Sun, May 06, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

■ DIPLOMACY

PRC severs St. Lucia ties

China severed diplomatic ties with St. Lucia yesterday and made a formal complaint to the Caribbean country over its decision to restore diplomatic relations with Taiwan, Chinese state media said. Chinese Ambassador to St. Lucia Gu Huaming (古華明) announced the suspension of diplomatic relations and "the cessation of fulfilling all agreements between the governments of the two countries," the Xinhua news agency said. China's Foreign Ministry called the move "brutal interference in China's internal affairs."

■ EDUCATION

MAC rethinks school policy

A regulation revised on Friday by the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) will allow the children of multinational companies' Chinese employees to study at schools for foreign residents. MAC Vice Chairman Johnnason Liu (劉德勳) said some excellent Chinese workers were reluctant to work in Taiwan because they were worried about their children's education. The revised regulations should increase their willingness to come here. The original regulations allowed multinationals' Chinese employees in the management or professional services sectors to be transferred to Taiwan. After three years, they could apply for their children to be admitted to Taiwanese school. Also under the old regime, the children had to be below the age of 18 and could not stay in Taiwan for more than one year, Liu said. The revised regulations will be implemented pending Executive Yuan approval, he said.

■ TRAVEL

US starts 10-finger scan

Most foreigners wanting to visit the US soon will have fingerprints taken for all fingers when applying for US visas, the US State Department said on Friday. Instead of scanning the prints of just two fingers of visa applicants, as is now the case, US embassies and consulates are beginning to require scans of all 10 digits to better screen out undesirables, the department said. "The department is instituting the 10 fingerscan standard to improve our ability to detect and thwart persons ineligible for visas by raising the accuracy rate in matching fingerscans," it said in a notice published in Friday's Federal Register. The move is part of tighter immigration and border control restrictions enacted after the Sept. 11 attacks that initially required scans of only two fingers from visa applicants. Technological advances now allow for all 10 of an applicant's fingers to be scanned with ease, and devices to do so will be in place at all embassies and consulates by the end of this year, the department said.

■ CULTURE

Animation deadline moved

The deadline for entries by Taiwanese artists to the 2007 Taiwan International Animation Festival has been postponed from May 15 to May 31 to allow extra time for more works to be submitted to the exhibition. The Chinese Taipei Film Archive, a non-profit foundation, has held the annual festival since 2003. The archive urged animation artists not to miss the opportunity to submit their work. A spokesman for the organization said application forms could be downloaded from www.ctfa.org.tw/tiaf/ and e-mailed to tiaf.adm@mail.ctaf.org.tw. Taiwanese works will be one of seven categories at the festival, which will take place in Taipei from Sept. 28 to Oct. 7, with cash prizes totaling NT$1 million (US$30,000) up for grabs. Last year's festival consisted of 332 films totaling 63 hours from 32 countries.

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