■ Reconstruction \nChina firm seals Iraq deal \nChina has won its first contract in post-war Iraq, sealing a deal with the Iraqi Ministry of Communication to supply the country with telecommunications equipment, state media said yesterday. The Zhongxing Telecom Co (ZTE) signed a contract worth US$5 million after six months of difficult negotiations, the Xinhua news agency said on its Web site. The deal was concluded in the face of what Xinhua said was "some resistance" on the part of the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority. "On the one hand, the Iraqis themselves wished to continue working with China but on the other the Coalition Provisional Authority seemed to spare no effort in its desire to see all the contracts go to American companies," ZTE's project manager Dong Baoping was quoted as saying. \n■ Copyright \nKazaa seeks court delay \nInternational music provider Kazaa asked the Australian Federal Court yesterday to delay hearing alleged copyright breaches against it until a similar case in the US is finished. The hearing follows raids last week by five record labels on a dozen sites across the country to collect evidence against Kazaa, the world's largest file sharing network. Lawyers for Sharman Networks, which owns Kazaa, said the Australian case should not proceed until the Federal Court of Appeal in the US hands down its ruling on similar claims against Kazaa. Outside the court, a lawyer involved in the US case said the music companies were just looking for another opportunity to sue Kazaa after losing hearings in the US and the Netherlands. "Now that they're losing in the United States they seek to come here and fight the same battle on Australian soil," said lawyer David Casselman. \n■ Software \nPeopleSoft accuses Oracle \nSoftware firm PeopleSoft urged shareholders Monday to reject an improved US$9.4 billion hostile takeover offer from rival Oracle Corp, saying the price was too low. PeopleSoft also accused Oracle of deliberately seeking to harm the firm through the hostile bid process. Oracle boosted its takeover offer by US$2 billion on Feb. 4, declaring it was the "final price" in its bitter struggle for control. "Oracle's offer does not begin to reflect the company's real value, including the value we are creating through our successful combination with J.D. Edwards," PeopleSoft president and chief executive Craig Conway said. "We believe Oracle is using the entire process ... in an attempt to damage our company," he told shareholders in a statement. \n■ Software \nNorwegian firm to float \nA small Norwegian company is planning a stock market listing as part of its plans to go head to head with Microsoft. Oslo-based Opera Software is expected to be floated with a market capitalization of about US$140 million, which compares with mighty Microsoft's near US$300 billion valuation. But the competition in the market for Internet browsers that can be used with mobile phones is not as uneven as it looks, according to Opera's chief executive, Jon von Tetzchner. Microsoft dominates the global market for desktop browsers but von Tetzchner reckons that "in the new markets, like mobile, Microsoft is not as significant a player at this moment."
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
CHINESE FIGHTERS: Beijing marked the US Cabinet member’s visit by briefly sending two warplanes across the median line of the Taiwan Strait yesterday morning President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday met with US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar in the highest-level official meeting between the two nations since 1979. “It is a true honor to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from [US] President [Donald] Trump to Taiwan,” Azar said during the open portion of his courtesy call to the Presidential Office, which was streamed live online before Tsai and Azar held a closed-door meeting. “Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 has been among the most successful in the world, and that is a tribute to the open, transparent,
‘CROSS-STRAIT CONSIDERATIONS’: Groups said that the Ministry of Education’s policies excluded Chinese and students should not be blocked over political issues The Taiwan International Student Movement yesterday said it would protest today outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei against a policy that excludes some Chinese students from returning to Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since June 17, the ministry has allowed foreign students from 19 “low risk” and “medium-low risk” countries and regions to enter Taiwan. On July 22, it announced that it was relaxing restrictions to include students from all countries and regions who are graduating this semester and on Wednesday it further expanded entry to students enrolled in degree programs. A letter sent by the ministry on Wednesday to universities did
PARTNERSHIP AND LEARNING: A Princeton University health policy researcher said that the nation would be a ‘treasure trove’ of information for the US health chief US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar on Friday said he wants to learn about Taiwan’s “incredibly effective” response to COVID-19, even though the nation did things that the US has fumbled, such as having a unified strategy and citizens willing to wear masks. Azar leads a US delegation arriving today for a three-day visit to Taiwan. They are to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and health system leaders, and Azar is to give a speech to public health graduates. “The message of this trip is about Taiwan,” Azar said in an interview, deflecting a question about China.