Mask festival begins
The 2005 Miaoli International Mask Festival kicked off yesterday with a carnival and exotic atmosphere at the Shan Grira Paradise recreation park in Chaochiao township. With Latin American mask art a focus for the event, many, historic and valuable hand-crafted masks featuring ancient spirits of the Incas, Mayans and Aztecs are on display during the festival that will run through May 29. There will also be a series of music and dance performances performed by folk troupes from Brazil, Mexico, Peru and Malawi during the 65-day activity, organized by the Miaoli County Government.
Firms urge better China ties
Companies based in the Hsinchu Science-based Industrial Park in northern Taiwan yesterday called for improved relations with China, saying it is vital for both sides to upgrade their technologies. Tung Chao-chin (童兆勤), chairman of a federation of companies based in the hi-tech park, said peace and security across the Taiwan Strait is a conduit for the continuation of hi-tech development. Both sides will be hurt if tensions continue to mount, he said, adding that Taiwan's hi-tech businesses long for sound government policy and goodwill from both sides to maintain peace in the region. That China has become one of the world's economic powerhouse is clear and more foreign enterprises seek to invest into its market, he said. Chen Hsi-meng (陳希孟), chairman of an IC design company operating in the park, viewed cross-strait peace as the key gauge for Taiwanese companies long-term investment potential in Taiwan. Should cross-strait stability become uncertain, the pace of Taiwanese companies "going west" will diminish and foreign enterprises would begin to worry, Chen said.
■ Arms Embargo
EU slams Chinese law
As the EU considers lifting its arms embargo against China, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana criticized Beijing's policy toward Taiwan. "The EU is working just as it has before on the lifting of the arms embargo against China," Solana told the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag. "However, Beijing's `Anti-Secession' law is creating concern for us. "The threat of non-peaceful means to solve the `Taiwan problem' contradicts the European position. The `one-China' policy must be pursued solely through dialogue," he said.
Love for Taiwan in the blood
People in Yunlin County in southern Taiwan have taken a different approach to show their love for Taiwan, in contrast to yesterday's march in Taipei to protest against China's newly enacted `Anti-Secession' Law targeting the country. The opposition Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), working with other groups, launched a blood donation drive in front of the Touliou Railway Station, while the Disabled Women's Association also sponsored a charity auction, which received a good response.
Japan groups criticize law
Representatives from social groups and associations in Japan protested outside the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo yesterday, expressing their indignation at China's recent enactment of an "Anti-Secession" Law targeting Taiwan. More than a dozen representatives took part in the protest attended by Lin Yao-nan (林耀南), who serves as an adviser to Taipei's Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission, reading a protest letter. Lin said that Taiwan has established a nation by democratization with its president popularly elected. China's law is nothing more than an excuse to try to swallow up Taiwan and the law has been met with derision from the people in Taiwan and condemned by the international community, Lin said.