Mon, Jul 05, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Cross-Strait Ties

Chinese actors on their way

Mainland Affairs Council Vice Chairman Chiu Tai-san (邱太三) said yesterday that a limited number of Chinese movie actors are expected to be allowed to work in Taiwan before the end of this month. Chiu said that the council has almost completed its study of a mechanism to allow Chinese actors and producers to work here. He said the mechanism needs to be approved by the Executive Yuan but it is expected that it will be officially announced before the end of the month. He also said that the number of Chinese actors will be controlled and that in the initial stage, each locally-made film can only hire two such actors. Chiu said that if this move is a success, the council will study the feasibility of opening the TV and radio industry to Chinese actors.

■ Diplomacy

Embassy in Vatican to move

The Republic of China Embassy at the Vatican will move into a better building situated in front of Saint-Peter's Square near St. Peter's church, a well-placed source said on Saturday. Ambassador to the Holy See Tou Chou-seng (杜筑生) reported the move to Minister of Foreign Minister Mark Chen (陳唐山) during his June 26 inspection visit, the source said, adding that both Tou and Chen expressed the hope that the new embassy will become a "scenic spot" for Taiwanese tourists. The current embassy is in a good building but its location is inconvenient in terms of dealing with the Vatican administration and a possible rent increase has prompted the move, the source said. The new embassy will be double the size of the old one, while the rent will be more or less the same, the source said.

■ Crime

Anti-gun drive pays off

Efforts by the police to crack down on illegal possession of guns and ammunition have paid off since the nationwide Leiting No. 36 Anti-firearms Campaign was launched July 1, an official of the Criminal Investigation Bureau said yesterday. Over the last four days, police nationwide have arrested 92 people suspected of being involved in 71 cases of illegal possession of firearms and have cracked down on three criminal groups, as well as taking into custody two people suspected of involvement in a shooting, the official said. The crackdown has resulted in solving 130 other criminal cases, with a total of 145 suspects detained as well as 105 illegal guns and 326 bullets seized, the official said. The police have also offered a grace period for those who illegally possess guns and ammunition to turn them in, the official said, adding that as of Saturday, 23 people had delivered 30 illegal guns to the police.

■ Tourism

Tainan travel center opens

The Tourism Bureau opened a new travel service center at the Tainan railway station yesterday as part of its efforts to attract more tourists from home and abroad. The government has designated this as the year for intensified tourist promotion with a view to doubling tourist arrivals in five years. The bureau said that as Tainan has many cultural and historical relics, it decided to open a service center at the city's railway station. "Starting today, staff members will offer travel counseling services at the new center from 8am through 6pm every day," a bureau official said. "Travel information, transportation, accommo-dation, festival activities, package tours and Internet travel services will all be available at the new center. Local travel agencies are also welcome to distribute tour information at the center," the official said.

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