Thu, Jun 09, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Government

Hsieh confirms new officials

Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) yesterday officially introduced incoming Environmental Protection Administration Minister Chang Kow-lung (張國龍) and Council of Hakka Affairs Chairman Lee Yung-te (李永得) to the public. In addition to these Cabinet members, the premier also confirmed that former Taichung City mayor Chang Wen-ying (張溫鷹), an independent, will be appointed vice interior minister, and that former Democratic Progressive Party legislator Chiu Yi-ying (邱議瑩) will be appointed vice minister of the Council of Hakka Affairs.

■ Diplomacy

Allies ask for financial help

The leaders of Tuvalu and Kiribati have asked Taiwan to help pay for the repatriation of workers stranded on Nauru, according to a report by ABC Radio Australia yesterday. The report said hundreds of workers in the phosphate industry from Tuvalu and Kiribati are stuck on Nauru, with some having not been paid for more than a year. The report continued to say Tuvalu's prime minister, Maatia Toafa, had said he has asked the president of Taiwan for US$3.5 million to cover the workers' unpaid wages and other expenses so they can return home.

■ Politics

Lien's wife off to Shanghai

Lien Fang Yu (連方瑀), the wife of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰), left Taipei for Shanghai via Hong Kong yesterday to attend the christening ceremony for a vessel. Accompanied by her two daughters, Lien Fang Yu kept a low profile at CKS International Airport. Her two sons joined them in Hong Kong. She has been invited to preside over the christening ceremony for the China Peace, which was commissioned by the Taipei-based Chinese Maritime Transport firm and built at a Shanghai shipyard.

■ Diplomacy

Dalai Lama aide in town

The younger brother of the Dalai Lama is making a low-profile visit to Taiwan, a cable television channel reported yesterday. Tendzin Choegyal, who at age four was recognized as the 15th Ngari Rinpoche, a title passed through reincarnation, is one of the top aides to Tibet's spiritual leader at the Tibetan Buddhism headquarters-in-exile in Dharamsala, India. The Ngari Rinpoche, who was elected to the Tibetan parliament-in-exile where he served until 1995, is in Taipei to attend a ceremony tomorrow at the the Central Police University for a bodyguard detail to the Dalai Lama. The Ngari Rinpoche has kept his visit low-profile and would not meet any officials during his stay, according to the TV report.

■ Diplomacy

Group lobbies for inclusion

A Taiwanese delegation lobbied yesterday for the nation to be included on the agenda at the inaugural East Asia Summit in December despite fears that China may try to block the move. The three-man delegation, headed by Fu-chen Lo (羅福全), chairman of the non-government Association of East Asian Relations in Taiwan, said during a stop in Manila that leaving Taiwan out of a proposed regional trade bloc would create a "missing link." The bloc would comprise the 10-member Association of Southeast Nations plus Japan, China, South Korea and India -- and possibly Australia and New Zealand. Lo said Taipei wants to create awareness among the region's major players that "Taiwan should be considered a very constructive partner."

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