Envoy pushes for talks
The nation's representative to Japan, Koh Se-kai (許世楷), on Saturday called on the US, Japan and other Asian nations to set up a mechanism aimed at maintaining peace across the Taiwan Strait and promoting regional development. Koh made the appeal while delivering a speech at the Japanese Press Center on Taiwan's local government elections on Dec. 3. Expressing the hope that the US and Japan would join hands to help protect Taiwan's stability, Koh hailed a resolution adopted by the two nations at their "two plus two" bilateral talks to push for both sides of the Taiwan Strait to seek a peaceful solution to disputes. However, Koh stressed that to help safeguard long-term stability and peace across the Taiwan Strait, it was necessary for the US, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China to set up a mechanism similar to the Six-Party Talks on North Korea.
Dog sales boom
As people prepare for Lunar New Year celebrations to welcome in the Year of the Dog, sales of pet dogs are also heating up. Pet sellers estimate that the market for pet dogs and related products amounts to more than NT$20 billion (US$625 million) a year, with an average 1.6 million pet dogs being sold on the market each year. As sales of pet dogs are usually even brisker during a Year of the Dog, pet store owners have seen their sales increase by at least 20 percent so far. Dogs that are cute, small in size and easy to take care of remain the most popular animals in the pet market. The Red Toy Poodle, which has gained much media exposure because super model Lin Chih-ling (林志玲) owns one, tops the Taipei Pet Commerce Association's list as the best-selling breed of dog. Rounding out the list are Maltese, Dachshunds, Chihuahuas, Yorkshire Terriers, Pomeranians, Shiba Inus, Shi Tzus, Beagles, and Siberian Huskies, in that order.
Fishing boat attack kills one
A Taiwanese fishing boat was attacked in the Philippines Sea yesterday, leaving a 68-year-old captain Chen An-lao (陳安老) dead and a crewman, Chen Ming-te (陳明德), badly wounded. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed the news later yesterday. The Man Chun Yi, based in Taichung County, was found powerless and drifting by another Taiwanese boat, the Shin Jih Chin No. 168, near Orchid Island, situated off the nation's southeastern coast. The Taitung branch of the Coast Guard Administration has launched an investigation into the cause of the accident. Tsai Fu-jung (蔡富榮), the secretary-general of a local fishermen's association in Taitung, said that the Man Chun Yi took to sea five days ago. "It might have been pillaged by a Philippine pirate boat," Tsai said.
Ma endorses highway name
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday formally endorsed a campaign to name the newly completed Taipei-Ilan expressway "Chiang Wei-shui (蔣渭水) Memorial Freeway" in honor of the historic trailblazer of Taiwan's democracy movement under Japanese rule, who was a native of Ilan County. Ma, who also serves as Taipei mayor, signed his name on a petition initiated by newly elected Ilan County Commissioner Lu Kuo-hua (呂國華), of the KMT, at the Ilan History Museum after presiding over a monthly KMT Central Standing Committee meeting in the county.