Sun, Feb 04, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take


■ Politics
Yu says no nomination deal

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Yu Shyi-kun yesterday dismissed speculation that he had reached an unofficial agreement with party Secretary-General Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍), caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) and Legislator Chai Trong-rong (蔡同榮) to nominate them for the year-end legislative election. The DPP's nomination mechanism allows the chairman to nominate up to a third of the party's candidates. The competition for party nomination is expected to be keen as the total number of legislative seats will be halved from 225 to 113, with only one representative elected for each of the 73 districts, another 34 seats allotted to parties based on the proportion of votes received and six reserved for Aboriginal legislators.

■ Politics

US wary of reform: Hsieh

The US government appeared concerned about Taiwan's plans for constitutional change and expressed hope that Taipei could keep it informed of developments, former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) said on Friday. Hsieh, who headed a delegation on behalf of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to attend the annual National Prayer Breakfast meeting in Washington on Thursday, made the remarks in response to media inquiries. Hsieh added that Washington was concerned whether Taiwan would honor its promises should it undertake constitutional reform. Hsieh said he told US officials that the government could not anticipate everything as Taiwan is a democracy. He said it would not be proper for the nation to deviate from the information it had given the US, as this might give the US the impression that Taipei was deceiving it, Hsieh added.

■ Society

Longest firecracker planned

The Tainan County Government has invited experts from Yenshui Township (鹽水) to make firecrackers that could challenge the world record for the longest string of firecrackers, county officials said yesterday. The southern county plans to use the record-breaking string in a firecracker display titled "Legend of the Fire Dragon" at the annual Lantern Festival, which falls on March 4, in Yenshui, a small town that traditionally celebrates the festival with a parade that involves setting off thousands of "beehive firecrackers," the officials said. The official 2007 Taiwan Lantern Festival will take place in Chiayi County from March 4 to March 11. It will feature a lantern display of a Taiwan boar to signify "peace and prosperity" in the Year of the Pig, the event organizers said.

■ Politics

Comments prompt backlash

Former president Lee Teng-hui's (李登輝) recent remarks saying he does not advocate Taiwanese independence have generated anger among pro-independence supporters. Lee Shiao-feng (李筱峰), a professor of Taiwanese history at Shih Hsin University and a long-term pro-independence activist, yesterday said he was resigning from the Friends of Lee Teng-hui Association. Chin Heng-wei (金恆煒), editor-in-chief of the Contemporary Monthly, also indicated yesterday that he would resign from the board of Taiwan Advocates, a think tank funded by the former president. Lo Chi-cheng (羅致政), director of the political science department at Soochow University, said it was strange that Lee Teng-hui had recently praised Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) in interviews, given that China had passed the "Anti-Secession" Law and caused countries to terminate their diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

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