Wed, Sep 07, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Earthquakes
Temblor felt around nation

An earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale jolted Taiwan yesterday, but there was no immediate report of damage or casualties. The quake occurred at 9:16am with its epicenter 63km east of Hualien, 11.7km under the sea, the Seismological Observation Center said. The quake was felt all over the island. The MRT system in Taipei suspended operation for a few minutes.

■ Crime

Coast guard rescues skipper

The coast guard has rescued a skipper kidnapped by a Chinese fishing boat after a collision, officials said yesterday. The coast guard also brought back 11 Chinese crew and two fishing vessels to Penghu for questioning, the Coast Guard Administration said in a statement. Lu Ching-man (呂清滿), skipper of a 68-tonne fishing boat based in Penghu, was kidnapped by the crew of one of the Chinese boats after the two craft reportedly collided in the Taiwan Strait on Monday morning, it said. Three coast guard patrol boats rushed to the scene upon receiving a mayday distress call from other sailors on the Taiwanese boat.

■ Culture

Huge museum park planned

Tainan County is set to become home to Asia's largest museum park after a six-year-old plan to build a metropolitan park in Jenteh (仁德) Township was brought back to life with the injection of new funds from the Ministry of the Interior and the Chi Mei Group. The NT$600 million (US$18 million) project is being jointly developed by the Tainan County Government and state-owned Taiwan Sugar Corp. Chi Mei Group has pledged to spend NT$1 billion to build a museum in the park. A ceremony will be held Friday for Chi Mei to present the gift to the county government. According to the plan, the Tainan Museum Park will cover 40 hectares and will present indigenous cultures, industries, landscapes and customs, while stressing coexistence with the local ecology.

■ Diplomacy

Taiwan-Japan Forum opens

The 2005 Taiwan-Japan Forum opened in Tokyo yesterday, with the participation of government officials, think tank scholars and business executives from the two countries. Among the participants will be President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) chief of staff, Yu Shyi-kun, who arrived in Tokyo on Monday with a 20-plus member delegation to the annual conference. The 2005 Taiwan-Japan Forum is being co-sponsored by the Taipei-based Foundation on International and Cross-Strait Studies and the World Peace Research Institute of Japan.

■ Society

Activists expect big crowd

Over 3,000 pro-independence activists are expected to attend the "Taiwan Republic national flag-raising" ceremony slated for tomorrow in front of the Presidential Office, the convener of the 908 Taiwan Republic Movement said yesterday. Wang Hsien-chi (王獻極) made the prediction at a news conference for the upcoming activity, which will be held to mark what he called "Taiwan Independence Day," which falls on Sept. 8 -- the date that Japan gave up its territorial claims to Taiwan after signing a peace treaty with the Allied nations in San Francisco in 1951. He urged those who support the campaign to join the Sept. 8 flag-raising ceremony, which he described as "the first of its kind in 400 years." Wang said that five young people will read a statement of the Taiwan Republic Movement in five different languages.

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