Sun, Mar 07, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ BusinessBan on steel exports urged

The government should follow the example of South Korea and impose an interim ban on steel exports to meet surging demand at home, a lawmaker said yesterday. Legislator Wei Ming-ku (魏明谷) of the Democratic Progressive Party, saying that price hikes have pushed some wholesalers to stockpile their products, added that many downstream companies have complained about the loss of business opportunities arising from a booming housing market. Many companies are afraid to take new orders because rising steel prices have shown no sign of slowing down since China Steel -- the largest steel producer in the country -- announced it would raise prices on Feb. 26. Wei called on the government to come up with a solution quickly.

■ Election

New labor policy sought

Several labor groups said yesterday that they will make a public appeal to candidates in the presidential race to create a better labor policy. Wang Wei-jen (王為仁), president of the Alliance of Taiwan Unemployed Workers, said yesterday that he and leaders of several other labor groups will make a public appeal in front of the Presidential Office and the Legislative Yuan from March 15 to March 17 to press President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Chinese Nationalist Party Chairman (KMT) Lien Chan (連戰) for a better labor policy. Noting that some labor groups have called for their members to boycott the March 20 election to show their displeasure with both candidates, Wang said that people, especially those who are out of work, will be ignored if they don't take part in the election.

■ Diplomacy

MOFA denies ASEAN report

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday dismissed as untrue reports by a Chinese state television that ASEAN is opposed to Taiwan's planned referendum, which will be held at the same time as the March 20 presidential election. Ministry officials said that China Central Television's reports "are not true," adding that Beijing has exaggerated the personal views of Indonesian Foreign Minister Noer Hasan Wirajuda. "This is the consistent way of China to restrict Taiwan's democracy and its maneuvering space in the international community, and yet another attempt to mislead international views," the officials said.

■ Women

Lu celebrates Women's Day

Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) will launch a series of activities to mark the 33rd anniversary of Women's Day tomorrow. Lu published an article on the review of the traditional relations of both genders in 1971 to usher in the new feminism in Taiwan. Lu is expected to board a train at Kaohsiung Railway Station at 9:55am today to travel northbound. She will change trains at Taichung at 12:50pm and continue the trip to Taipei where she will lead tens of thousands of women on a march. A special women's night will be held at the spacious square in front of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall today to highlight the past, present and future of Taiwanese women. Lu said that during the event, she will talk with Chen Chu (陳菊), chairman of the Council of Labor Affairs, and former Taichung Mayor Chang Wen-ying (張溫鷹), about being jailed over the Formosa Incident which took place on Dec. 10, 1979, in Kaohsiung, where those who advocated the establishment of an opposition party in the magazine Formosa and their supporters clashed with police in an unauthorized rally.

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