Thu, Aug 09, 2007 - Page 3 News List

KMT starts English, Japanese `news service'

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) launched English and Japanese-language Web sites yesterday to promote its policies and presidential campaign platform to the international community.

The two new Web sites, established by the KMT's National Policy Foundation think tank at a cost of NT$3 million (US$90,000), will serve as a medium for distributing party news to embassies, foreign governments, think tanks, the media and academics.

"Creating the [foreign-language] Web sites was a pioneering effort for the KMT, but it was necessary, especially as the world is paying more attention to Taiwan," KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) told reporters at party headquarters yesterday.

In addition to promoting the KMT's policies, Wu said he expected the Web sites to become an "authoritative source of news" and vowed to support the sites despite the party's limited budget.

Stephen Chen (陳錫蕃), a think tank member and former representative to the US, said there were 258 English articles about party policies, general news, survey results and editorial pieces on the English Web site, and 80 articles on the Japanese site.

"The establishment of the Web sites will help to counter the biased reports of pro-green English [language] newspapers, promote the party and create an international election Web site for our presidential candidate," Chen said.

The sites will offer immediate translation of important events, including the party's major policies and KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) speeches, he said.

It will also provide recent poll results, news analysis from the KMT think tank and selected party news every day, Chen said.

Arguing that English-language newspapers in Taiwan tend to carry negative reports about the KMT and that many foreign correspondents favor the Democratic Progressive Party, Chen said the KMT would take a more aggressive approach to promote itself internationally through the sites.

While expressing support for the party's effort to strengthen its image, KMT Central Standing Committee member Lien Sheng-wen (連勝文) suggested that the two Web sites include "Taiwan" in the Web address, as most foreigners would type the term when searching for Taiwan-related information on the Internet.

KMT Deputy Chairman and Legislator Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) came up with the idea of launching the foreign-language Web sites after visiting Japan last year and being disturbed by the fact that Japanese officials were all reading English-language Taiwanese papers that he felt were biased against the KMT, a party press release said.

The English and Japanese sites can be found on www.kuomintangnews.org, www.taipeinews.org and www.kmtnews.net.

However, the opening page on all three entry sites has the KMT's name misspelled as "Koumintang."

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