Sat, Mar 14, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

STAFF WRITER,WITH CNA

■ DIPLOMACY

DPP chair to visit Japan

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is scheduled to depart for Japan tomorrow on a three-day visit, the DPP announced yesterday. On her first visit to Japan since assuming leadership of the DPP last year, Tsai is expected to deliver a lecture on current affairs in Taiwan and relations between Taiwan and Japan, said Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), a special aide to Tsai. Hsiao said that during its eight years in office, the DPP made strenuous efforts to cement ties between Taiwan and Japan and that it hoped Tsai’s forthcoming visit would make Japan aware that even in opposition, the party was still working to help achieve this goal. Hsiao declined to disclose the details of Tsai’s itinerary or which Japanese political figures the chairperson would meet.

■ DIPLOMACY

AIT chair to arrive tomorrow

The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) announced yesterday that its chairman, Raymond Burghardt, was scheduled to visit Taiwan. During his visit from tomorrow to Wednesday, Burghardt is expected to meet with President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and leaders in Taiwan’s political and business sectors, the AIT said. It will be Burghardt’s fifth visit to Taiwan since he assumed the AIT chairmanship in February 2006. The last time he visited Taiwan was last March soon after Taiwan’s presidential election. Burghardt was the director of the AIT Taipei Office between 1999 and 2001. He concurrently serves as director of East-West Seminars at the East-West Center in Honolulu, the AIT said.

■ DIPLOMACY

MOFA complains to Manila

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) lodged a protest to the government of the Philippines yesterday, restating Taiwan’s sovereignty over islands and reefs in the South China Sea, including the Spratlys. The ministry summoned the Manila representative to Taiwan to issue the protest. The ministry protest came in response to an act signed by Philippine President Gloria Arroyo on Tuesday to annex some islets and reefs of the Spratly Islands and Macclesfield Bank Islands as part of the Philippines’ territory. The ministry called on the Philippines to negotiate with Taiwan on the sovereignty dispute under the principles and in the spirit of the UN Charter, the UN Convention on the Law of Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea to resolve the conflicting claims peacefully. Vietnam, China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei each claim all or part of the Spratlys, which are believed to be sitting on large oil and natural gas reserves.

■ EVENTS

Design contest to open

An annual unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) design competition will take place today and tomorrow in Pingtung County, a competition that could provide the county with a new device to uncover illegal gravel operations in its rivers. Organized jointly by the National Science Council, the Pingtung County Government and National Cheng Kung University, this year’s Taiwan Robot Aircraft Design Competition features 60 teams from 15 universities. Only about half of the participants will be from aerospace engineering departments, the organizers said. It will be the 11th competition of its kind, said Lai Wei-hsiang (賴維祥), a professor of aerospace engineering at the university who launched the contest to stimulate creativity in the design of aerial vehicles. Apart from the design competition, there will also be a photo contest and a show of flying skills by top operators.

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