Sat, Jul 30, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take


■ Health
Mini-cups to have warnings

The government has ordered makers of mini-cup jelly candies to put warning labels on their products after a Taiwanese girl choked to death on the snack in China earlier this year, officials said yesterday. All jelly candies with a diameter of less than 3.1cm, the so-called mini-cup jelly, are required to carry labels warning of a choking hazard from next year, the Department of Health said. Manufacturers should also warn parents not to feed mini-cup jelly to children under five years old, the department said. Violators could faces fines of up to NT$1.5 million (US$47,000) while their products will be recalled or destroyed, it said. The department ordered the recall of all mini-cup jelly candies in March after a Taiwanese businessman living in Shanghai complained to Taipei authorities that his 19-month-old daughter choked after eating the snack. Accidents involving children choking on mini-cup jellies have also been reported in the US and South Korea.

■ Politics

Wang tenders resignation

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Vice Chairman Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) yesterday tendered his resignation to KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰). Wang told reporters that a precedent had been set with the resignation of a vice chairman following the election of a new chairman. KMT chairman-elect Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday said he hoped to reappoint Wang as a party vice chairman. Wang and his family will leave for the US today on a private visit.

■ Tourism

Working-holiday spots open

The Ministry of Education said there are still spaces available for young people who are interested in obtaining a working-holiday visa for either New Zealand or Australia. Taiwanese have been eligible for both countries' working-holiday visas since last year. The visas allow young people to stay in the country for 12 months and work for up to three months to supplement their travel funds. Applicants must be aged between 18 and 30, have a return ticket and a bank statement proving they have at least NT$100,000 in funds, ministry officials said. There are 600 openings for Taiwanese this year under New Zealand's program and there have been more than 300 applications so far. Officials said 230 people have applied for a working-holiday visa for Australia since last November. People interested in the programs can contact the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office at (02) 2757-6411 or the Australian Commerce and Industry Office at (02)8725-4250.

■ Exhibitions

Chinese food fair nears

The 2005 Taipei Chinese Food Festival will open next Thursday at the exhibition hall of the Taipei World Trade Center, offering opportunities for visitors to taste a wide range of gourmet dishes from different countries. The annual festival, one of the most important events for the nation's catering sector since its inception 16 years ago, is expected to draw a crowd of some 160,000 during the four-day exhibition, according to its sponsor, the Taiwan Visitors Association. This year's event will feature demonstrations of culinary skills, lessons by famous cooks and a "street of gourmet food stores." Master chefs and their assistants from the US, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Taiwan will compete for the title of "culinary god." The exhibition hall will have 10 theme areas, such as vanilla and health and Taiwan rice. Tickets are NT$250 per person.

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