Group wants legislature TV
A Taiwanese watchdog is advocating the establishment of a public TV channel dedicated to live and recorded broadcasts of the legislature, saying this would lead to greater legislative transparency. Taipei-based Citizen Congress Watch (CCW) said on Sunday it would lobby for the TV channel after the new legislature is elected next month. Legislative and presidential elections will be held on Jan. 14 and the new legislature will be sworn in on Feb. 1. “Although Taiwanese now can watch legislative sessions via the Internet, a TV channel is needed for people like the elderly who seldom use the Internet,” CCW director Chen Chien-fu (陳建甫) said. “This will allow them to see how the legislators are performing.”
Prepare for storms: Chen
Vice Premier Sean Chen (陳?) said yesterday that the tropical storm that battered the Philippines over the weekend could serve as a warning to Taiwan. “It is rare for the Philippines to be hit by a storm as late as December,” Chen said, adding that Taiwan should not be lax, but should instead make preparations to mitigate the impact of disasters. Chen said that when he first checked the situation of tropical storm Washi, the death toll in the Philippines was 59, but the latest reports showed the number had reached nearly 700. In addition, more than 1,000 people were reported missing.
Marriages rose 19.7%
Inspired by the celebration of the Republic of China’s (ROC) centennial this year, more Taiwanese tied the knot than they did last year. A total of 146,416 couples married in Taiwan in the first 11 months of this year, representing a year-on-year increase of 19.7 percent, tallies compiled by the Ministry of the Interior showed. Of these nuptials, about one out of every 7.5 involved a foreign spouse. A total of 19,622 ROC citizens wedded people from abroad, including 12,316 from China, Hong Kong and Macau, 4,432 from Southeast Asia and 2,874 from other countries and areas, the tallies showed. The number of cross-cultural marriages increased 0.8 percent in the January to November period over the same period of the year before. The ministry found that the outlying islands of Kinmen and Matsu had the highest rates of cross-cultural marriages, at 27 percent, while Taitung County had the lowest rate, at 11.1 percent.
British delegation visits
A delegation led by British Member of Parliament Andrew Rosindell is visiting Taiwan at the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The group of eight Conservative Party youths is expected to call at the Mainland Affairs Council, the Forestry Bureau, the Bureau of Foreign Trade, the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy and the College of International Affairs at National Chengchi University. They will also visit many sites, including the National Palace Museum, Taipei 101 and Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. During their visit, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tung Kuo-yu (董國猷) will host a luncheon for them. Rosindel has visited Taiwan twice and has worked to promote closer ties between the UK and Taiwan. The group he leads is composed mainly of the younger leaders from the Conservative Party. This trip aims to give the delegation a better understanding of cross-trait relations and the political, economic and social landscape in Taiwan, as well as to promote exchanges.