Lee arrives in US
Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) and his wife Tseng Wen-hui (曾文惠) arrived in Anchorage, Alaska on Tuesday on the first leg of their visit to the US. The couple, accompanied by Wu Li-pei (吳澧培), an adviser to President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), and Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝), secretary-general of Taiwan Advocates, were greeted at the airport by staff from Taiwan's representative office in Seattle as well as a group of Taiwanese expatriates living in Alaska. When they arrived at their hotel, the Lees were greeted by Alaska Governor Frank Murkowski, who later hosted Lee and his delegation on a yacht tour of a nearby fjord. Lee even tried his hand at steering the yacht briefly during the 90-minute ride.
Greens go after CSC head
Nearly 100 pan-green lawmakers endorsed a campaign to request China Steel Corp chairman Lin Wen-yuan (林文淵) return an extra -- and controversial -- bonus to state coffers. The signature drive was initiated by seven lawmakers from the Democratic Progressive Party (KMT) and Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU). As of yesterday, 94 pan-blue lawmakers had also signed the petition. The petition asks that Lin return the interest accrued since 2003 when he doubled as the firm's executive officer. The lawmakers said Lin is not entitled to the annual bonuses during the period because he was not appointed as the executive officer until June 14 this year. If Lin fails to return the money, they urged the government to ask Lin to comply with their request.
TVBS backing questioned
Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Legislator Tseng Tsan-teng (曾燦燈) yesterday questioned whether China was the main investor in TVBS -- which would mean the cable station is violating the Satellite Broadcasting Law (衛星廣播電視法). Tseng said TVBS is owned by Bermuda Television and Broadcasting Investment Co, which has a 47 percent stake, and Countless Entertainment (Taiwan) Co, which has a 53 percent stake. He asked whether the two firms are owned by the same Chinese company. Tseng has asked the Laundering Prevention Center to determine if the money Countless used to purchase its stake in TVBS had been wired from China via Hong Kong. The Government Information Office (GIO) and Ministry of Economic Affairs said the station is not in violation of the law. The GIO, however, said it has asked the station to explain its shareholding structure.
Budget review dates set
Legislators yesterday decided to start reviewing next year's government budget on Monday and hope to pass it on Dec. 2. As the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus ordered all its members to attend yesterday's joint committee meeting, the legislature voted 88 to 2 against a proposal filed by People First Party (PFP) Legislator Feng Ting-kuo (馮定國) to table the budget to committees for review. The Executive Yuan estimated next year's annual revenues will be NT$1.4 trillion (US$42 billion), while annual expenditures will be NT$1.5 trillion. The projected annual income is 5.3 percent more than this year, while the proposed expenditures represent a 0.5 percent decrease compared with this year.