David Dean, a former chief of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) suggested yesterday that the nation enter into a five-year agreement with China wherein Taiwan promises to forsake the idea of independence while China promises not to attack Taiwan. \nDean, who served as the Washington-based AIT chairman between 1979 and 1986, told the 46th annual conference of the American Association for Chinese Studies in Williamsburg, Virginia, that Taiwan could ask the US to broker such an agreement. Dean suggested the period of five years because this is a relatively short period of time and therefore more likely to be accepted by Taiwan and China. \nSuch an agreement would benefit all the parties involved, Dean noted, saying it would allow China to concentrate on hosting the 2008 Olympic Games, give Taiwan the time to mend fences with the US, and let the US focus its attention on Iraq. \nPointing to a line from Washington that its ties with China are better now than at anytime in the last thirty years, Dean said that US-Taiwan ties are in a bit of an "unhealthy" state at present because the US administration feels that Taiwan hasn't given enough thought to Washington's need to concentrate its efforts in wrestling with the issue of Iraq. \nSuch an accord might only represent a small step toward settling the dispute between China and Taiwan, but it's better than no step at all, Dean said, adding that much would still remain to be done even if the agreement were concluded. \nAdmitting that his idea is at the preliminary stage, Dean said the question of what Taiwan forsaking its independence would mean still needs to be worked out.
FOSSIL CLUES: The bushfires resulted from a positive Indian Ocean dipole event, when the region east of the ocean becomes drier, professor Shen Chuan-chou said The bushfires that swept through Australia last year were connected to a phenomenon known as the Indian Ocean dipole (IOD), which is expected to become more frequent due to climate change, a geologist studying coral fossils said yesterday. National Taiwan University Department of Geosciences professor Shen Chuan-chou (沈川洲) since 2001 has been working with Australian and US researchers to study climate systems in the Indian Ocean. Led by Australian National University Research School of Earth Sciences professor Nerilie Abram, the team published a paper on IOD in the journal Nature on March 9. The bushfires resulted from a positive IOD event, when the
Senior judges yesterday met to discuss the constitutionality of a law that makes adultery a criminal offense, before being ordered by Judicial Yuan President Hsu Tzong-li (許宗力) to set a date for a constitutional interpretation within the next month. The judges met to discuss Article 239 of the Criminal Code on offenses against marriage and family, after 18 judges had called for a constitutional interpretation of the issue. Taipei District Court Judge Lin Meng-huang (林孟皇) said that while he had previously tried adultery cases and never questioned the law, his feelings changed when trying a case last year involving baseball star Wang
Instead of hating the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), help change it, KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said, as he urged young people to join efforts to reform the party. As the nation marked Youth Day on Sunday, Chiang said in a Facebook post that he wanted to remind people that “the KMT used to be very young.” Now, when people think of the KMT, they equate it with older people, he wrote. “Even if [the KMT] is a 100-year-old party, it must maintain a young mentality, and understand what young people want and what they want the KMT to do,” Chiang wrote.
A survey has found that 37.3 percent of transgender people in the nation have experienced gender-related discrimination or bullying in the workplace, the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights said yesterday. The alliance’s survey showed that 55.41 percent of transgender people said that they had been afraid to use a public restroom, 18.53 percent had been harassed or attacked in public, while 15.83 percent had been afraid to ask a police officer or other professional for help. The survey, conducted from March 14 to Wednesday last week, was based on 518 valid responses from transgender people aged 14 to 78, the