■ Travel SARS would cut into travel \n \nBusiness travel could slump by as much as 90 percent should SARS return to Asia, even though many countries have safeguards in place to prevent any future out-breaks from spreading, an American Express report released yesterday said. The world's largest corporate travel agency released find-ings of a new survey on business travel patterns among 807 corporate clients after the spread of SARS earlier this year. "Our clients are saying that they owe a duty of care to their staff," said Kyle Davis, American Express vice president and general manager for the Asia-Pacific. "They will enforce strictly all World Health Organization travel advi-sories and allow very few exceptions," he said. The survey covered business travel originating from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, India, Australia and New Zealand. Amex found it would took only three weeks for business travel between SARS-affected regions to fall by 90 percent. \n \n■ Forex \nFive-year plan for yuan \n \nThe People's Bank of China is considering boosting the yuan's value by 30 percent in five years, Japan's Jiji Press reported yesterday, citing unnamed financial sources in Beijing. The bank is considering revaluing the yuan in stages, but the timing and how much it will be revalued in the initial step has not been decided, the report said. But in the face of strong domestic opposition, Chinese author-ities are expected to move cautiously on the matter, the report said. The com-merce and other depart-ments are strongly opposed to the plan because the revaluation of the yuan will make Chinese exports more expensive, it said. \n \n■ Computers \nFujitsu, Siemens link up \n \nJapanese electronics maker Fujitsu formed a partner-ship with a subsidiary of Siemens AG of Germany yesterday to work together in global computer services. The agreement will allow Fujitsu to offer its Japanese customers better services in Europe and North America, where Tokyo-based Fujitsu does not have direct opera-tions, while Siemens Busi-ness Services will be able to take advantage of Fujitsu's strength in Asia, both sides said in a statement. The companies will work to-gether in consulting, sys-tems integration and infra-structure management, they said. Siemens Business Services ranks fifth in IT services in Europe and employs 34,500 workers worldwide, according to the company.` \n \n■ Automobiles \nChrysler mulls job cuts \n \nDaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler unit is considering cutting 4,500 jobs as the US division of the world's fifth-largest carmaker tries to post an operating profit this year, a company spokesman said. A decision hasn't been made yet about the possible reductions, said Thomas Froehlich, a spokesman in Stuttgart, Germany. He was responding to a report in the Financial Times that cited chief financial officer Man-fred Gentz. Chrysler is aiming to boost US sales and lower costs after losing US$1.1 billion in the second quarter because it spent more than expected on rebates and loans to sell its Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep-brand cars and trucks. The com-pany last week said it would offer early-retirement buyouts to skilled trades union workers to cut costs as part of a new four-year contract with the United Auto Workers. Skilled-trades positions include electricians, toolmakers and machine-repair specialists.
‘NO EQUILIBRIUM’: Taiwan’s increased defense spending is a good step, but it needs to do more to have the ability to deter aggression from China, a senior US official said The US plans to sell as many as seven major weapons systems — including mines, cruise missiles and drones — to Taiwan, four people familiar with the discussions said. Pursuing seven sales at once is a rare departure from years of precedent in which US military sales to Taiwan were spaced out and carefully calibrated to minimize tensions with Beijing. However, US President Donald Trump’s administration has this year become more aggressive with China, and the sales would land as relations between Beijing and Washington are at their lowest point in decades over accusations of spying, lingering trade tensions, disputes about the
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: Several of the PLA fighter jets that crossed the median line of the Strait came within 68km of Hsinchu, drawing warnings from Taiwan, the ministry said At least 18 Chinese military aircraft yesterday flew into the nation’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on the second day of a US delegation’s visit, the Ministry of National Defense said, adding that the military responded by deploying an air defense missile system to monitor their activities. A delegation led by US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach on Thursday started a three-day visit to Taiwan. The ministry from Thursday started publicizing the actions of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Taiwan’s ADIZ on its Web site and Twitter. According to ministry reports, 18 PLA aircraft
WORKING OVERTIME? NTU professor Lee Duu-jong denied that he had held a part-time position at a Chinese university or joined China’s Thousand Talents Program A candidate for the post of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST) president yesterday dropped out of the race following a report questioning his links to Chinese academia and government programs. Lee Duu-jong (李篤中), a professor at National Taiwan University’s (NTU) chemical engineering department, was a member of China’s Changjiang Scholars’ Program in 2006 and was on the list of its Thousand Talents Program in 2017, a report by Chinese-language Mirror Media magazine said yesterday. The article said that Lee is suspected of having held a part-time job at the Harbin Institute of Technology in China and was the recipient
TWO CASES: The five allegedly conspired with conglomerates, threatening the nation’s governance and subverting the rules of ethical conduct, a deputy chief prosecutor said Taipei prosecutors yesterday charged three legislators and one former lawmaker with contravening the Anti-Corruption Act (貪污治罪條例) in a case linked to former Pacific Distribution Investment Co (太平洋流通) chairman Lee Heng-lung’s (李恆隆) battle with the Far Eastern Group (遠東集團) over ownership of the Pacific SOGO Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨) chain, while independent Legislator Chao Cheng-yu (趙正宇) was indicted in a separate case involving two funeral services companies and a plot of land in a national park. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Chen Chao-ming (陳超明) and Sufin Siluko (廖國棟), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) and former New Power Party legislator