribe that resides on Orchid Island.


Fund-raising walk begins

More than 300 people participated in the first stage of a 10-day charity walk that began yesterday in Oluanpi, southern Taiwan. The walk, which aims to raise NT$12 million (US$342,857) to set up an emergency hot line, was jointly sponsored by the Chinese Christian Relief Association (CCRA) and B&Q International, a home improvement center. The walk will take the participants from the Oluanpi lighthouse at the southern tip of the nation to the Fukueichiao lighthouse at the northern tip. Lighthouses were chosen as the start and finish points to signify that the hot line will "light up the people," according to an organizer. B&Q regional manager Mark Jeffrey Curtis initiated the idea of a rescue hot line. The Briton came to Taiwan three years ago and experienced the devastating earthquake on Sept. 21, 1999, as well as Typhoon Nari last year. Curtis said that he found that the victims of natural disasters not only need money, they are also in desperate need of psychological assistance.

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