Fri, Feb 18, 2005 - Page 4 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

■ Politics

Hsieh sets press conference

Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) is to hold a press conference today to name Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER) president Wu Rong-i (吳榮義) as vice premier, according to a Central News Agency report last night. Wu, who was due to depart for Hawaii yesterday for a week-long APEC preparatory meeting, canceled his trip and is expected to show up at the press conference. Hsieh had earlier offered the job to Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Vice Chairman Chiang Pin-kun (江丙坤) and said he would give Chiang until Feb. 17 to accept. Chiang has also served as chairman of the Council for Economic Planning and Development.

■ Politics

Aides to finalize meeting

Top aides of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) are scheduled to meet today to finalize details of the much-anticipated Chen-Soong meeting. Secretary-General of the Presidential Office Yu Shyi-kun will meet with PFP Secretary-General Chin Chin-sheng (秦金生) at the Taipei Guest House to hammer out the date, venue, format and agenda. Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) whip Lai Ching-teh (賴清德) said recently that the DPP hopes the meeting could contribute to the passage of major bills related to people's livelihoods, in addition to addressing cross-strait issues. Meanwhile, PFP whip Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄) said that his party will stand firm during the Chen-Soong meeting on the issue of Taiwan's status. Liu said all topics, including cross-strait affairs, should be open to discussion during that meeting.

■ National Security

Taipei's defenses boosted

In a move to guard against a possible lightening attack by China on Taipei, the government is redeploying marines from central Taiwan, a Chinese-language newspaper reported yesterday. The Ministry of National Defense will move the marines, called Brigade 66, to Linkou starting next month, the report said. The deployment would be completed before July, the paper said. Brigade 66 is currently deployed at the Ching Chuan Kang Airbase in Taichung. The ministry has increased the number of military police in Taipei, and set up an artillery and an armored battalion near the Sungshan airport, the paper said. Media reports have said that China has drawn up a Decapitation Plan to attack Taiwan and take control of the island within five days.

■ Education

Pact inked for HK center

Buddhist Master Hsing Yun (星雲), founder of the Fo Guang Shan Foundation for Buddhist Culture and Education, signed a cooperation agreement yesterday with Daniel Law, dean of the Faculty of Arts at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, at Fo Guang Shan Temple in Kaohsiung County. The foundation will help the university to set up a Buddhism research center. The cooperation begins next month and runs to February 2010, with the foundation providing HK$1.2 million (US$725,000) each year to help the university promote the study of Buddhism. Master Hsing Yun noted that the establishment of the center represents a big step forward in world cultural exchanges and a milestone in the study of Buddhism. Chuo Chun-ying (卓春英), deputy public affairs director at the Presidential Office, who is an alumna of the university, said it would be good if the foundation set up more such centers in schools around the world as a way to promote cultural exchanges.

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