Sun, Sep 26, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

■ WeatherTyphoon Meari approaching

Under Typhoon Meari's influence, Taiwan's north and northeast will see more rain for the next two days, the Central Weather Bureau predicted. If the typhoon maintains its course, it will be roughly 120km east of the Ryukyu Islands by 2pm today. The Bureau was keeping an eye on its course and will announce today whether the storm will hit the country. The storm's chance of hitting Taiwan depends on the how the high pressure system evolves in the North Pacific Ocean, the Bureau said.

■ Military

US: carrier no threat to China

The US deployment of another nuclear aircraft carrier in the Pacific should not be of any concern to China, US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said Friday. Emerging from a briefing at the House of Representatives, Armitage was asked by journalist to comment on a report made by Admiral Thomas B. Fargo, commander of the US Pacific Command, to Congress the previous day that an additional US carrier strike group would be stationed in the Pacific. "Our deployments of different carriers and other naval assets are done transparently and openly, this is not a threat to anyone," Armitage said.

■ Diplomacy

Panama ties not threatened

Amid rumors that Panama may cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan because of pressure from Beijing, Taiwan's ambassador to Panama David Hu (胡正堯) said Friday that Taiwan-Panama relations remain sound and that bilateral links will continue to improve. Hu made the comments to reporters after People First Party (PFP) Legislator Sun Ta-chien (孫大千) asked at an interpellation session about a rumor alleging that Panama would suspend its diplomatic ties with Taiwan following the US presidential election in November. Hu said that he had heard nothing about the matter and expressed his confidence that Taiwan-Panama relations will remain in good shape.

■ Society

Beating children opposed

The Humanistic Education Foundation kicked off a campaign against corporal punishment in Kaohsiung City yesterday with the goal of "building a country that does not beat its children." According to foundation leader Shih Ying (史英), punishing children physically is harmful to the growth of children, whom he said represent the nation's future. Shih said the foundation will promote the campaign in different counties and cities around the nation to join forces with like-minded people to push for legislation to outlaw corporal punishment.

■ Politics

Independence criticized

Singapore cautioned Taiwan Friday against "baiting China" by pushing for independence, and urged the UN to prevent relations between Taipei and Beijing spiralling out of control. "The push towards independence by certain groups in Taiwan is most dangerous because it will lead to war with mainland China and drag in other countries," Singapore Foreign Minister George Yeo (楊榮文) told world leaders gathered at the UN General Assembly. "The international community should also not allow the deteriorating relationship across the Taiwan Strait to get out of control," Yeo said. Like in the Middle East, the interna-tional community has a strong vested interest in supporting a peaceful resolution of cross-strait conflict," Yeo said.

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