Fri, Feb 07, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

■ EducationChen backs foreign teachers

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday gave his support to a government plan to hire foreigners to teach English in schools. In his Internet newsletter, Chen said that English is the universal language. "If we can hire foreigners to help teach English, it will raise the English level of primary and secondary school students and all students will speak English instead of memorizing words and grammar," he said. "Hiring foreign English teachers can help Taiwan link up with the world." Chen was respond-ing to an e-mailed complaint that foreign English-language teachers in private schools are paid more than Taiwanese teachers. "As for foreign teachers' salary, the government will make pro-per arrangements," he said.

■ Security

Gas masks for Gulf region

The government is sending 300 gas masks to the Persian Gulf region to protect Tai-wanese there if there is a war in Iraq, an official said yes-terday. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Katherine Chang (張小月) said there were 3,000 Taiwanese in the region registered with the governmnt, but none in Iraq. She said the ministry has sent the masks to its trade offices in the Gulf area. ``Those registered with the Taiwanese offices will receive the masks free of charge,'' she said. The government is also sending protective clothing against chemical and biological warfare to its offices in Kuwait and Israel, she said.

■ Politics

Lee school to open in March

Top academics and experts are expected to give lectures at the Lee Teng-hui School, which is scheduled to begin offering classes for aspiring political and economic leaders at the end of March. The workshop's classes will be offered on weekends and the course will last about a month. The workshop plans to invite a variety of speakers, including Nat Bellocchi, former chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan, former chairman of the Council for Economic Planning and Development Chen Po-chih (陳博志), former finance minister Shirley Kuo (郭婉容) and writer Chen Fang-ming (陳芳明). Entry requirements for the workshop's 30 students are high -- they are required to have made distinguished contributions to society or academia.

■ Cross-strait ties

Sovereignity is bottom line

The government's bottom line in its cross-strait policy is an insistence on sovereign status, a Mainland Affairs Council official said in Johannesburg on Wednes-day. Addressing a meeting of senior executives of major overseas Chinese trade associations from around the world, Council Vice Chair-man Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) said the top goal of the government's China policy is to maintain a peaceful and stable environment for cross-strait engagement. "And the bottom line in cross-strait relations is that the ROC is a sovereign state, and this can never be compromised," he said.

■ Diplomacy

Honduras thanks Taiwan

Ambassador Olmeda Rivera, secretary general of the Honduran Foreign Ministry, said in Geneva on Wednes-day that Taiwan has donated US$294,000 to help clear land mines from her country. She said that great efforts have been made to clear land mines from many countries since the 1997 Treaty to Ban Anti-personnel Land Mines. Taiwan has donated nearly US$300,000 to help remove mines from the border area between Honduras and Guatemala.

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