Fri, Jul 29, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

■ Politics
Wang to tender resignation

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), who also doubles as a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) vice chairman, said yesterday that he will tender his resignation to KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) sometime today. Wang made the statement after meeting Lien, who returned to Taiwan earlier in the day to a warm greeting from party officials yesterday. Wang and KMT chairman-elect Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) were among those who greeted Lien upon his arrival at CKS International Airport. The two shook hands without having further interaction. Lien, who had traveled to Washington to attend a meeting of the International Democrat Union, said that he was extremely proud of the election, and that he had called the two candidates afterward to congratulate one and give his regards to the other.

■ Politics

KMT lawmaker quits party

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chang Sho-wen (張碩文) of Yunlin County yesterday officially withdrew from the party, dropping the number of pan-blue lawmakers in the legislature's Procedure Committee down to 18 from 19. There are 16 pan-green lawmakers on the committee. The number of independent lawmakers will increase to two if Chang eventually decides to join the Non-Partisan Solidarity Union. Chang yesterday, however, said that he is not considering joining any party at the moment and needs some time to think about his future. Chang's departure was triggered by his displeasure over "defamatory" remarks made during the party's chairmanship election campaign by the supporters of KMT chairman-elect Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) about his father, Chang Hui-yuan (張輝元). Chang Hui-yuan supported Ma's election rival, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平). The Ma camp claimed that over 8,000 party members registered in the party's Yunlin chapter did not exist.

■ Society

Officials perform in English

In the hope that Taiwan can become a country free of communication barriers and synchronize with the pace of globalization, the Central Personnel Administration has been actively promoting the English ability of civil servants and urging institutes to create an English-friendly environment. "We expect that, by the end of 2007, over 50 percent of civil servants under the Executive Yuan, including 16,000 positions for which English is required, will have passed the elementary level of the General English Proficiency Test [GEPT], which means having basic ability in English and the ability to understand and use rudimentary language needed for daily office hours," said Chang Chun-yen (張俊彥), the chief of the agency.

■ Education

Cross-strait debate to begin

A three-day debating tournament between university students from both sides of the Taiwan Strait will begin on Sunday, with the participation of 12 teams, officials at the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said. The event, to be held at the Chien Tan Overseas Youth Activity Center in Taipei, will be the largest exchange program between the youths of Taiwan and China to date, the officials noted. It is sponsored by the Chinese Development Fund, a non-profit organization created by the MAC to promote cross-strait civilian exchanges. Noting that this will be the first time such an event will take place in Taiwan, the MAC officials said they hope the exchanges between the youths of Taiwan and China will be strengthened through this event.

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