Sun, Jul 04, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take


■ Diplomacy
No christmas for you

The Vatican has asked Taiwan to make Christmas a national holiday, but the nation has refused on the grounds that it already has too many holidays, Taiwan radio reported yesterday. The Broadcasting Corporation of China (BCC) said Vatican Secretary of State Angela Sodano made the request to a Foreign Minister Mark Chen (陳唐山) when Chen visited the Holy See earlier this week. During their meeting, Cardinal Sodano asked why Taiwanese people do not have a day off at Christmas, and expressed the hope that Taiwan would make Christmas a national holiday, BCC said. Chen told Sodano that Taiwanese nationals can take two days off every other week and many businesses are already complaining that there are too many holidays, so it would not be easy to make Christmas a national holiday.

■ Diplomacy

Colombians arrive

Camilo Sanchez Ortega, chairman of Colombia's Liberal Party, and a delegation of other Colombians arrived in Taiwan yesterday for a five-day visit. During his stay, Sanchez and his delegation, which includes his wife, will visit the Legislative Yuan and meet with Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Chen Ruey-long (陳瑞隆) and Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Francisco Hwang (黃瀧元). They will also attend a luncheon hosted by Hwang. The group will visit cultural and economic facilities including the National Palace Museum, the Taipei World Trade Center, the Taipei 101 Business Center and the Taiwan Handcraft Promotion Center before departing on July 7.

■ Diplomacy

We're friends with Canada

Ties between Taiwan and Canada are improving despite Beijing's persistent attempts to disrupt the relationship, Taiwan's representative to Canada said in Vancouver on Friday. Speaking to a group of Taiwanese living in Canada, Thomas Chen (陳東壁) said that although the absence of diplomatic ties does impose some restraints on the development of bilateral ties, the Canadian parliament and people are friendly toward Taiwan and support the nation's bid to join the WHO. In order to provide an example illustrating friendly relations between the two sides, Chen said that many senior Taiwanese officials have visited Canada in a private capacity in the last three years, which he said is impossible in many other countries.

■ Crime

Bereaved travel to Japan

People close to the Taiwanese student who was found dead while traveling in Japan departed for Japan yesterday morning. The parents, uncle, younger brother and boyfriend of Hsiao Jen-chiao (蕭任喬), 21, a Japanese Literature major at Taiwan's Providence University, took a Japan Asia Airways flight to Tokyo yesterday. Hsiao, who was on a five-day tour to Japan, was strangled to death last Monday. The suspect, a 25-year-old Japanese man surnamed Watanabe, turned himself in on Thursday.

■ Education

Students to serve villages

The Council of Indigenous People is sending 120 Aboriginal college students to do community service in remote Aboriginal communities throughout Taiwan from July 8 to July 29. During the 22-day program, the students will learn more about Aboriginal cultures and lifestyles. The program also is designed to teach the students about Aboriginal languages and to foster a spirit of service as students give to the communities.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top