Dollars behind Kiribati move
Economic benefits drove
the tiny Pacific nation of Kiribati to sever diplomatic ties with China and recog
nize Taiwan last month, its president says. "Any policy, including foreign policy, must in the final analysis be one that brings maximum benefit to the people," President Anote Tong told reporters. "At this point
in time, the priority for Kiribati is in economic development. Establishing relations with Taiwan will hopefully offer this oppor-tunity," Tong said. After severing diplomatic ties with Kiribati last month, Beijing pulled out of a sports stadium it was building in Tarawa, and removed six doctors it had provided for Kiribati's main hospital. Taiwan quickly filled the gap, announcing it would donate the NZ$9.4 million (US$6 million) needed to complete the sports complex. It also gave an extra NZ$470,000 to hire expatriate doctors to replace the Chinese medics.
Officials fined NT$1 million
Control Yuan members yesterday ordered two low-level officials punished in accordance with the Act on Recusal of Public Servants due to Conflicts of Interest (公職人員利益衝突迴避法). Yang Shih-lung (楊石龍), a former town chief in Penghu, and Tseng Chun-chan (曾春長), the chief of Shengang township, Changhua County, were fined NT$1 million each. Yang was suspected of having helped a restaurant owned by his wife, while Tseng used his power to get his daughter into a public kindergarten. The ruling was the first time the Control Yuan used its power to investigate public servants' conduct according to the regulations of the act, which was promulgated in 2000. "The Control Yuan members are reviewing other cases reported by voters or sub-mitted by local governments involving civil servants' conflicts of interest," said Control Yuan Secretary General Tu Shan-liang (杜善良).
Arab group begins training
A group of Arab security professionals began foren-sics training yesterday under a cooperation program between Taiwan and Saudi Arabia, sources from the Ministry of Justice's Inves-tigation Bureau said. Eight trainees from the Riyadh-based Naif Arab Academy for Security Sciences will receive intensive training on DNA forensics over the next two weeks at the bureau's headquarters in Taipei, said Pu Chang-en (蒲長恩), a section chief of the bureau's Sixth Department. Pu said the bureau and the Naif academy have cooperated academically since 1995, with the academy sending
its trainees, most of them police and intelligence personnel, to Taiwan to receive professional training and inviting bureau experts to Riyadh to give lectures.
Taichung heralds delicacies
Taichung offers an array of local delicacies, and the city will actively promote them to make the city into the delicacy capital of Asia, Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) said yesterday. Hu made the remarks while attending a food carnival. Hu said the city has long been cited as a cultural center. He noted the city boasts such delicacies as Taiyang (sun) cakes and pineapple cakes as well as many unique delicacies not found anywhere else. The city government will work with local communities and delicacy makers to try to attract tourists from around the nation. Hu said he would work toward making Taichung a delicacy capital on par a with Hong Kong or Singapore.