Chen meets young envoys
The number of young men choosing diplomatic alternative service to fulfill their military service requirement has tripled since the program was launched in 2001 and 425 men have passed through the program, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said yesterday. Chen met with 105 young men who will be sent to the country's diplomatic allies to help with technical, agricultural, or health services for a year. He said the program has been successful because the positive attitude of the young people represents Taiwan's energy and vitality. While encouraging the recruits to humble themselves to experience the true meaning of "living to serve," Chen said he was very happy to see that many recruits who had completed their service had re-joined the overseas missions as a career move. Chen said that, so far, 38 former alternative service recruits had passed their examinations and joined the missions full-time.
KMT celebrates 113 years
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) will celebrate its 113th anniversary today in Chiayi City and appeal to the public by saying that it will put Taiwan first. Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄), Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and other KMT heavyweights will attend a party this afternoon in front of the Chiayi Baseball Stadium. KMT Cultural and Communication Committee head Huang Yu-cheng (黃玉振) said that the party decided to hold the event down south to highlight the plight of farmers. He said Ma would use the occasion to reiterate his campaign promise to raise the subsidy for elderly farmers. The party will be held from 4pm to 6pm.