Taiwan Quick Take


Fri, Jul 30, 2004 - Page 3

■ Transportation

TRTC celebrates 10 years

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, the Taipei

Rapid Transit Corp (TRTC) yesterday opened a 24-hour customer service line on 2181-2345 and installed two high-resolution, 6m-diameter electronic displays at Zhongxiao Fuxing Station's No. 2 exit for screening passenger information and commercials. The TRTC was set up to manage the MRT system in 1994, with the Muzha line the first to carry passengers in 1996. Over

the following four years, the Tamsui, Zhonghe, Xindian and Banqiao-Nangang lines opened for business. The MRT system has carried more than 1.6 billion passengers and will reach 2 billion passengers next year, TRTC chairman Richard Chen (陳樁亮) said at an anniversary function yesterday. Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday praised the TRTC for helping make the MRT indispensable to the city

and encouraged the TRTC to provide even better service to customers in the next decade.

■ Hakka Affairs

Web site launched

The Council of Hakka Affairs launched a new online community for Hakka groups and communities yesterday. According to council representatives, the Web

site, Hakka Culture Club (www.land.ihakka.net),

will host free Web pages

for Hakka-related groups.

The council hopes that the

Web site will encourage interaction between Hakka communities and groups

and increase Hakka cultural pride. In addition to free Web page hosting services, the site features cultural news and event listings. The council plans to begin a series of promotional events for the Web site soon, including discussions on culture and Web page signup activities.

■ Tourism

Chiayi farm changes hands

The Veterans Affairs Commission's Chiayi Farm will be transferred to the private Janfushan Fancy World Group tomorrow to begin commercial operations under a refurbish-operate-transfer (ROT) formula. The farm in Tapu township is

the first of the commission's farms to be transformed into an eco-tourism park under the ROT formula, which allows private business groups to invest in renovating and operating government-owned facilities for a specified period of time before returning

them to the government, a spokesman said yesterday. The European-style Chiayi Farm, located near the Tsengwen Reservoir, was built in 1952. Both late president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) and former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝)

have stayed at the farm's presidential villa. The farm was gradually transformed into a recreational center

for civil servants and public school teachers in the 1990s. The February transfer was

in line with the government's policy of making better

use of state properties, the commission said.

■ Diplomacy

New post for MAC official

Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Vice Chairman Liu

Te-shun (劉德勳) was named Straits Exchange Foundation secretary-general and vice chairman by the foundation's board yesterday afternoon. Liu will be the first appointee since 1991 to serve in both organizations simultaneously. "Cross-strait negotiations should be resumed without conditions attached to

any topic and without any presumptions," Liu said. He said that his position at both organizations would allow them to function with greater coordination than before. Foundation chairman Koo Chen-fu (辜振甫) also pointed to the closer links between the organizations that

would result from Liu's appointment.