Wed, Jun 01, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

■ Elections
DPP to hold poll again

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lin Feng-hsi (林豐喜), who is competing with former DPP vice chairman Chiu Tai-san (邱太三) to become the party's candidate for Taichung County Commissioner yesterday said a telephone poll conducted in the second part of the primary race was unfair and asked the DPP to redo the survey. The DPP accepted Lin's demand and said it will commission a survey company to redo the poll this evening. The DPP originally planned to announce its candidate for Taichung County commissioner yesterday, as the telephone poll was done on Monday evening. According to the survey, Chiu came out on top and as such would have been selected as the candidate representing the DPP. But Lin suspects that one of the three survey companies falsified the results.

■ Trade

MOFA to push pact with US

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) is trying to make contact with the US government and Congress, as well as industrial and commercial groups in the US, in the hope of opening formal negotiations on the issue of signing a free-trade agreement (FTA), a ministry official said yesterday. Victor Chin (秦日新), director-general of North American affairs, made the remarks one day after Senator John Rockefeller IV said in Taipei that he was willing to help Taiwan overcome difficulties in its efforts to sign an FTA with Washington. President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) met the senator at the Presidential Office on Monday and urged the US to sign an FTA with Taiwan to maintain peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

■ Society

New Party official off to jail

The Taiwan High Court yesterday sentenced New Party Taipei City Councilor Li Ching-yuan (李慶元) to a six-month jail term and will suspend his civil rights for two years on charges of violating the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election and Recall Law (總統副總統選舉罷免法). In 2000, Li published a book accusing President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) -- who was then running for the presidency -- of having an extra-marital affair with a lady. In March, 2000, Li and former New Party presidential candidate Li Ao (李敖), the incumbent independent legislator jointly held a press conference in Taipei City Council to publicize book co-authored by them entitled Chen Shui-bian's True Face.

■ Diplomacy

Ambassador sought

Taipei is looking for the right person to serve as ambassador to Nauru, now that Chinese diplomats on the South-Pacific island nation have officially announced the severing of diplomatic relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Michel Lu (呂慶隆) said yesterday. Speaking at a regular news briefing at the ministry's headquarters, Lu said that Chinese diplomats stationed in Nauru made the announcement Monday in retaliation for Nauru's decision to switch its formal recognition from Beijing to Taipei on May 14. However, the Taiwanese ambassador has yet to be named, he added. According to Lu, Nauru's case is a clear indication that Beijing has been sparing no efforts to crowd out Taiwan in the international community, and the main purpose of Beijing's establishment of diplomatic ties with other countries is simply aimed at isolating Taiwan.

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