One-third opt to fight
Some 40 percent of Taiwanese want formal independence from China and 68 percent of those said they would fight for the cause if war breaks out, according to a survey released yesterday. When asked to voice their opinions about the nation's future for the survey, conducted by cable news network TVBS, 41 percent of respondents opted for independence. Twenty-four percent favored reunification, while 15 percent chose the third option offered in the survey -- Taiwan becoming a state of the US. The survey of 896 people found that of those who supported independence, 62 percent said Taiwan needed US help to defend itself.
Bus, cargo fees to be hiked
Responding to concern over the impact of rising oil prices, the Ministry of Transportation and Communication's rating committee yesterday approved the Highway Bureau's proposal to raise fees for long-distance buses and freight transport. The bus passenger fee will rise 10.5 percent while that for cargo will rise 7.62 percent. While the ministry has not yet decided when the hikes will take effect, it is likely to be sometime after the Lunar New Year. According to the ministry, the basic fee for long-distance bus transport has not risen for the past four years.
Budget passes committee
The Legislative Yuan's Budget Committee yesterday completed the first reading of a special bill for the government's "10 new major construction projects" to be launched next year. The Cabinet has appropriated NT$93.91 billion for the program, with the funds to be raised by selling NT$15 billion in government assets in the state-owned Taiwan Power Co and floating NT$78.91 billion in government bonds. The committee passed the first reading of the bill without any budget requests being cut. The bill will now go to a second reading during the next legislative plenary session.
Original report submitted
Forensic scientist Henry Lee (李昌鈺) handed over the original copy of his report on the March 19 assassination attempt on President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) to the nation's top prosecutor yesterday. After forwarding the report to Prosecutor-General Wu Ying-chao (吳英昭), Lee said he now
felt he could relax. "The original copy of the report
is extremely important.
I have kept it with me since I arrived in Taipei on [Saturday]. I did not place it in a safe nor was it handled by any other person. To my great relief, I have finally handed it over to the prosecutor-general," Lee said. Wu expressed gratitude to Lee when receiving the report, which bears the signatures of all the members of Lee's investigation team.
■ Women's Affairs
Kinmen seminar opens
A cross-strait seminar on women's roles will open today on Kinmen, where more than 70 delegates will attempt to increase understanding of women's issues on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. Women's association representatives, academics and social workers from Kinmen and elsewhere in Taiwan as well as Xiamen in China's Fujian Province will participate in the two-day seminar sponsored by the Kinmen County Government. The participants will discuss issues relating to women's roles amid increasing exchanges between Taiwan and China.