Mon, Jun 20, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

Staff Writer, with CNA

POLITICS

Singapore report denied

Presidential Office spokesman Fan Chiang Tai-chi (范姜泰基) yesterday denied a newspaper report that said national security officials had tried unsuccessfully to arrange for President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to visit Singapore. The China Times cited an unidentified “high-ranking national security source” as saying that they had tried to arrange trips for the president to Singapore and other Southeast Asian countries, but to no avail. Fan Chiang said that the National Security Council had no plans to arrange a visit to Singapore for Ma. The source told the newspaper that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) was able to visit Singapore and Thailand during his term in office because Taiwan was the top investor in the region back then. However, as China is now the major investor in Southeast Asian countries, it has become increasingly difficult for any Taiwanese president to visit the region, the report said.

POLITICS

US office expresses gratitude

The country is grateful for all the support voiced by US lawmakers and academics at a hearing sponsored by the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday, Taiwan’s representative office in the US said in a statement on Friday. All of the congressional members and experts on cross-strait affairs present at the “Why Taiwan Matters” hearing unanimously stressed the importance of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) — the US law regulating relations with Taiwan in the absence of formal diplomatic ties — and rebutted overtures circulating in Washington policy circles recently that the US should stop arms sales to Taiwan, the statement said. The participants also called for the continued strengthening of US relations with Taiwan based on its own strategic interests and democratic ideals, as well as its security commitments to Taiwan, according to the statement.

EARTHQUAKE

Temblor shakes northeast

A magnitude 5.1 earthquake hit northeastern Taiwan at 6:18pm yesterday. No casualties or major damage were immediately reported. The Central Weather Bureau said the quake, which struck 6.7km southeast of Yilan County at a depth of 80km, had an intensity of 4 on Turtle Island. The intensity was 2 in Yilan, Hualien, Taoyuan and Miaoli counties, as well as New Taipei City (新北市) and Taipei City, according to the bureau.

HEALTH

Ma gets clean bill of health

After President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) annual physical on Friday, Mackay Memorial Hospital said the president has put on 1.3kg since last year and now weighs 73.6kg. At 178cm tall, he has a body mass index of 23.2, which puts him on the high end of a normal BMI reading. A BMI of 25 or over is considered “overweight.” Other than putting on some weight, the hospital gave Ma an overall clean bill of health. The check-up results showed that Ma’s blood pressure was a healthy 115/71mmHG. All blood and biochemical tests, as well as brain, heart, lung and gastrointestinal examinations put him in the normal range, Mackay Memorial Hospital President Tsai Cheng-ho (蔡正河) said. Ma goes to a different hospital every year for his routine check-ups. He went to National Taiwan University Hospital in 2008, the Taipei Veterans General Hospital in 2009 and the Tri-Service General Hospital last year.

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