`Taiwan' supporters unfazed
The pro-independence Alliance to Campaign for Rectifying the Name of Taiwan demanded that
the government release a timetable for changing
the name of the country
and drawing up a new constitution. Alliance leader Peter Wang (王獻極) said the fact that President
Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) had recently unveiled a plan
to change the names of Taiwan's overseas missions and state-run enterprises to include the word "Taiwan" proves that the campaign promoted by the alliance was making progress. Of a group of more than 60 pan-green camp legislative candidates who openly supported the name change before last week's legislative elections, 37 were elected and were expected to promote the goal of changing the name of the country and drawing up a new constitution in the
next legislature, Wang said. According to the draft of a new constitution released by the alliance, the name
of the country should be changed to "Republic of Taiwan."
Premier lobbies for bills
Premier Yu Shyi-kun yesterday visited Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) to solicit his support for bills the Cabinet wishes to pass before
the current legislature concludes on Dec. 31.
The legislature reconvened yesterday, and is considering holding an extraordinary session early next year to review next year's annual budget and other priority bills. Yu hoped the lawmaking body would pass 33 bills. They include next year's budget, the five-year NT$500
billion public construction package, the NT$610.8 billion arms-procurement bill and special budget, six government reconstruction bills, the bill for the 2008 Taiwan Expo and some social welfare bills. Yu said he hoped the legislature would return to normal
now that the elections had
been completed and that lawmakers would step up their pace in reviewing the bills. Wang said it was time for the legislators to put behind the rancor of the elections and work together for the nation's sake. Wang said that next year's central government budget must be passed in this legislature, and that the bill for the
"10 major construction projects" will be submitted to a committee for review after a report by Yu is presented.
Kaohsiung port growing
The operating volume of Kaohsiung Harbor grew considerably in the first
11 months of this year,
with loading and unloading volume for containers expanding the most at
10.24 percent over the same period last year, according to statistics released yesterday by the Kaohsiung Harbor Bureau. The statistics show that about 35,870 vessels entered or left the harbor over the
past 11 months, with a total displacement of about 643 million tonnes. A total of about 429 million tonnes
of cargo was loaded and unloaded during the same period, representing a growth of 9.43 percent over the same period last year, in addition to almost 9 million containers. Kaohsiung's proportion of the country's total is 74.49 percent in terms of loading and unloading volume by container, 68.05 percent
in terms of loading and unloading volume by cargo, 48.81 percent in terms
of the number of vessels entering and leaving, and 61.95 percent in terms of combined displacement
of vessels entering and leaving.