Sat, Sep 24, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

■ Academia
Conference to begin

The Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission (MTAC) will host its 2005 Conference on Geopolitical Relations between Contemporary Mongolia and Neighboring Asian Countries, dubbed simply "Mongolia and Russia," today and tomorrow. A total of 17 domestic and foreign scholars and experts have been invited to attend the two-day conference to discuss interaction and exchanges between Mongolia and three Mongolia-descended republics of the Russian Federation, including the Republic of Tuva, from the perspectives of politics, economics, regional security and culture, according to a MATC news release.

■ Politics

Lu cancels meetings

Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) called off her schedule yesterday as she suffered from acute gastroenteritis the previous night, said Cho Chun-ying (卓春英), a deputy director-general of the Presidential Office's Department of Public Affairs. "It was not a serious problem after the Vice President was treated in the hospital. The Vice President took a rest at home yesterday," Cho said. Cho related the cause of Lu's pain as told by the doctor that it might due to the food problem. Vice President Lu, who was supposed to pay a visit to migrant laborers at the No. 6 Naphtha Cracker of Formosa Plastics in Mailiao(麥寮) in Yunlin County and deliver a speech to an association of Rotary International in Chiayi City, canceled her entire schedule.

■ Society

Lee to visit US

The US has approved a visit by former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), Wu Ming-chi (吳明基), president of the Washington-based pro-Taiwan independence group, the Formosan Association for Public Affairs, said yesterday. Wu denied reports that the US was still considering whether to grant approval for the trip, saying that Lee will be recognized in his capacity as a private citizen and the only thing remaining to be settled is the nature of his security detail, given his status as a former head of state. Wu said his association, which is in charge of Lee's itinerary in Washington, has arranged for Lee to make two speeches, a brief one during a luncheon on Capitol Hill, and one at the National Press Club. The exact dates and times will be announced later by Lee's office, he added.

■ Diplomacy

Ma blames Chen's views

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman and Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) expressed welcome yesterday to President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) offer to engage in dialogue with the Chinese leadership without any preconditions but pointed out that the key to reconciliation may lie in how Chen positions cross-strait relations. "Chen's attitude toward how cross-strait relations should be positioned may be a `precondition' to be tackled before Taiwan can engage in any kind of negotiations with China," Ma said. He added that the persistent lack of trust between the leaderships across the strait is also a thorny issue in the development of cross-strait relations. Ma made the comments in response to Chen's remarks in Miami a day earlier that he is willing to hold "rational dialogue" with his Chinese counterpart President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) without any preconditions.

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