Sun, Jul 18, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

■ Diplomacy
Things with Chad not bad

Relations between Taiwan and Chad are solid, and all cooperation projects are proceeding according to schedule, an official of Taiwan's embassy in Chad said yesterday. The official, surnamed Hu, said that Taiwan's ambassador, Cheng Shin (鄭欣), is in France for treatment of an illness and could not respond in person to media reports that bilateral relations are on the rocks after Chad was denied a huge amount of cash aid. Hu dismissed the reports as "unfounded" and added that bilateral relations are solid. Meanwhile, officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Chad did ask Taiwan to assist in the renewing of electricity facilities, although there was no unreasonable request for a "huge amount of financial assistance" and it is unlikely that the two nations "are on the verge of severing diplomatic relations." Anna Kao (高安), deputy director of the Department of Information and Cultural Affairs, said that cooperation projects between Taiwan and its allies are based mainly on improving the infrastructure of allies and that both sides will carefully assess such projects.

■ Senior Citizens

Caregiving a growth industry

With the graying of the nation's population, the caregiving sector will expand quickly, the Council for Economic Planning and Development said yesterday. The council said that it is estimated that the number of people aged 65 or over totaled around 1.88 million last year, accounting for 9 percent of the population, and that judging from current trends, the elderly will make up 14 percent of the population by 2020. Only in Japan is the elderly population increasing faster than in Taiwan, the council said. The council said that although a few businesses in Taiwan's private sector have invested in the construction of communities for the elderly, the norm will still be for old people to live in their own houses or communities, so the demand for home caregivers will be high.

■ Child Welfare

Delegation in Britain

A Taiwanese delegation is on an eight-day visit to Britain to learn from British experiences in protecting children and adolescents from online crime. The delegation, composed of government officials, scholars and children's welfare promoters, is headed by Vice Minister of Education Fan Hsun-lu (范巽綠). Over the past six days, the delegation has visited the British Home Office, Scotland Yard and many other agencies to study Britain's measures for controlling child pornography on the Internet and protecting youngsters and teenagers from sex crimes as well as promoting children's welfare and rights. Fan said that Taiwan has much to learn from Britain.

■ Tourism

Package deals offered

In line with the government's all-out drive to lure tourists, China Airlines (CAL) has launched new package tours for foreign visitors, focusing on backpackers, a spokesman for Taiwan's largest carrier said yesterday. The Dynasty Package Discovering Taiwan promotion -- which features 12 routes and six themes including hot springs, national parks, beaches, night markets, monuments and landscape -- will allow participants to fully experience the country's natural beauty and rich culture, the spokesman said. Acting on recommendation by the Tourism Bureau under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, CAL will first operate five of the 12 routes.

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