Tue, Jun 29, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

■ Diplomacy

Mark Chen starts Rome visit

Minister of Foreign Affairs Mark Chen (陳唐山) arrived in Rome on Sunday for a brief two-day visit to the Vatican. Chen flew from New York to Rome after concluding a two-week visit to the US. He was greeted by Ambassador to the Vatican Tu Chu-sheng (杜筑生) and Representative to Italy Lin Chi-cheng (林基正). This is Chen's first trip to Europe since he assumed office in April. Noting that the EU has recently been enlarged from 15 states to 25 states, Chen said the union will be an important focus of Taiwan's diplomatic work.

■ Diplomacy

Dominican Republic for Yu

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday appointed Premier Yu Shyi-kun as his special envoy to attend the inauguration ceremony of the newly-elected president of the Dominican Republic, Leonel Fernandez. Cabinet Spokesman Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) said the itinerary for the premier's visit has yet to be finalized. "The Cabinet will also discuss with the presidential office and the foreign ministry whether the premier should also visit other countries. At the moment, no decision has been made," he said. Fernandez, who was president between 1996 and 2000, defeated former president Hipolito Mejia during the May 16 elections. He will assume the presidency on Aug. 16. Fernandez's Dominican Liberation Party is the minority in Congress and the president-elect would need the support of Mejia's Dominican Revolutionary Party to pass any major bills. The Dominican Republic is one of 26 countries across the world that still recognizes Taiwan diplomatically. Yu would be the second leader to visit diplomatic allies after Chen's re-election.

■ Cross-Strait Ties

MAC unhappy with pilgrims

Some Chinese religious groups that have traveled to this country have been trying to take their message to the people in ways inconsistent with the terms of their visas, Mainland Affairs Council Vice Chairman Chiu Tai-san (邱太三) said yesterday. Chiu said some Chinese religious groups have had "impure motives" behind their visits. Chiu said some groups reneged on agreements made on condition of entry by expanding "stationary" exhibitions or concerts held at fixed locations to "dynamic" excursions, including carrying gods or goddesses from place to place around the country to solicit Taiwanese followers and their donations.

■ Cross-Strait Ties

Business policy unchanged

The government's "active opening, effective management" policy on cross-strait commercial exchanges remains unchanged, Mainland Affairs Council Vice Chairman Chiu Tai-san (邱太三) said yesterday. His remarks were in response to former president Lee Teng-hui's (李登輝) comments on Sunday that many of the difficulties businesspeople are now facing can be attributed to the government's failure to fully implement his "no haste, be patient" policy. Chiu said the government's policy on cross-strait commercial exchanges was changed from "no haste, be patient" to "active opening, effective management" in 2001 in line with the conclusions reached at a cross-party national economic development conference. Chiu said the "active opening, effective management" strategy follows the basic spirit of "no haste, be patient" while accommodating some amendments needed to facilitate companies' global business expansion.

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