KMT-CCP seminar nixed
A seminar scheduled to be held in Taipei this month between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been postponed, and might be moved to Hong Kong after Taipei barred the 60 Chinese delegates from entering Taiwan, a radio station said on Monday. The KMT-affiliated Broadcasting Corp of China (BCC) hinted that the postponement is a sign that Taiwan is tightening its China policy, because last month Taipei barred only Chen Yunlin (陳雲林), director of the Chinese State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office, from attending the meeting. Now, Taipei has barred all 60 Chinese delegates from attending, citing Beijing's hostile attitude to the country and its government.
■ Foreign affairs
Ma says no plans to visit US
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday said he so far has no plans to visit the US next February. Ma made the remarks in response to press reports which quoted Chang Ta-tung (張大同), deputy representative of the KMT and the People First Party (PFP) stationed in the US, as having said that Ma might visit the US in February. Ma said yesterday that for now, he had one trip planned already in the same month to Britain, Ireland and Belgium. According to the report, Ma is scheduled to call on officials in charge of foreign relations in the EU and the Taiwan British Business Council, as well as visiting British politicians in London. Ma also plans to speak at Cambridge University, Oxford University or the London School of Economics and Political Science, probably giving an introduction to Taipei's trade and investment environment.
NCC hearings to be public
The members review committee of the National Communications Commission (NCC) announced yesterday that its hearings at the Legislative Yuan, which are scheduled to run from Friday through Sunday, will be open to the public. People interested in watching the question-and-answer sessions can register to attend, not at the hearing room, but at an adjoining room to watch a live broadcast. Registration starts before the hearings begin at 9am Friday through Sunday. The final list of successful candidates for the NCC will be sent to the Executive Yuan for final approval by the premier. Political parties have named 11 members to the review committee, who will vote on 18 nominees, 13 of whom will become NCC members. To be successful, nominees must win more than 60 percent of the review committee ballots. If fewer than 13 pass that threshold in the first round of balloting, a second vote will be held to choose those who get more than half of the votes.
■ Overseas aid
Taiwan helps poor kids
A Taiwanese foster care center was opened late last month in Guatemala to take care of more than 700 children from poor families, a spokesman for the Taiwan Fund for Children and Families said. The center -- Corazon del Maiz -- is located in San Miguel Chicaj, some 65km north of the capital, Guatemala City, and will offer monetary aid and assistance in health and education to poor children and community services to families in the area, the spokesman said. The Taiwan-based foundation sponsors more than 2,000 poor children in Guatemala -- one of Taiwan's diplomatic partners in Central America.