Tue, Oct 07, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

■ PoliticsParties reach consensus

A consensus among political parties has been forged concerning sections of two bills which will be voted on in the Legislative Yuan on Thursday, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said yesterday. Parties have agreed on most parts of the revised Statute Governing the Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (兩岸人民關係條例) and a revision to the 1995 Presidential and Vice Presidential Election and Recall Law (總統副總統選舉罷免法). The Taiwan Solidarity Union, which disagreed with the other parties on several articles of each bill, insisted on voting on them individually rather than as a package.

■ Economics

Premier Yu bullish

Premier Yu Shyi-kun said yesterday that economic growth could reach 4.67 percent for the final quarter of this year. Yu made the forecast at a Legislative Yuan plenary session to dismiss a claim by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Kuo Tien-tsai (郭添財) that the administration is not competent enough to rev up the nation's sluggish economy. Dismissing Kuo's criticism as unfair, Yu cited figures, including growth in exports and foreign exchange reserves, to show that the economy has rebounded from its recent sluggishness and is now steadily improving.

■ National Day

Celebrations toned down

Taiwan has limited its National Day activities in Hong Kong and Macau to indoor celebrations in line with an agreement with the special administrative regions of China, Mainland Affairs Council vice chairman Huang Chieh-cheng (黃介正) said yesterday. About 1,000 people attended an indoor rally held by Taiwan's representative office in Hong Kong on Sunday, with participants singing the national anthem and bowing to the portrait of the founder of the Republic of China (ROC), Sun Yat-sen (孫中山). Some 600 people will attend a similar event in Macau today, Huang said. Also known as Double-Ten Day, since it falls on Oct. 10, National Day had been widely celebrated by Chinese communities in Hong Kong and Macau before they reverted to Chinese rule.

■ Foreign affairs

Powell rumor dismissed

Minister of Foreign Affairs Eugene Chien (簡又新) dismissed as "mere speculation" yesterday a media report that President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) might have an informal meeting with US Secretary of State Colin Powell in Panama early next month. Chen is scheduled to leave for a Latin American tour late this month. His itinerary will include a state visit to Panama to attend a ceremony marking the nation's centennial on Nov. 3. As US President George W. Bush has designated Powell to attend the Panamanian ceremony on his behalf, local news media said Chen might meet with Powell by chance during their stays in Panama.

■ Culture

Free birthday performance

The Overseas Chinese Commission will sponsor a free performance of music and drama at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall at 7pm tomorrow as part of celebrations for Double Ten Day on Friday. The show is primarily designed to treat overseas Chinese who have returned to Taiwan for the 92nd birthday of the Republic of China. Commission Chairwoman Chang Fu-mei (張富美) said the show would be a "combination of modern and traditional arts."

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