KMT warns over march
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday cautioned against turning the Democratic Progressive Party-sponsored March 26 protest march into a pro-independence rally. KMT caucus whip Chen Chieh (陳杰) said that if the march, aimed at showing the people's displeasure with China's "Anti-Secession" Law, turns into a pro-independence rally, it will confuse the focus of the event and bring other adverse effects. The KMT is asking that all participants be rational, Chen said.
■ Foreign affairs
Law complicates EU debate
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said yesterday that China's recent adoption of an "Anti-Secession" Law regarding Taiwan has complicated the lifting of the EU's arms embargo against Beijing. The law has "created quite a difficult political environment," Straw told the British ITV television channel. "Politically there are problems and these problems have actually got more difficult rather than less difficult, not least because there hasn't been much movement by China in respect of human rights," Straw said. Asked whether the law would delay the lifting of the arms embargo against China, Straw said only that the question "is not on the agenda of the European Council this week."
Chiu to leave MAC April 1
Mainland Affairs Council Vice Chairman and Spokesman Chiu Tai-san (邱太三) officially announced yesterday that he would be leaving his current post to run for commissioner of his native Taichung County as the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) candidate. Chiu's last day at the council will be April 1. His successor is Ketagalan Institute vice president You Ying-lung (游盈隆), also a veteran member of the DPP. On Friday Chiu handed in his letter of resignation to Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), who agreed to let him go. Chiu will leave the council after serving just 10 months.
■ Foreign Affairs
Lu visits Florida
Taiwan Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) arrived in Miami Sunday for a transit stop on her way back to Taipei after concluding a two-leg Central America diplomatic tour that took her to El Salvador and Guatemala. Lu was greeted by William Brown, acting chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan -- the top US liaison officer with Taiwan in the absence of formal diplomatic ties -- and David Lee (李大維), Taiwan's representative to the US, upon her arrival at Miami International Airport from Guatemala aboard a charter flight. Lu dined with Taiwan expatriates in the Miami region in the evening. She is scheduled to visit the US National Hurricane Center and the Fort Lauderdale city government and harbor facilities.
Data posted on Web site
The Department of Health yesterday published medical-service quality indicators on a new Web site, hoping to provide an accessible guide on hospitals' healthcare quality. The Web site (www.hcquality.helthe.net/) offers general information on the healthcare quality of medical centers, hospitals and clinics. However, only a handful of hospitals and medical centers posted the results of patients' satisfaction surveys. Health officials said that they hope to include more data -- such as the number of available beds, registration fees and mortality rate of in-patients of individual hospitals -- on the site, if hospitals agree.