Wed, Nov 25, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

■FISHING

No approval required

The fishing industry agreement Taiwan and China seek to sign next month does not need to be reviewed by the legislature because it does not involve legal revision of the cross-strait statute, Mainland Affairs Council Lai Shin-yuan (賴幸媛) said yesterday. Because President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has pledged not to further open the local market to Chinese workers, Lai said the agreement did not have anything to do with allowing more Chinese workers to enter Taiwan. Chinese fishermen have been allowed to work on deep-sea fishing boats since 1993 and to stay at temporary shelters on land since 2004. There are now about 10,000 Chinese fishermen working on deep-sea fishing boats and between 4,500 and 5,000 on inshore fishing boats. The number of fishermen from other foreign countries is about 4,700. While the next round of cross-strait high-level talks are set to take place in Taichung City next month, the two sides will address four issues: fishing industry cooperation, quality checks of agricultural products, cross-strait cooperation in inspection and certification and avoiding double taxation.

■EDUCATION

Hakka exam to pay off

In an effort to promote the Hakka language, the Council for Hakka Affairs (CHA) said that the government would offer grants for junior high school and elementary students who pass a Hakka examination. The results of this year’s exam, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, will be announced on Jan. 15 and those who pass the exam will be eligible for the grants, Minister of Hakka Affairs Huang Yu-cheng (黃玉振) said. Only elementary and junior high school students are eligible for the awards, Huang said. Anyone passing the elementary level test will receive NT$1,000, while NT$5,000 and NT$10,000 will be given to those who pass the intermediate and upper-intermediate level tests respectively.

■DIPLOMACY

New trade offices planned

Taiwan plans to set up trade offices in Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia, which may signal a breakthrough in the country’s bid to participate in ASEAN, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Justin Chou (周守訓) said yesterday. At least one of the offices will be established by the end of the year, said Chou, who serves as a convener of the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign and National Defense Committee. Chou said the country had difficulty setting up trade offices in these three countries in the past because of China’s obstruction. However, he said that because cross-strait relations have improved significantly over the past year, ASEAN members are now more willing to develop economic and trade relations. This shows that it is not impossible for the country to be included in ASEAN in the future, he said.

■AGRICULTURE

COA to buy oranges

The Council of Agriculture (COA) will purchase oranges from farmers for domestic use and expand exports to China as part of efforts to stabilize prices in anticipation of an oversupply in the December and January harvest season, officials said yesterday. Orange production is estimated to total 210,000 tonnes this year, said Hsu Han-ching (許漢卿), chief secretary of the COA’s Agriculture and Food Agency. The council will purchase 20,000 tonnes of the fruit, half of which will be used to make juice for schoolchildren, while the other half will be put into cold storage, he said. Meanwhile, the country will export 1,870 tonnes of oranges to China by the end of the year, up from 1,250 tonnes last year.

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