Ma must help Chung: DPP
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday urged President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to actively seek the release of Bruce Chung (鍾鼎邦), a Taiwanese Falun Gong practitioner who has been detained in China for more than a month. The DPP expressed its serious concern about Chung’s detainment and his family being kept from contacting him. “We urge the Ma administration to be responsible for the personal safety of Taiwanese,” DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) told a press conference yesterday. Chung, a manager at a Hsinchu-based technology firm, went to Jiangxi Province to visit relatives on June 15 and was reportedly detained by Chinese police on June 18 “for hijacking the signal of a Chinese TV station in 2003 from Taiwan with the help of Chinese nationals,” according to China’s Xinhua news agency. As personal safety is expected to be an integral part of the cross-strait negotiations on an investment protection agreement next month, Lin said, Chung’s arrest was ironic and was a “touchstone” of how Beijing would protect Taiwanese businesspeople in China if the agreement was signed.
No tours stopped by floods
No tour group to Beijing was canceled because of the heavy flooding that hit the Chinese capital at the weekend, the Travel Agent Association confirmed yesterday. The association’s secretary-general, Roget Hsu (許高慶), said the torrential rain on Saturday had delayed several flights to Beijing, affecting Chinese tourists as well as Taiwanese tourists leaving on that day. However, the association did not receive any report that any travel agency planned to cancel a trip to Bejing because of the disaster, Hsu said.
Quake jolts northeast Taiwan
A magnitude 4.2 earthquake jolted northeastern Taiwan early yesterday, but there were no reports of casualties or damage, according to the Central Weather Bureau. The tremor’s epicenter was located at sea 43km southeast of Yilan County Hall at a depth of 10.8km, the bureau’s Seismology Center said. Yilan’s Nanao Township (南澳) recorded the strongest reading at an intensity of 4, the center said.
Kidnapped captain to return
A Taiwanese fishing boat captain who was recently freed after being held for 18 months by Somali pirates is expected to arrive today in Greater Kaohsiung, an official from the city’s Marine Bureau said yesterday. Wu Chao-yi (吳朝義), captain of the Shiuh Fu No. 1, along with his crew of 13 Chinese and 12 Vietnamese, was attacked by Somalian pirates on Dec. 25, 2010, off Madagascar and taken to Somalia. All 26 were released on July 17 following successful ransom negotiations and taken to Tanzania by a Chinese naval vessel. Chang Wen-chun, the boat’s owner, continued to pay his crew’s salaries during their captivity, while the Marine Bureau said it has been paying Wu’s family compensation of NT$4,000 per month. Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Marine Bureau and the Fisheries Agency are scheduled to welcome Wu upon his arrival at Kaohsiung International Airport.