Thu, Feb 24, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ China

Bill slated for review

Beijing's draft anti-secession bill is slated to be reviewed by Beijing's highest legislative organ on March 6, according to the Hong Kong daily Wenweipo. The report cited an anonymous source indicating that the bill will be proposed and explained by Wang Zhaoguo (王兆國), vice chairman of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, on the second day of the week-long meeting. Consequently, an oral report on China's economic development usually slated for the second day of the meeting will be reviewed in writing instead. The third session of the Tenth National People's Congress is to open on March 5 and close on the 14th.

■ Diplomacy

Allies don't worry public

A poll conducted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs showed 53.8 percent of respondents believe it is likely that all of Taiwan's diplomatic allies may switch allegiance to China, Maysing Yang (楊黃美幸), chairperson of the ministry's Research and Planning Committee, said yesterday. Nevertheless, 52.9 percent of the respondents said the diplomatic allies' likely change of recognition from Taipei to Beijing does not worry them. "This poll showed that the number of the country's diplomatic allies is not of great concern to the public," Yang said. Main-taining a stable and interactive relationship with China is very important, 87.5 percent of the respondents said, while 23.6 percent said that they do not consider Taiwan a sovereign nation. Closer ties with the US were rated to be the most helpful for the expansion of Taiwan's trade and diplomatic relations with other nations, followed by the EU and Japan, the poll showed.

■ Weather

Cold snap on its way

The public had better keep umbrellas and raincoats ready when going out, because a new cold front arriving today might bring more rain, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday. Forecasters said wet and cold weather might prevail for another week. Tomorrow, temperatures might drop to about 12?C in central and northern Taiwan. Showers might be seen in the north. "The effects of rain and the cold air mass might continue until next Tuesday," bureau forecaster Chang Po-hsiung (張博雄) said. Forecasters said that heavy fog might be seen today in western Taiwan because of dramatic changes in temperatures, reminding drivers and air travelers of possible inconvenience. Yesterday morning, the range of visibility at CKS Inter-national Airport was only 200m. It is expected that temperatures might increase next Wednesday.

■ Crime

Man sells dolphin meat

A man has been arrested after being caught selling dolphin meat in an Yulin County market a coastguard official said yesterday. Huang You-wen (黃有文), 60, was caught on Tuesday peddling 23.4kg of dolphin meat for NT$9,000 (US$287) in the town of Shihu, said Wu Chia-cheng (吳家正), a coastguard official. It was the largest amount of dolphin meat confiscated since it was outlawed in 1989, Wu said. Huang had sold the dolphin meat -- which he bought for NT$116 per kilogram from fishing boats -- for NT$416 per kilogram before being caught, Wu said. "His business boomed during the Lunar New Year holidays because many people believe that the nutritious dolphin meat can help them resist the cold weather," he said. Huang faces a maximum seven-year prison term and a maximum fine of NT$500,000.

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