Sun, Feb 01, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

■ ShipwreckFisherman missing

A Vietnamese crewman working aboard a Taiwanese fishing boat is missing after his vessel sank off Taichung's harbor, according to the boat's skipper. Three Taiwanese aboard the vessel were rescued by two other fishing boats operating nearby. The man went missing after floating in the sea for hours awaiting rescue, said Hung You-yun, captain of the ill-fated Sheng Fu Fa. The boat, based out of Wuchi port in Taichung County, developed engine problems while fishing seven nautical miles from Taichung on Friday afternoon, according to Hong. An emergency exit at the stern of the ship broke loose after being battered by high seas, the boat began to take on water and sank rapidly. All four crewmen jumped overboard with life preservers. The captain and the two others -- his adult sons -- were rescued two hours later by two fishing boats that rushed to their aid, but the Vietnamese crewman was missing. A search was continuing yesterday.

■ Economy

Stock plan not yet final

A plan for legislation that would allow overseas companies owned by Taiwanese nationals to trade their stocks on the local bourse has not yet been finalized, an official of the Cabinet-level Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said yesterday. MAC Vice Chairman Huang Chie-cheng (黃介正) said that the issue is pending discussion by related government agencies, while the MAC will have to further consult with Taiwanese businessmen operating in China about the matter. President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said earlier this week in an interview with a local television station that overseas companies owned by Taiwanese should be welcome to trade their stocks in their motherland.

■ Obituary

Business campaigner dies

John C.I. Ni (黎昌意), former director-general of the Small- and Medium-sized Enterprise Administration under the Ministry of Economic Affairs, died yesterday of a heart attack. He was 64. Ni, a prominent advocate of small- and medium-sized businesses while serving in the post and formerly Taiwan's representative to Hong Kong, died at the Tri-Service General Hospital in Taipei. Ni was the son of Ni Yue-si (黎玉璽), once an influential figure in the military serving as chief of the general staff from 1976 to 1978 and in various other key posts. Ni Yue-si died last year. John Ni's daughter is a well-known local disc-jockey.

■ Festival

GIO lanterns shelved

The public will not be able to see the Government Information Office's (GIO) lanterns of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac during this year's Lantern Festival. Due to its limited budget, the GIO will not participate in this year's festival. For the past 12 years, the GIO had contracted private manufacturers to provide oversize lanterns of the 12 zodiac animals. The legislature froze 75 percent of the GIO's annual budget this year, forcing the office to adopt belt-tightening measures.

■ Bird flu

Fact-finding trip conducted

Center for Disease Control Director-General Su Ih-jen (蘇益仁) returned from Vietnam yesterday after concluding a bird flu fact-finding trip. Su first visited the Thai capital of Bangkok on Thursday, where he met officials in charge of public health and agriculture to gain detailed information about a human death caused by the H5N1 bird flu virus in that country. From there, he proceeded to Ho Chi Minh City.

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