Sun, Feb 20, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Earthquake

Tremors rattle east coast

Two earthquakes measuring 5.9 and 4.8 on the Richter scale rocked Taiwan yesterday, rattling high-rise buildings across the nation, the Seismology Center said. There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties. The bigger quake struck at 4:18am Friday, with an epicenter in the sea 43km east of Taitung county. It originated 9.4km underground. The second tremor hit at 5:19am with an epicenter 37.2km east of Hualien county. Its origin was 23km underground.

■ Literacy

Children visit book exhibit

Thousands of children and teenagers braved the cold weather yesterday to visit the Taipei World Trade Center for the13th Taipei International Book Exhibition to browse displays of comic books from domestic and foreign publishers. With long queues building up before the opening of the exhibition , the comic books hall became jam-packed by the afternoon, according the private Taipei Book Fair Foundation. The annual event spotlights a series of exhibitions and discussions that mirror reading activities and trends in the Asia-Pacific region, with this year's show focusing on "book art" and "digital publishing." The exhibition concludes today.

■ Society

Lawmaker gives to the blind

The nation's representative to Russia presented Friday a donation from former legislator Apollo Chen (陳學聖) to a branch of the Russian Blind Association in Moscow. Chen Jung-chie (陳榮傑), representative of the Taipei-Moscow Economic and Cultural Coordination Commission, said it was the seventh time that the former legislator had extended his help to the blind association in Moscow. The donation, worth US$1,000, is expected to benefit roughly 50 of the more than 700 visually impaired people at the association's Lomonosov branch, Chen added. The director of the Lomonosov branch attended the donation ceremony and expressed gratitude for the money and for assistance from the Taiwan representative office over the years.

■ Trade

Customs seminar to be held

The nation is set to hold a trade facilitation seminar next month to share its automation experience in dealing with customs operations with other countries, the Board of Foreign Trade (BOFT) announced yesterday. The BOFT said Taiwan has engaged in talks on trade facilitation issues raised by the WTO and put them on the agenda of the multilateral Doha Round of trade negotiations. It also said that trade facilitation is aimed at promoting international trade by simplifying import and export procedures, particularly customs clearance procedures of WTO members. Despite the fact that the issues have been included on the agenda of the new round of multilateral trade talks, the BOFT said that the developing and least developed countries are worried that they will not be capable of carrying out future decisions of the talks. Saying that the government has worked on the elimination of barriers and that suggestions it has raised at the Doha talks were welcomed by other WTO members, the BOFT said that it will invite developing and least developed countries to attend the seminar.

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