Mon, Jan 31, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

■ Weather

Mercury to plummet

The mercury is expected to drop sharply in the next few days with the approach of a cold front from China, the Central Weather Bureau reported yesterday. The cold front arrived over northern Taiwan late yesterday. Temperatures in coastal areas north of Chiayi County and on Kinmen and Matsu are expected to plummet to 8?C between tomorrow and Thursday, the bureau said. It called for the farming and fishery sectors to be on guard against frost damage. It also called for fishing boats operating to the north and northeast of Taiwan, as well as those in the Taiwan Strait, to be on the alert for strong winds and high tides as the strong northeast monsoon is sweeping in.

■ Travel

Beijing flight a hot ticket

Tickets for the Beijing-Taipei Lunar New Year charter flight scheduled for this Saturday proved to be best-sellers. All tickets for the 125-seat charter flight scheduled to depart Beijing for CKS International Airport have been booked, according to Chen Kuo-yuan (陳國原), secretary-general of the Taiwan Business Association in Beijing. There will be three more flights until Feb 20 for the convenience of Beijing-based Taiwanese businesspeople and their relatives during the Lunar New Year period, Chen said. Demand has been higher than expected, Chen said. Seven charter flights operated by six Chinese carriers arrived in Taiwan from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou on Saturday, the first day of the charter services, carrying about 1,700 Taiwanese home for the holidays.

■ Politics

Lien willing to visit HK

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) has said he would be glad to visit Hong Kong at the invitation of academic institutions, a Hong Kong-based Taiwanese business executive said yesterday. Chen Zi-chuang (陳自創), managing director of the Taiwan Industrial and Business Association in Hong Kong, said he had conveyed a university's invitation to Lien during a recent visit to Taipei. Lien said that if he can obtain a visa this year, he will accept the invitation to deliver a speech, according to Chen. Lien was last in Hong Kong on Oct. 11, 2003, but only for a transit stay of a few hours.

■ Politics

Kaohsiung deputy named

Acting Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) said yesterday that he has invited Cheng Wen-lung (鄭文隆), vice chairman of the Public Construction Commission, to serve as his deputy. Chen said he had decided to name Cheng as his deputy because Cheng is an engineering expert. "I need his assistance to oversee construction of the city's mass rapid transit system and a number of sporting facilities for the 2009 World Games to be held in Kaohsiung," Chen said. He said that Cheng had agreed to join his team.

■ Cross-strait Ties

Russians praise charters

An influential private radio station in Russia said several times on Saturday that the launch of direct cross-strait charter flights for the Lunar New Year holiday is an important matter of "the two countries" across the Taiwan Strait. According to the Echo Radio Station in Moscow, Taiwan has been a sovereign and independent state since former president Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) fled to Taiwan from China in 1949. The reports ran counter to the Kremlin's policy, which recognizes Beijing as the sole ruler of China and does not recognize Taiwan.

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