Wed, Oct 15, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

■ HealthDengue fever discovered

The Center for Disease Control announced late Sunday that 11 cases of dengue fever had been found in the Natzu area of Kaohsiung City and another case had been reported in Kaohsiung County. The center has sprayed pesticides in the area and tried to clear stagnant pools of water. The center's Deputy Director Shih Wen-yi (施文儀) said that recent rainfall and humid weather has aided the transmission of the disease. He said that as the weather turns colder, the situation will improve. The symptoms of dengue fever include headaches and sudden fever, as well as eye, joint and muscle pain. The center said there have been 37 imported cases of dengue fever this year and 64 indigenous cases, 51 of which were reported in March.

■ Dignitaries

Clinton trip set for November

Former US president Bill Clinton is expected to visit next month at the behest of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, the organization's director said yesterday. "We hope the reputation and influence of Clinton will help boost the nation's international exposure and status," Kao Ba-jack said. During his two-day stay Clinton is expected to deliver a speech on a topic of his choosing, Kao said, adding that the dates of the visit had not been finalized. Kao declined say how much Clinton would receive for his speech. A local newspaper said it was around US$200,000.

■ Defense

US military official visits

A top US military official is visiting Taiwan, an American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) official said yesterday. "John Allen will meet officials in charge of national defense and national security affairs," the official said, refusing to provide more details. Allen's predecessor Mary Tighe visited Taipei in March, becoming the highest-ranking US military official to visit since 1979. Tighe and her delegation reportedly evaluated Taiwan's anti-missile capability. Her visit was seen by military analysts as a US effort to get Taiwan to take a serious look at China's growing missile threat.

■ Diplomacy

Panamanians back ties

A majority of Panamanians, or 55 percent, support their country's diplomatic relations with Taiwan, according to a CID-Gallup poll published Monday by the El Panama America newspaper. Less than a third, or 32 percent, opposed diplomatic relations, while 13 percent had no opinion. The poll also found 54 percent of Panamanians are opposed to diplomatic links with Cuba, while 35 percent of respondents supported such links and 11 percent had no opinion.

■ Diplomacy

Lawmakers blast China

Legislators from across the political spectrum issued a joint statement yesterday condemning China, claiming it used its position in the UN to pressure Liberia to sever diplomatic relations with Taiwan. The legislators said in the statement that they lodged a strong protest and urged the Executive Yuan to use its resources to fight the diplomatic squeeze by the People's Republic of China. The joint statement was co-signed by caucuses of the Democratic Progressive Party, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), the People First Party, the Taiwan Solidarity Union and the Alliance of Independent Legislators. It was confirmed Sunday that Liberia had switched recognition from Taipei to Beijing. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs severed relations with Liberia shortly afterward.

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