Sat, Feb 14, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Health

Chen appeals to voters

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday urged voters to cast ballots in the referendum to demonstrate Taiwan's commitment to pursuing peace. He made the appeal during an inspection tour of Hsinchu County. "I beg all voters to support

the referendum because it offers a precious opportu-nity for them to express to the world and China their desire for peace," Chen said. "And no matter which candidate you vote for, you should not miss the referen-dum. We should use the referendum to say `no' to Beijing's missile threat and reaffirm our commitment

to pursuing peace and avoiding war. And let's use the referendum to write a new chapter for our national history," Chen said.

■ Health

New cases of bird flu found

The government reported two new outbreaks of the H5N2 bird flu virus yesterday and ordered a cull at the affected farms. A Changhua County farm was ordered

to cull 11,400 chickens after the virus was detected there on Thursday, said Yeh Ying (葉瑩), deputy director of

the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine. The virus was also detected in 64 pheasants which died at a bird farm in southern Tainan, she said, adding that the remaining pheasants and other birds on the farm will be slaughtered.

■ Politics

Yu defends economic record

Premier Yu Shyi-kun said yesterday that the nation's economic performance

had been better than that of Hong Kong, South Korea

and Singapore last year, and the jobless rate was the lowest of the four. He made the remarks during a general question and answer session

in the legislature. People First Party Legislator Ing Nai-ping (殷乃平) claimed that economic indicators have shown a decline in the economy since the Demo-cratic Progressive Party (DPP) came to power. Yu

said that Taiwan's perfor-mance had been better than other nations at a time of global deflation. He noted that there was a gap between the figures cited by Ing and those of the government. Yu said that Ing had claimed that total private investment last year amounted to NT$1 trillion (US$30.21 billion), although major construction projects alone amounted to NT$1.5 trillion that year.

■ Politics

Tampering allegations made

DPP Legislator Kao Meng-ting (高孟定) yesterday alleged that Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) tampered with justice to help Yunlin County Commissioner Chang Jung-wei's (張榮味) bid for a retrial on bribery charges. The charges stemmed from Chang's campaign for the county council's speaker post in 1994. Kao said that when the legislature was reviewing candidates for the Council of Grand Justices last year, Wang promised

to have all candidates confirmed in exchange for

a retrial for Chang. Kao said that Wang had been seeking Chang's support for the pan-blue's presidential ticket. Chang was sentenced to one year and six months in prison, but is awaiting the verdict of his retrial. Wang has denied Kao's allegation.

■ Diplomacy

Donations for Paraguayans

The government has donated US$300,000 to a humani-tarian group led by Para-guay's first lady Gloria de Duarte Frutos to be invested in social programs, the presidential press office

said yesterday. The funds will be used for recreational facilities and centers for feeding needy children, the statement said.

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