Sun, Mar 09, 2008 - Page 4 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

■ DIPLOMACY

New diplomats announced

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs last night announced four new ambassadorial appointments for positions in Africa, Central America and the Caribbean. Current ambassador to South African Richard Shih (石瑞琦) will now head the embassy in Gambia. Chen Chung (陳忠), the current representative to New Zealand, will be the new ambassador to Sao Tome and Principe. Leo Lee (李澄然) is expected to leave his post as the head of the ministry's Department of North American Affairs to become ambassador to St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The new ambassador to Haiti will be Hsu Mien-sheng (徐勉生), who has held diplomatic posts in France, Senegal, and Angola. A ministry official said the four men were career diplomats who were ideal candidates to safeguard Taiwan's existing allies in the face of relentless pressure from China.

■ TRANSPORTATION

High-speed rail serves 20m

The accumulated passenger volume of the high-speed railway system reached the 20-million mark on Friday, a little more than one year after the service was launched, Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp said yesterday. The system's passenger volume totaled 2,095,210 last month, setting a record single-month high, the company said in a statement. The company said passenger traffic has been increasing since trial operations began on Jan. 5 last year, topping the 5 million mark on May 28, the 10 million mark on Sept. 18 and the 15 million mark on Dec. 21. Carbon dioxide released by a high-speed train averages only 0.0267kg per passenger-kilometer, about one-quarter of the average 0.1kg released per passenger-kilometer by a small passenger car, it said.

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