Mon, May 24, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Foreign affairs
Powell supports `one China'

Washington reiterated its support for the "one-China" policy yesterday. US Secretary of State Colin Powell made the comments in a telephone conversation with Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing (李肇星), the official Xinhua News Agency said. "The US side reiterated that it would abide by the `one China' policy," Xinhua said. The two sides also spoke about Iraq and other issues, Xinhua said, but did not elaborate. In President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) inauguration speech on Thursday, Chen used conciliatory language aimed at soothing China.

■ Foreign policy

Iraq plan upsets pop star

Popular singer Lou Ta-you (劉大佑) cut his US passport into pieces during a rock concert to protest a reported suggestion by two US lawmakers that Taiwan send troops to Iraq. After singing a song, Lou sat on a chair on stage and slowly read a newspaper report about the suggestion. He then used a pair of scissors to cut his passport to cheers from the mostly young audience at a university in Hsinchu on Saturday night, according to a local cable news channel. "They say we should attack Iraq and then they would protect us," Lou, wearing his trademark black T-shirt, told the audience. "This would be a dirty trade-off." Lou, who holds both Taiwanese and US citizenship, said he would be afraid for his safety if Taiwan sends troops. "I am as jittery as a mouse," laughed Lou, who is known as the "Protest Singer" because of the political themes of many of his songs. "I'm afraid that a stranger with an Arabian accent might come over to me on the plane and ask to check my passport."

■ Earthquakes

Hualien gets a jolt

An earthquake with a magnitude of 4.2 on the Richter scale jolted the Hualien area early yesterday morning, according to the Central Weather Bureau. A bureau report said the quake occurred at 4:25am, with its epicenter located 9.5km southwest of a seismic station in Hualien County at a depth of 19.2km. The quake had an intensity of 3.0 in Hualien County; 2.0 in Nantou; 1.0 in Taichung County; and 1.0 in Ilan County, the report added.

■ Cross-strait ties

Atlas appears pro-Taiwan

Although China continues to claim that Taiwan is part of China, an atlas sold in Beijing's state-owned Xinhua Bookstore features the two sides of the Taiwan Strait as two separate countries, a Chinese daily newspaper said yesterday. The Chinese-language Beijing News reported that the pocket-size world atlas is published by US-based Merriam-Webster Publishing Co. The daily said the atlas uses white to represent China, while coloring all neighboring countries, including Taiwan, pale orange. Meanwhile, the daily went on, Taiwan is featured elsewhere in the atlas, where Taiwan is colored white and its neighboring countries, including China, are colored pale orange. The page also carries words describing Taiwan's national title as the Republic of China (ROC) and displays the ROC's "white sun in a blue sky on a crimson ground" national flag. The paper quoted a Beijing municipal customs service official as saying that the atlas is contraband because all publications that feature the two sides of the Taiwan Strait as "one China, one Taiwan" or "two Chinas" are prohibited from entering the Chinese book market. The official said Chinese law enforcement authorities will step up a crackdown on such publications.

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