Taiwan Quick Take


Sat, Apr 19, 2003 - Page 3

■ HealthLawmakers push WHA bid

A delegation of legislators across partisan lines is slated to leave tomorrow for a 13-day visit to the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Poland to push for support for the nation's bid to become an observer at World Health Assembly (WHA). DPP Legislator Lai Ching-te (賴清德) said the trip is aimed at boosting international backing for the bid to for observer status at WHA, the highest-decision making body of the World Health Organization. The delegation includes DPP legislators Parris Chang (張旭成) and Chien Chao-tong (簡肇棟), KMT Legislator Sun Kauo-hwa (孫國華) and TSU Legislator Su Ying-kuei (蘇盈貴). The 56th WHA meeting is slated to take place in Geneva from May 19 to 28.

■ Diplomacy

Navy greeted in Kingstown

A navy flotilla of three warships from Taiwan arrived in St. Vincent on Thursday for a goodwill visit. The flotilla was greeted by Prime Minister Gonsaires Ralph and other officials when it arrived at the harbor of the capital Kingstown. The prime minister praised Taiwan for its economic prosperity and thanked the government for having helped St. Vincent promote the development of education, infrastructure and agricultural technology. He pledged to strongly support Taiwan's bid to join all international organizations, including the World Health Organization. The warships were open to the general public on Thursday and ROC Ambassador Allen Jiang (姜禮尚) and leading officers of the flotilla hosted a reception on one of the ships Thursday evening in honor of 120 government officials and other dignitaries. The flotilla will arrive in Dominica today.

■ Politics

Election rule change sought

DPP Legislator Kuo Jung-tsung (郭榮宗) and TSU Legislator Liao Pen-yen (廖本煙) yesterday announced that they will propose a draft amendment to the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election and Recall Law (總統副總統選罷法) to ban certain family members of a presidential or vice presidential candidate from holding dual nationality. The two lawmakers say some of members of KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and PFP Chairman James Soong's (宋楚瑜) families have obtained foreign citizenship. "What if an elected president or vice president fled abroad when the cross-strait situation is tense?" the lawmakers asked. According to the draft bill, a person will be eligible to run for president or vice president only if their relations who have a "first-degree kinship" (parents and children) or "second-degree kinship" (brothers, sisters, grandparents and grandchildren) do not hold dual nationality.

■ Children

First lady helps charity

First lady Wu Shu-chen (吳淑珍) paid NT$10,000 for a stuffed "stray goat" toy for her grandson in a charity auction sponsored by the Child Welfare League Foundation yesterday. The foundation is trying to raise NT$30 million for a fund to take care of orphaned children. The foundation has invited the first lady to serve as its first "love ambassador." Wu said that her grandson, Chao Yi-an (趙翊安), is now six months old and has grown teeth. He is the apple of the family's eye, she said. In contrast, pictures of the orphaned children, although cute, show the unfortunate situation of children who have been forsaken by their families, Wu said.