Wed, Jan 17, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

■ Diplomacy
Remengesau in Taiwan

Palau President Tommy Remengesau arrived in Taiwan yesterday for a five-day visit to promote ties between the two countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. Remengesau was scheduled to meet President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to discuss international affairs and bilateral cooperation projects, the ministry said. Remengesau will also visit Kaohsiung and Taroko National Park, the ministry added. Palau established diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 1999, and it is one of 24 countries which recognize Taiwan. Chen visited the Pacific nation last September.

■ Culture

Thirteenth tribe recognized

The Sakiraya will become Taiwan's 13th Aboriginal tribe today when the Cabinet is expected to approve the proposal. Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) has scheduled a reception to officially introduce the tribe to the public at the Executive Yuan at 11am following the weekly Cabinet meeting. The official said the Sakiraya were categorized as members of the Ami tribe by Japanese ethnologists during the Japanese colonial period. However, later academics distinguished between the two because their languages differ significantly. Encouraged by the recognition of the Kavalan and Taroko tribes, Sakiraya representatives traced their tribe's history and culture and applied to the Council of Indigenous People for recognition in 2004.

■ Disasters

Offshore quake rattles east

An undersea earthquake measuring 5.4 on the Richter scale rattled the nation yesterday, the Central Weather Bureau said, but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties. The tremor struck at 11:10am with its epicenter located 85km east of Hualien at a depth of 17km. Two people were killed and at least 42 injured last month when a 7.1-magnitude quake rocked southern Taiwan. The quake sparked a telecoms chaos across Asia, with Internet and telephone connections disrupted for days.

■ Weather

Heavy rain predicted

The recent hot spell, which saw the temperature in Taipei peaking at 27?C yesterday, will be followed by cooler weather and rain, the Central Weather Bureau said. With a cold front approaching, abundant rain is forecast throughout the country, with highs in the northern and northeastern parts of the country expected to drop by four to five degrees, the bureau said. The unstable weather is likely to continue until Sunday. The approaching front is moist and could produce snow if it meets with cold air masses on Hohuanshan (合歡山) and Yushan (玉山) on Friday and Saturday, the bureau said.

■ Military

Weapons sales defended

Taiwan's military exchanges with other countries are based on the principle of not tipping the regional military balance, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. Ministry spokesman David Wang (王建業) was responding to reports that light weapons produced in the nation were offered to several of the country's diplomatic allies, including Liberia, Paraguay, Haiti and Nicaragua, and then used in civil conflicts following changes in regimes in those countries. Wang dismissed the reports as untrue, saying that military exchanges are part of Taiwan's overall diplomatic effort.

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