The foreign ministers of Dominica, Grenada, Saint Christopher, and St. Vincent on Friday reiterated their strong support for Taiwan's bid to join international organizations. They made the pledge in a communique issued at the end of a conference attended by them and Taiwan Foreign Minister Eugene Chien (簡又新) in Kingstown, St. Vincent. They said the Republic of China on Taiwan has the legitimate right to join world organizations, particularly the UN and the World Health Organization. In the communique, the five countries also pledged to strengthen their cooperation in international politics.
Yao calls for reform
Examination Yuan President Yao Chia-wen (姚嘉文) spoke in London on Friday saying that Taiwan should continue to strive for making its civil servants maintain neutrality in carrying out their administrative affairs. Yao, who is in London for a five-day visit aimed at studying the British civil servant training and pension systems, made the remarks in a symposium held at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies. He said Taiwan should try to dump the old tradition in which the affairs of the ruling party and those of the government are intertwined, calling for the government system to belong to the nation and not to any single political party.
■ War on terror
N Korean freighter held
The Kaohsiung Harbor Bureau yesterday asked that a North Korean freighter in the harbor in southern Taiwan be temporarily detained. The freighter Be Gae Bong, arrived in Kaohsiung Harbor Thursday from Bangkok, Thailand, to unload some 2,000 tonnes of aluminum powder. After being informed by US intelligence authorities that the freighter might be carrying a batch of dangerous chemicals which could be used as materials in the production of nuclear weapons, harbor officials boarded the vessel Friday to conduct a search.The ship is suspected of transporting about 1 tonne of hydrafil, or aluminum hydroxide compound, with North Korea as the final destination, Kaohsiung Harbor detained the vessel according to international trade regulations. Hydrafil, if combined with other chemicals, can be processed into alumina which can be used in making the outer shells of missiles.
Lin leads delegation
Minister of Economic Affairs Lin Yi-fu (林義夫) will leave for the US today at the head of a delegation to seek more trade opportunities for local companies. Lin will invite senior executives of noted US firms to attend an international trade fair set to open in Taipei Oct. 19 as well as try to attract them to launch new investment projects in Taiwan, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said yesterday. During the week-long US visit, the group will host presentations on Taiwan investment regulations and general market trends for the biotechnology, telecommunications, information and digital industries, respectively, in various US cities. Group members will also pay courtesy calls at the headquarters of major US business groups to invite them to invest in Taiwan or to forge joint-venture deals with their Taiwan counterparts. The companies on the group's itinerary include General Electric, Corningware, Motorola, Gateway and Becton, Dickinson and Co.