■ Military Affairs
Air force jet explodes
An air force fighter jet skidded off the runway and exploded in Taitung County yesterday, according to officials at the Taitung air force base. The jet's two pilots survived the accident by ejecting before the explosion. The two-seat F5F fighter jet was preparing for takeoff on a routine training mission when engine failure occurred at 7:30am, the officials said. This caused the aircraft to skid off the runway, triggering an explosion in the fuel tank, they said. The fire was extinguished within 10 minutes. The officials said all training programs have been suspended pending a comprehensive investigation into the incident.
New rules announced
The Department of Health yesterday announced that clinical studies will now be compulsory for students and practitioners of Chinese medicine. "Although Chinese medicine is an integral part of our healthcare system, we need a rigorous clinical-training program for students and doctors to enhance their diagnostic and treatment skills," said Lin I-hsin (林宜信), chairperson of the department's Committee on Chinese Medicine and Pharmacy. There are 36 hospitals and 2,729 private clinics offering Chinese-medicine services staffed by a total of 4,266 licensed doctors. The department said all students must spend their last year training in hospitals. It will also be mandatory for practitioners to spend at least 30 hours every year on clinical studies. Practitioners who
do not comply will be disqualified from treating patients. "We now have 22 regional hospitals involved in the education program. The Chinese-medicine system is becoming increasingly systematic. We believe that by 2008 Taiwan will be a world model for incorporating alternative medicine into health infrastructure," Lin said.
Panamanian people on side
More than six out of 10 Panamanians hope that their country maintains diplomatic ties with Taiwan, according to the results of a poll published on Wednesday by a newspaper in that country. The poll results posted on La Prensa under the title "Taiwan is better than the People's Republic of China" showed that 61 percent of respondents were in favor of maintaining diplomatic ties, while 14.1 percent preferred to switch to Beijing. Another 24.9 percent had no opinion on the matter. The survey, which was commissioned by the paper, was conducted between Jan. 14 and Jan. 16.
Lu sells `Taiwan experience'
Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday said she would help Paraguay learn from the "Taiwan experience" in promoting economic development in the South American nation. Lu made the comments during a meeting with visiting Paraguayan Senate Speaker Miguel Carrizosa Galiano. Lu said she was actively promoting town-building projects in Central American countries to facilitate bilateral cooperation in agriculture, aquaculture and energy infrastructure development. Lu said she would encourage Taiwanese businesses to invest in the food and textile industries in Paraguay -- where agricultural products include soybeans, corn and cotton -- to boost employment and the economic output of Taiwan's diplomatic ally. Lu said that the friendship between Taiwan and Paraguay has remained firm over the years and that she hoped both sides would strengthen bilateral cultural and economic exchanges in the future.