The benefit of President Chen Shui-bian (
Huang made the remarks in response to criticism from a group of pan-blue legislators that Chen's flight arrangements for his upcoming visit to the nation's Pacific allies would be a waste of taxpayers' money.
The Presidential Office had announced that Chen will fly on "Air Force One" on the first leg of his visit to Palau, but that he and his entourage will then fly on charter China Airlines passenger jets from Palau to Nauru and back to Taipei through Guam.
Under the plan, "Air Force One" will fly back to Taipei after Chen arrives in Palau, and an empty China Airlines passenger jet will be used as a replacement. The flight plan was criticized by a group of pan-blue legislators, with Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lin Yu-fang (
But Huang dismissed those complaints.
"The president's trip on `Air Force One' will have great diplomatic and historical significance," Huang said.
He urged legislators to be more concerned about the significance of Chen's trip than on how much money the flight would cost.
"Using `Air Force One' for the president's overseas flight has extraordinary meaning, which has no price," Huang said.
Presidential Office Spokesman David Lee (
Huang said that there was no tension while the government was negotiating the flight details with the US government.
"We didn't plan to fly on `Air Force One' for making a transit in Guam. It was not our initial plan. Now that the US considers it inappropriate for `Air Force One' to make a stopover in Guam, of course we understand that," he said.
A Taipei veterinarian is urging pet owners to avoid using insecticides around their homes, as their ingredients can be toxic to pets. Commercial-grade insecticides contain pyrethroids — organic compounds similar to natural pyrethrins, pesticides produced by flowers such as chrysanthemums — in quantities that are harmless to humans, but potentially fatal to cats and dogs, Asian Veterinary Specialist Referral Center veterinarian Chua Man-ling (蔡曼琳) said. Even in small quantities, pyrethroids are hazardous to cats, as they lack the metabolic enzymes needed to process them, Chua said. Cockroach sprays and ant traps are especially dangerous to pets as they contain boric acid, she
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
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