Taiwan Quick Take


Tue, Oct 04, 2005 - Page 3

■ Weather
Longwang leaves two dead

Typhoon Longwang killed two people and injured 53 others after lashing Taiwan over the weekend and caused at least NT$200 million (US$6.5 million) in damage, government officials said yesterday. "The typhoon has so far caused NT$130 million in lost farm products and aquaculture," the Council of Agriculture said in a report on the agricultural damage brought by the powerful storm. Various local governments across the nation also reported about a combined NT$70 million worth of infrastructure damage. Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) was relieved that the damage was not as bad as expected, saying that there "was some good fortune in the midst of this misfortune."

■ Culture

Cloud Gate director a `hero'

Famed writer-turned choreographer Lin Hwai-min (林懷民), who founded the internationally acclaimed Cloud Gate Dance Theater, was chosen by Time magazine as one of the 25 "Asian Heroes" for this year. Lin, who is also the artistic director of Cloud Gate, is the only person from Taiwan that made Time's 2005 Asian Heroes list. The Asian edition of the magazine has selected and published "Asian Heroes" for the past four years, choosing men and women that it considers to be either courageous, extraordinarily distinguished in their performances or good role models to inspire other people. Introducing Lin, the magazine said that Lin's troupe once attracted over 60,000 people to watch an outdoor performance; in Europe, members of the audience cried while watching Cloud Gate performances.

■ Transportation

CAL union to sue over funds

The China Airlines (CAL) Employees Union yesterday vowed to file a suit to stop the use of the airlines' funds to finance the debt-ridden Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (THSRC). Jesse Lee (李昭平), president of CAL Employees Union, said that the union is set to file a lawsuit today, asking the court to void the resolution made by the China Aviation Development Foundation's board of directors to inject NT$4.5 billion (US$135 million) into the THSRC project. The airline is controlled by the foundation and Ministry of Transportation and Communications. Lee said the decision made by the board of directors clearly violates the foundation's purpose, deviates from social justice and influences the aviation industry. He also accused the board of directors of channeling interests and neglecting their duties.

■ Transportation

Chair reports to task force

Briefing the Executive Yuan's High-Speed Railway Task Force yesterday about the progress of the nation's first high-speed railway project, THSRC Chairwoman Nita Ing (殷琪) said the construction of the project is 86 percent complete and that the company will soon resume negotiations with the Japanese contractor that is in charge of the project's mechanical and electrical system, as well as the firm supplying train carriages. Premier Frank Hsieh on Saturday ordered the task force to be set up to help tackle a host of problems plaguing the project. Yesterday, the premier also demanded that the THSRC increase the number of board supervisors representing government holdings at its next trustee board meeting to help implement the government's participation and supervision of the project.