Thu, Dec 28, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take


■ Society
Prosecutor feels pressure

Prosecutor Chang Hsi-huai (張熙懷) will not attend tomorrow's hearing in the presidential "state affairs fund" case, the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office said yesterday. Chang has been under fire from Democratic Progressive Party legislators over his alleged pro-China sentiment. They have accused him of visiting China, abusing his position by reserving a special seat for a Chinese academic at a hearing in another case and being unqualified to read court evidence about secret diplomatic missions. Staff at Chang's office claimed that accusations have left him depressed. They said he suddenly began shouting on Tuesday evening and that his wife was asked to take him home. The prosecutors office said that Chang would take a few days off, and that after a rest he would attend the trial.

■ Crime

Former minister out on bail

Kuo Yao-chi (郭瑤琪), a former minister of transportation and communications, was released on bail late on Tuesday night after being arrested on suspicion of taking US$20,000 in bribes from businessmen. "Although Kuo denied receiving the money, officials from Nan Ren Hu told prosecutors that they had given Kuo US$20,000 in a package of tea in July," Taipei District Prosecutors' Office spokesman Lin Jinn-tsun (林錦村) said. Lin said Kuo was released on NT$600,000 bail. Nan Ren Hu chairman Lee Ching-po (李清波), a former national policy adviser, told prosecutors that he gave Kuo the money because he and Kuo are friends and Kuo's child was going to the US to attend school. He said the money had nothing to do with the Ministry of Transportation and Communications' tender process for a Taipei Railway Station construction project.

■ Transportation

License plates get new look

New vehicle license plates will no longer show where the plate was issued, eliminating all Chinese characters from the plates, the Directorate General of Highways said yesterday. Currently, the location is printed above the license plate number. Many drivers have questioned the necessity of printing the Chinese characters of the Taiwan Province (台灣省), on the plates since the Taiwan Provincial Government was downsized in 1998. The agency stressed that old license plates do have to be replaced.

■ Cross-strait ties

Ma reiterates `five dos'

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday reiterated his "five dos" for cross-strait policy, promising to make Taiwan a responsible stakeholder in Asia by maintaining stable cross-strait relations. "We will maintain the status quo... we will not seek unification now," Ma told a symposium at National Chengchi University's Graduate Institute of East Asian Studies. The "five dos" are: To resume negotiations based on the so-called "1992 consensus;" to reach a peace accord; to facilitate economic exchanges with the aim of establishing a common market; to work with China to boost Taiwan's presence in international bodies.

■ Transportation

Trucks get tunnel OK

The Directorate General of Highways said yesterday that it would allow large-size trucks weighing 21 tonnes or more to use the Baguashan (八卦山) Tunnel starting next month. The 5km-long tunnel stretches from Changhua County to Nantou County and about 12,000 vehicles use it every day. As of September, 17,029 drivers licensed to operate large-size vehicles had completed training on driving inside long tunnels.

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