Sun, Apr 11, 2010 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

■ DIPLOMACY

Ma meets congresswoman

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) met US Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, a California Democrat, yesterday at the Presidential Office and described good Taiwan-US relations as something Taiwanese were looking forward to seeing. Since assuming office, Ma said, he has done his best to “rebuild” mutual trust between Taiwan and the US, adding that ties have rapidly improved despite minor incidents such as the dispute surrounding restrictions on US beef imports. Ma expressed his appreciation to Sanchez, a member of the Committee on Armed Services in the House of Representatives, for US approval of two military sales to Taiwan over the past two years, which he said underscored the friendship between Taiwanese and Americans. Ma also called for strengthened security cooperation between the two sides and a resumption of two-way talks over a long-delayed trade and investment framework agreement. He also urged the US to grant visa-waiver privileges to Taiwan.

■ SOCIETY

Group marks Parkinson’s Day

A group of about 300 people with Parkinson’s disease went on an outing in Nantou County yesterday to mark World Parkinson’s Day. The participants, some of whom are confined to a wheelchair, gathered at Chung Hsing New Village for a walk despite their challenged mobility, while others went cycling. Tseng Kuo-hsiu (曾國修), a 47-year-old who has suffered from the disease for 19 years, said he began cycling as a form of exercise two years ago. Cycling is a well-suited exercise for people with Parkinson’s disease because it helps strengthen muscles as well as increasing physical strength and willpower, he said.

■ ENVIRONMENT

Water mostly sufficient

Taiwan Water Corp (Taiwater) said yesterday that aside from the Kaohsiung area, the country’s water reserves were sufficient to meet demand until the end of June. Hu Nan-jer (胡南澤), vice president of Taiwater, said that although water in major reservoirs in northern and central parts of the country had reached normal levels, the south continued to face shortages. He said the company had undertaken measures to increase supplies in the Kaohsiung area, such as drilling new wells, tapping more underground water sources and deepening and dredging reservoirs. If drought conditions persist in the south, contingency measures would be put in place under the supervision of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, he said.

■ ENVIRONMENT

Changhua farmers protest

Oyster farmers protested in Taipei yesterday against industrial facilities near their farms, which they said have seriously threatened their operations. Lin Lien-tsung (林連宗), secretary-general of the Fangyuan Anti-Pollution Association in Changhua County, said an investigative report by Ted Smith, founder of the US’ Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, found that the wastewater released by panel makers in Changhua was highly poisonous. The 1,000 hectare oyster farms in Yungxing (永興), Wanggong (王功) and Hanbao (漢寶) townships will be highly polluted and even disappear in several years if wastewater from the Central Taiwan Science Park continues to be released into the sea through the townships, Lin said. The farmers also called on the government to immediately call off several industrial development projects in the coastal area, including the Guoguang petrochemical complex, the FPG naphtha cracker in Yunlin and the Central Taiwan Science Park’s sub-projects.

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