Wu awards US friends
Taiwan's representative to the US Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) bestowed some of the nation's top honors on several former and incumbent US government officials, members of Congress and academics last week in recognition of their unyielding support for Taiwan and promotion of stronger US-Taiwan relations. On behalf of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), Wu presented the Order of Propitious Clouds with Grand Cordon to former representative Trent Lott, who has served as a co-chairman of the Senate’s Taiwan Caucus. He also bestowed the Order of Brilliant Star with Grand Cordon on representatives Tim Johnson and Jim Inhofe, both of whom are members of the Senate’s Taiwan Caucus. The Order of Brilliant Star with Grand Cordon was also awarded to four members of the Taiwan Caucus in the House of Representatives: Steve Chabot, Dana Rohrabacher, Shelley Berkley and Robert Wexler.
Wang lists challenges
Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said yesterday that the new government will be facing four tough challenges concerning national development, but that if it succeeded in settling cross-strait problems, it would surmount those challenges. Wang made the remarks in a speech during a workshop at National Cheng-chi University’s Graduate Institute of Development Studies. The challenges include the nation’s bids to join international and regional economic organizations as a full member despite China’s obstruction and balancing spending and revenue, Wang said. The other challenges are the stagnant cross-strait exchanges in the absence of formal ties between the two sides and social problems including political and ethnic conflicts, as well as an increasing gap between the rich and the poor, Wang said.
Last chance to see blossoms
The Changhua County Government is offering the public a last chance to view the county’s tung blossoms before the season comes to an end later this month, an official said yesterday. The white tung blossoms, which have a deep connection with Hakka culture, are in season between April and May and are usually celebrated alongside Hakka culture and delicacies. The official of the county government’s Cultural Affairs Bureau said the blossoms could be seen in many places in the county, especially in mountainous areas such as Bagua Mountain and in Yuanlin township (員林) and Fenyuan township (芬園), the official said. Some trails have been built around the tung trees by local residents to provide convenience for tourists.
Delegation heads for Fuzhou
A delegation of Kinmen County Government officials and tourism industry representatives left yesterday to attend a cross-strait economic and trade exhibition and conference set to open in Fuzhou City, Fujian Province today. The 60-plus delegation, led by Lu Chih-huei (盧志輝), chief secretary of the county government, will be promoting Kinmen specialty products and the local tourism industry at the five-day gathering. Tourism representatives from Taiwan and the outlying islands of Penghu and Matsu will also be among the 2,000-plus participants in the economic and trade conference and exhibition, which is being held for the 10th consecutive year.