Tue, Oct 28, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

■ DEFENSE

Report remains unconfirmed

The Ministry of National Defense yesterday refused to confirm reports that the military had been instructed to manufacture up to 300 cruise missiles. When contacted by the Taipei Times for comment, officials from the ministry’s spokesman’s office would not confirm whether they had received the order, but said that it was their duty to follow government policy. The comments came in response to a report in yesterday’s Chinese-language China Times that quoted an unnamed military source as saying: “President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has given the order for the production of 300 Hsiung Feng 2E cruise missiles.” However, the paper said it was not clear when the missiles would be put into service. The paper said that Hsiung Feng 2E, which was developed by the military-run Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology, has a range of around 600km. The missile could be launched on land or at sea, the paper said.

■ DIPLOMACY

Ma ‘working hard’ on envoy

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday that the government was “working hard” to send a high level official to the annual meeting of the APEC forum scheduled to open in Lima, Peru, on Nov. 22. In an interview with CNA on Friday, Ma said that the annual APEC informal leadership meeting is attended by the heads of government of all the member economies except for Taiwan, which faces restrictions because of various factors. Saying that concerted efforts were being made to address this issue, Ma said that the government would soon announce its plans regarding sending an envoy to the APEC meeting. Pressure from China means that Taiwan has had to send a special envoy to represent the president at the annual APEC gathering in past years.

■ CRIME

Koo returns from California

China Development Financial Holding Corp president Angelo Koo (辜仲瑩) returned to Taiwan from Los Angeles yesterday ahead of his likely questioning by prosecutors investigating charges of money laundering against the former first family. The Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Panel wants to talk to Koo about US$1 million that was wired from the company to the former first family’s foreign bank accounts. Koo arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 7am. Upon his arrival, customs officers alerted prosecutors, but they decided not to detain him, instead asking him to wait for further notice over questioning. Panel spokesman Chen Yun-nan (陳雲南) said that prosecutors would speak to Koo before the end of the week.

■ CRIME

Chen allegations probed

Prosecutors said yesterday they were looking into allegations that former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) removed more than 400 confidential national security documents from government files. Prosecutor Chen Yun-nan (陳雲南), director of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Panel, said the division would seek the assistance of leading national security agencies to investigate the allegations. “The division will not exclude the possibility of assigning the matter to a prosecutor to initiate a probe if the report is found to be true,” Chen Yun-nan said. Chen made the remarks in response to reporters’ questions about a report in yesterday’s Chinese-language China Times that the former president had spirited away 449 national security documents classified as “confidential” while he was in office.

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