Wed, Aug 08, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

■ POLITICS

Let Hsieh decide, Chen says

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) is the person best qualified to choose his running mate, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said yesterday. Amid speculation that Chen favored former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) as a running mate for Hsieh, Chen declined to comment on a Hsieh-Su ticket. While Hsieh has said he would let the matter be decided by opinion polls, Chen said that he disagreed, as he believed Hsieh would make the best decision himself. Chen made the remarks during an inspection trip to Taichung City.

■ ENERGY

Wind-power cable planned

State-run Taiwan Power Co on Monday announced a plan to construct a 60km undersea electric cable linking Taiwan and offshore Penghu County as part of the company's efforts to secure supplies of wind-powered electricity between the two. The NT$14.68 billion (US$445 million) plan is undergoing an environmental impact assessment, a company spokesman said. The project would be completed in November 2012 if the assessment is finished by the end of this year, he said. Once the cable is in place, wind-powered electricity could be produced on a massive scale on Penghu, the spokesman said. The undersea electric cable would serve as a backup system, but one which the spokesman said had to be put in place in advance. Without a backup system, the island's power system would be compromised if the wind becomes unstable, leading to the possibility of a comprehensive shutdown, the spokesman added.

Globally, the Penghu area is one of the most suitable places for generating wind power, the spokesman said.

■ POLITICS

Schriver seeks latest facts

Former US deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs Randall Schriver arrived in Taiwan on Monday for a five-day visit at the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' (MOFA) Department of North American Affairs. Schriver hopes to obtain the latest information on the nation's political and electoral situation and will hold a press conference with local media tomorrow, MOFA spokesman David Wang (王建業) said. Schriver will visit the Democratic Progressive Party, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, the Environmental Protection Administration and other government departments. Christopher Griffin, a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, is accompanying Schriver.

■ CULTURE

Festival cancelation possible

An announcement by Ilan County Commissioner Lu Kuo-hua (呂國華) yesterday that the county's annual Children's Folklore and Folk Game festival would not be held next year drew fire from Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Chin-de (陳金德), who demanded that he consult with local travel companies and county councilors. Lu said that the decision had been made out of cost considerations, but that the county government would immediately begin working on a replacement summer activity. Chen, a legislator from Ilan, released a statement yesterday saying that the festival had a 12-year history and the decision to cancel it should not be taken so lightly. He said that he had not ruled out initiating a recall motion should Lu not reconsider his decision.

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