Fri, Mar 02, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

■ Politics
Chiang sues Chen over 228

A grandson of the late dictator Chiang Kai-shek (將介石) yesterday sued President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) for libel after Chen called Chiang the main culprit in the 1947 massacre of thousands of Taiwanese. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator John Chiang (蔣孝嚴) filed the libel suit with the Taipei District Court. He demanded compensation of US$1 and a newspaper apology from Chen. "President Chen's arbitrary conclusion concerning the 228 Incident can only deepen ethnic division. I ask him to hold a public debate with me," Chiang told reporters. "If the debate shows that Chiang Kai-shek was not the main culprit, Chen must apologize to the whole nation and clear Chiang Kai-shek's name," Chiang said. Chen did not immediately respond to Chiang's libel suit.

■ Agriculture

Biofuel project expanded

The government has decided to increase the amount of land allocated for biofuel crops -- soybean, rape, sunflower and sweet potato -- from 1,721 hectares last year to 4,550 hectares this year, the Council of Agriculture said yesterday. Council officials said that 3,280 hectares would be used for soybean cultivation, 1,240 hectares for planting sunflowers and 30 hectares for raising sweet potatoes on a trial basis. Soybeans, rape seed and sunflowers can be turned into ethanol used in biodiesel, while sweet potatoes will be used to supply the ethanol to be blended with gasoline during manufacturing trials. The government started its "biofuel development project" two years ago to reduce reliance on imported fuels. A recent report from the Ministry of Economic Affairs said that 98.22 percent of energy supplies used last year was imported. Officials said that as some 220,000 hectares of farmland is left fallow every year, the COA had decided to utilize this land to produce biofuel-related raw materials, for which demand is increasing.

■ Environment

Save tree frog project starts

The Taipei City Government and Hewlett-Packard (HP) Taiwan are inviting the public to donate used ink or printer cartridges to raise funds that will be used in reviving the city's shrinking wetlands and secure the survival rate of the Taipei tree frog. HP will donate NT$10 to NT$50 to the Chi Sing Eco-Conservation Foundation, a civic group dedicated to environmental protection, for every used ink or printer cartridge sent to companies such as Tsann Kuan Group (燦坤), Yungchin Real Estate Agency (永慶房屋) and Arcoa Corp (全虹通信) this and next month. Funds raised will be used to grow plants in mountainous areas around the city to revive the habitat of Taipei tree frogs, said Chou Ching-an (周慶安), a division chief at Taipei City's Department of Economic Development. Chou said that Taipei tree frogs could still be found in Four Beast Mountain (四獸山) and Yangmingshan National Park.

■ Diplomacy

African summit to be held

The summit between the presidents of Taiwan and its African allies will not be held in Africa as originally planned but in Taiwan, Foreign Minister James Huang (黃志芳) said on Monday. The Taiwan-African Allies Summit was meant to take place at the end of last year, but it was postponed. Huang said that the summit could be held in Taiwan in the near future since facilities in Taiwan are more suitable for organizing such an event. The government would make a final decision on the summit after discussing the details of the summit with its African allies, he said.

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