No comment on Chen trip
Minister of Foreign Affairs James Huang (黃志芳) remained tight-lipped yesterday on whether President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) would visit the nation's allies in Central America and the Caribbean early next year. "We will send a high-level delegation to attend Guatemalan president-elect Alvaro Colom's inauguration as we value our friendship with Guatemala very much," Huang said. Formosa TV on Tuesday reported that Chen is scheduled to visit Haiti, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and St. Kitts and Nevis during the trip to attend Colom's inauguration. The report said the president would set out on his journey on the evening of Jan. 12, the day of the legislative election so that he could make it in time to attend the inauguration on Jan. 14. When questioned on the report, Huang said:"Nothing is finalized yet."
Waterproof bills introduced
Following a month-long trial period, parking bills for motorcycles in Taipei City will be waterproof starting on Saturday to prevent them from being damaged when it rains, the Transportation Department said yesterday. The bills will come in seven colors -- red, orange, yellow, green, blue, gray and purple -- each color representing a day of the week to help motorists remember when the bill was issued and the due date for payment, the department said. The Parking Management Office said the waterproof bills do not dissolve even when soaked in water for three days. The colors will also help prevent motorists from cheating by parking in the same spot for more than one day and leaving the bill on the motorcycles, the office said. Parking bills, running at NT$20 per day, are attached to handlebars or backracks on the motorcycles.
PRC would win war: minister
Minister of National Defense Lee Tien-yu (李天羽) said yesterday that the Chinese military would win if it attacked Taiwan. "If no foreign allies came and helped us, we would lose the war no matter what. But our military would be able to destroy 60 percent to 70 percent of the Chinese troops, so it would be impossible for [Beijing] to win easily," Lee said. The results of simulated war games showed the same outcome each time, Lee said. The minister made the remarks when responding to a question by People First Party Legislator Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀) at a meeting of the legislature's National Defense Committee yesterday. Chang asked Lee if Taiwan would be able to resist a Chinese attack if the US refused to come to the nation's aid.
Duo wins medals in Japan
Two students from National Kaohsiung Hospitality College won medals in the 39th WorldSkill Competition in Numazu City, Japan, a school spokesman said yesterday. The biennial international competition was held from Nov. 14 to Nov. 21, drawing 800 participants from 47 countries or territories who faced tough international standards in 47 key skills and technologies. Wu Tzu-ching (武子靖), a student in the department of baking technology and management, won the silver medal in bakery, while Ho Wen-yi (何文毅), a student in the department of Western culinary arts, won the medallion for excellence in cooking. Wu baked bread in the shape of high-tech products such as computers, cellphones and keyboards, while Ho used Taiwanese seasonings and flavoring to make dishes, obtaining high scores for creativity, hygiene and cooking methods.