Fri, Oct 17, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

■ Diplomacy

No secret mission for Lee

The Government Information Office (GIO) denied media reports yesterday that President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) special envoy to the APEC leaders' summit in Bangkok would also travel to Vietnam on a secret diplomatic mission. The reports said Academia Sinica President Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲) would visit Hanoi after the APEC meeting, accompanied by National Security Council Deputy Secretary-General Antonio Chiang (江春男). GIO officials said the reports were sheer speculation, stressing that Lee is going to Hanoi only for a long-scheduled academic meeting. However, the officials confirmed that Chiang will accompany Lee to the APEC meeting in Bangkok.

■ Cross-strait ties

China congratulated

The government yesterday offered its well wishes for China's successful launch of its first manned spaceship, but stressed that it is important for Beijing to use its space technology for peaceful purposes. "We welcome any efforts to develop space technology which can help promote living standards and scientific development," said Cabinet spokesman Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) about the completion of the Shenzhou 5 mission. "But it is not what we want to see if the space technology developed by China is used for non-peaceful purposes, or for an arms race that would destabilize the Asia-Pacific region," he said. All peace-loving people want to see space technology used for peaceful and scientific purposes, Lin said.

■ Migrant workers

Hanoi raises standards

Vietnam is raising standards for its migrant workers who want to work in Taiwan in an effort to cut the number of Vietnamese who abandon their contracts after arriving in Taiwan, an official said yesterday. A number of Vietnamese arrive in Taiwan with contracts to work, then break them to work illegally in higher-paying jobs, said an official from Vietnam's Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs. The ministry will suspend the licenses of Vietnam-based employment agencies if more than 3 percent of their recruits break their contracts, the official said on condition of anonymity. The ministry has also ordered agencies not to recruit people who have relatives working illegally in other countries, the official said. The same measures were applied to Vietnamese going to Japan and South Korea, and helped reduce the contract-breaking rate from more than 10 percent to less than 5 percent, the official said. At least 40,000 Vietnamese work in Taiwan as maids, caretakers and factory workers. Nearly half went there in the first nine months of this year, according to government figures.

■ Taipei City

Fairs set for Sunday

The Taipei City Bureau of Social Welfare and the Taipei Post Office are sponsoring two fairs on Sunday in the parking lot of the Neihu flower market. The "New Appearance of Postal Affairs" and "Promotion of the Blind Massage" fairs will run from 8am to 2pm. There will be 194 stalls run by various companies, offering food, fun games, shows and pop quizzes. There will also be 15,000 free raffle tickets worth NT$40 to be given away to participants. Raffle prizes include a 125cc motorcycle, a digital-video camera, TV, refrigerator and stereo system. Free massages will be provided by 120 blind masseurs and there will be performances by visually impaired artists.

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