Voucher notices on the way
The National Immigration Agency yesterday said it has sent out notices to all foreign citizens married to Taiwanese nationals and those Taiwanese citizens without a registered household to pick up their consumer vouchers, which will be made available on Jan. 18. Qualifying individuals who have not received the notice within three working days can go to www.immigration.gov.tw to check on progress by entering their ARC number, or go to the nearest city or county government offices for further assistance.
Chiang visits China
Straits Exchange Foundation Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) yesterday embarked on a four-day visit to China to attend a forum with China-based Taiwanese businesspeople. The trip will take Chiang to Guangdong and Jiangsu provinces. Chiang said the purpose of his trip was to listen to the opinions of China-based Taiwanese businesspeople. China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) has invited local provincial government officials to attend the forum, Chiang said, adding that he would also meet his Chinese counterpart, ARATS Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林). Chiang said he would make suggestions on addressing the problems of Taiwanese merchants during his meeting with Chen and local government officials. He hoped both China’s central and local governments could provide more assistance to China-based Taiwanese merchants to help them ride out the economic downturn, Chiang said.
KMT approves nominee
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday approved the nomination of Chen Luan-ing (陳鑾英), the wife of Lee E-tin (李乙廷), to run in the legislative by-election in Miaoli County in March after Lee’s status was invalidated last month because of vote-buying. KMT Spokesman Lee Chien-jung (李建榮) told reporters after the party’s Central Standing Committee that the committee approved the nomination unanimously and agreed that the party should make an all-out effort to assist Chen in her campaign. Lee E-tin was elected as a first-term lawmaker on Jan. 12 last year, but lost the seat on Dec. 10 when the Taiwan High Court’s Taichung branch rejected his appeal against a May 28 Miaoli District Court ruling that annulled his election on vote-buying charges. Lee was the first member of the current legislature to lose his seat. The loss is not expected to have much of an impact on the lawmaking body, where the KMT and its allies hold nearly three-fourths of the seats. The by-election is scheduled for March 14.
Kinmen screens travelers
Health officials on Kinmen heightened their alert against avian flu yesterday, requiring all passengers coming in through the “small three links” route to have their body temperatures checked. The Kinmen office of the Centers for Disease Control set up a check point on the wharf for the ferry services between Kinmen and Fujian to measure the body temperature of each incoming passenger from China after being informed that a human case of avian flu resulted in the death of a 19-year-old woman in Beijing two days ago. Wang Ho-shun (王賀舜), director of the office, told reporters that health officials would isolate any incoming passengers who had developed a fever and would find out who they had been in contact with. Chinese authorities have informed Taiwan, as well as the WHO, of the confirmed case of the H5N1 strain of human avian influenza.