Tue, Dec 23, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

■ Crime

Baseball star jailed

Former baseball star Chen Yi-hsin (陳義信) faces a stretch in prison after being convicted for tax evasion and handed a four-month sentence by the Taipei District Court yesterday. Between 1997 and 1999, Chen was said to have filed misleading donation figures to a Buddhist foundation to receive larger tax deductions. During the investigation into Chen's case, 30 more cases of tax evasion involving the same foundation were discovered. The prominent Aboriginal sporting star had a career in the local Professional Baseball League. He also ran for a seat on the Taipei City Council last year and in the legislature in 2001, but failed to win election both times.

■ Health

SARS patient on the mend

Taiwan's only confirmed SARS patient this winter, Lieutenant Colonel Chan, has been steadily recovering from the killer disease, Taipei Municipal Hoping Hospital officials said yesterday. The 44-year-old Chan, who has been receiving treatment at Taipei Municipal Hoping Hospital since last Wednesday, has seen a remarkable increase in his blood's oxygen content, and his lung inflammation has stopped increasing, the officials said. Hospital president Chu Ta-cheng (璩大成) said Sunday that Chan was recovering satisfactorily. He has been able to breathe without the use of a respirator since early Sunday morning. The 15 people who had come into close contact with Chan were removed from the watch list on Sunday after not displaying any SARS symptoms over the previous 10 days, Chu said.

■ Cross-Strait Ties

Kinmen seeks holiday thaw

Kinmen County Government authorities yesterday called for the Mainland Affairs Council to relax regulations on travel via the three links as the New Year holiday season approaches. The Kinmen authorities said they want the regulations relaxed to allow Taiwan businesspeople maintaining business operations beyond Fujian Province to use the route for the holiday period. The Kinmen officials appealed for an increase in the regular ferry service between Kinmen and Xiamen from the existing 12 ferries a week on four weekdays to 21 per week with service every day. Currently, Kinmen's Shuitou Port is allowed to operate three two-way ferries to Xiamen on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

■ Defense

Radar system in spotlight

Taiwan's defense officials are fiercely debating the selection of an early-warning system to guard against a possible missile attack by China, according to a report to be published this week. US defense suppliers Lockheed Martin and Raytheon are slugging it out for the multi-million dollar contract, the authoritative Jane's Missiles and Rockets weekly will say in its Thursday edition. "Both companies are making claims that are not realistic -- squabbling over which radar could see a butterfly flying along in Fujian Province," a US Pentagon official said. "Both companies are saying things like, `Our radar can do 90 percent of the job for just 10 percent of the costs of the other guy.' It's just ridiculous." Taiwanese officials are pointing out that Taiwan already has a variety of tactical long-range radars and is currently developing a new system which has a range of 1,000km.

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