Petition launched in Paris
About 40 Taiwanese students and expatriates in France launched a campaign yesterday at the Taiwan Representative Office in Paris to urge members of local Taiwanese communities to sign a statement requesting that the UN play an active role in maintaining peace in the Taiwan Strait. The statement said that Taiwan has no intention of challenging the rights of any UN members by pushing its bid to join the world body, adding that Beijing's continuous obstruction in dealing with Taiwan's efforts to join the international community can only irritate the 23 million people of Taiwan and Taiwanese living abroad. "This obstruction will not help improve relations between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. On the contrary, it will be harmful to peace in the Strait," it said.
PFP candidate says he's best
Former People First Party (PFP) Legislator Hsieh Chang-chieh (謝章捷) yesterday called for his Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) rival Cho Po-yuan (卓伯源) to drop out of the race for Changhua County commissioner, saying that he does not rule out the possibility of running as a KMT flag-bearer. Hsieh also called on the PFP and KMT headquarters to speed up their merger plan and begin by cooperating to jointly nominate a better candidate in Changhua County. He said that he believes he is the better candidate and stands a better chance of winning the race. In response, Cho said that he has no plan to drop out of the race. He also proposed to settle the matter through a poll or party-to-party negotiations. Cho's office said that it is ridiculous for Hsieh to make such a request.
■ Water supply
Lawmaker slams Ho
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker Tu Wen-ching (杜文卿) yesterday demanded the resignations of Minister of Economic Affairs Ho Mei-yueh (何美玥) and Water Resources Agency Director-General Chen Shen-hsien (陳伸賢) for what he called negligence in fixing the nation's flooding problems. Tu threatened to launch another round of action if Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) fails to positively respond to his request. Tu said that Ho and Chen have shown little concern for the flooding problem in his constituency of Miaoli County. One segment of the embankment along Ta-an River (大安溪) collapsed last year and has not yet been fixed, causing flooding during the typhoon season this year, he said. When Tropical Storm Haitang swept through southern Taiwan last month, the water supply in Miaoli County was cut off for two days without notice, Tu said. He later discovered that the water was diverted to Taichung.
Festival to be held in London
Taiwan's top envoy in London said his office will hold a two-day "Taiwan festival" on Saturday and Sunday at Brent Cross, the biggest shopping mall in the north of London, to introduce the country's art and culture. Edgar Lin (林俊義), Taiwan's representative to the UK, said that the festival is aimed at showing the differences between Taiwan and China in the fields of art and cultural performance, as well as clarifying the concept of "China is China, Taiwan is Taiwan." In the past, Lin said, such performances have always been part of the activities of a "Chinese festival" organized by the Chinese Embassy and the municipality of London.