Mon, Jul 26, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take


■ Government

Embattled official returns

Tien Hung-mao (田弘茂), former minister of foreign affairs who recently submitted a letter of resignation from his current post as representative to the UK, was expected to arrive in Taiwan last night in order to facilitate a police investigation into the controversial sale of French Lafayette-class frigates to Taiwan in the 1990s. While Tien has offered his resignation over the disputed issuance of a passport and legal documents to the wife of fugitive murder suspect in the case, Andrew Wang (汪傳浦), Minister of Foreign Affairs Mark Chen (陳唐山) said yesterday that the ministry would deal with Tien's resignation after an investigation casts more light on the situation.

■ Crime

Money launderers wanted

Police said yesterday they had identified two people suspected of having laundered a total of US$36,000 in fake US bills into more than NT$1.2 million from two local banks in the past week. The two suspects, identified as Chen Chih-lung (陳志隆) and Wang Hui-chen (王惠貞), were accused of laundering US$18,000 in counterfeit greenbacks each at Hsinchu Commercial Bank and Chiao Tung Bank branches in Taoyuan on July 19. Police identified the duo after scrutinizing security videotapes provided by the two banks. In addition to stepping up a search for the duo, police said they are also investigating the where-abouts of other accomplices. "We believe that there is a criminal ring involved in the fake greenback laundering operations," said an officer with the Taoyuan County Police Bureau.

■ Diplomacy

Envoy to Malaysia weighs in

Taiwan's long and close relationship with Malaysia should not be slandered, obstructed or interfered with, Taiwan's envoy to Malaysia said Saturday. Wu Wen-yea (吳文雅) made the remarks while responding to a question from the media at a gathering held by an organization of people who have studied in Taiwan. Asked to express her views on a Malaysian government decision to restrict visits by its ministers to Taiwan, Wu said that Malaysia's foreign policy and its policy toward China should be respected. She added that Taiwan has never expressed opinions about these policies. Wu said it is difficult for her to understand the Malaysian government's decision to prohibit its ministers from visiting Taiwan since the existing economic and trade exchanges are vital and require both sides to hold high-level consultations for further development.

■ Society

Say hello to Mr. University

Taiwan student Hu Yi-cheng (胡奕晟) won the title of the 2004 Mr. University in a contest held in Seoul Saturday. Hu, a Chinese Medicine major from Taiwan's Chang Gung University, outperformed rivals from 14 other countries to grab the title in the men's division of the 26th International Mr. & Miss University Beauty Pageant, which took place July 17 through July 24. Hu was awarded a crystal trophy by the dean of South Korea's Sun Moon University, a co-sponsor of the pageant. "Judges look not only for physical beauty but also for the integrity and character of the individuals, " the dean said. Meanwhile, Chu Pei-ying (朱佩瑩), a student from the Taipei Municipal Teachers College, won second place in the women's division, while Kenyan student Robai Musilivi Khamasi came in first.

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