Kung denies US citizenship
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Kung Wen-chi (孔文吉) yesterday denied he was one of two lawmakers possibly named by the US in a letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) to have US citizenship, which would violate the Nationality Law (國籍法). MOFA asked the US for its help in September to determine whether any lawmakers held permanent US residency or citizenship after it was alleged that KMT Legislator Diane Lee (李慶安) was still a US citizen. Kung is one of several KMT lawmakers recently accused by the Democratic Progressive Party of being US citizens after MOFA refused to reveal the results of the probe, which Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said showed that two lawmakers’ status may be in violation of the law. Calling on MOFA to disclose the names, Kung said he would ask the US to offer an apology, sue the US government and demand compensation if it had made a mistake. KMT legislators Hsieh Kuo-liang (謝國樑), Chang Sho-wen (張碩文), Mark Li (李明星) and John Chiang (蔣孝嚴) have all denied allegations that they have US citizenship.
NIA to celebrate migrants
In celebration of International Migrant’s Day, the National Immigration Agency (NIA) is staging a series of activities starting on Thursday to celebrate ethnic diversity and raise awareness of the problems faced by immigrants. The NIA said that to Taiwan has more than 410,000 foreign spouses, mostly from Southeast Asia. The figure for all foreign migrants, including blue and white-collar workers, is close to 1 million, the office said. Pan Ming-mei (潘明梅), a Thai national married to a Taiwanese man for 12 years, said the hardest thing about being a foreign bride was educating her children because Mandarin is not her mother tongue. She said although her kids have not faced any prejudice from their peers, she has many friends whose children are discriminated against by their classmates for being the child of a foreigner. The celebration will include an international forum on global trends in migrant workers on Thursday and an all-day exhibition on Saturday at Taipei’s Huashan Cultural Park. Taichung railway station and Kaohsiung MRT Central Park Station will also host two-day exhibitions this weekend.
Hu gets Taiwan Sugar job
Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) yesterday appointed Hu Mao-lin (胡懋麟), a former vice chairman of the Council of Agriculture, as chairman of state-owned Taiwan Sugar Corp (台糖) to succeed Wu Rong-ming (吳容明), who resigned last month. Wu unexpectedly tendered his resignation two months after taking the post to show his dissatisfaction with government interference when he was selecting a new general manager for the company. It was reported that Straits Exchange Foundation Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) wanted Hu to install his nephew Chen Ching-bin (陳清彬) over Wu’s favored candidate Chi Tsung-chi (紀聰吉).
Hiking trail restored
Four mountain climbing groups, including one composed of soldiers from an army airborne division, gathered in central Taiwan on Sunday to mark the restoration of a flagship hiking trail between Hsitou (溪頭) and Alishan that has been blocked since the 921 Earthquake in 1999. About 100 people in four groups gathered at the Shanlinhsi Recreational Park in Nantou County to mark their efforts to renovate the hiking trail between Hsitou and Alishan which was damaged by the magnitude 7.3 earthquake.