■ Economics \nChina's tax revenue rises \nChina's tax revenue rose 26 percent last year from a year earlier as the country's fast economic growth lifted corporate profits and spurred foreign trade, the State Administration of Taxation said. The government collected a record 2.57 trillion yuan (US$311 billion) in taxes last year, doubling the figure from 2000, the taxation bureau said in a statement on its Web Site. China's economy, the world's seventh largest, expanded by 9.1 percent in the third quarter last year and 9.5 percent in the first nine months of the year, the National Bureau of Statistics said in October. \n■ Auto Industry \nChinese carmaker eyes US \nA Chinese automaker will begin exporting cars to the US, with a goal of selling 250,000 in 2007, according to the head of the company that plans to market them. Chery Automobile Co (吉利), owned by the Chinese government, has signed a deal with the privately held Visionary Vehicles LLC of New York to sell the cars in the US, said Malcolm Bricklin, Visionary's chief executive. It would be the first-ever deal to import Chinese-made cars to the US, the Detroit News said in its Sunday editions. Chery is China's eighth-largest auto-maker. Founded in 1997, it sold about 90,000 vehicles in China last year. "We have an exclusive North American distribution agreement with Chery to bring in five brand-new models for delivery next year, to go on sale in January of 2007," Bricklin said. Chery and Visionary reached the agreement on Dec. 16 at Chery's corporate head-quarters in Wuhu in China's Anhui province, Bricklin said. \n■ Economics \nJapan expects slow growth \nA majority of chief executives at big Japanese companies predicted the country's economy would not improve this year due largely to a possible US economic downturn, an opinion poll showed yesterday. The survey was conducted by the Kyodo news agency in mid-December on CEOs at 105 companies. Kyodo said that 20 percent of the business leaders forecast the world's second-biggest economy to slow down gradually while 32 percent predicted it would remain flat. They cited a possible downturn in US economic activity as the number one reason for their concerns about Japan's economic outlook, Kyodo said. The yen's appreciation and higher prices of crude oil and raw materials are also among matters of concern. On the other hand, 44 percent expected the Japanese economy to con-tinue its moderate expan-sion into this year. \n■ Trade \nUS-Aussie FTA takes effect \nA US-Australia free trade agreement took effect on Saturday, eliminating tariffs on the overwhelming majority of goods sold between the two countries, US officials said. The deal survived months of wrangling in Australia and opposition from some sectors in the US, and a late amendment negotiated to address US concerns about pharmaceutical patents. The US Trade Representative's office (USTR) said that more than 99 percent of US manufactured goods exports to Australia are now duty free. Manufac-tured goods account for 93 percent of US exports to Australia. "As President Bush said when he signed the agreement, `the US-Australia Free Trade Agreement is a milestone in the history of our alliance,'" US Trade Representative Robert Zoellick said.
SAFETY RISK: The government is working to categorize countries based on their COVID-19 cases and prevention efforts, which would determine quarantine periods The government plans to rank countries based on their COVID-19 risks to determine how to treat tourists and other travelers from those nations once Taiwan reopens its borders, but it is still working out the categories, a top health official told lawmakers yesterday. “We would divide countries around the world into several categories. One category would comprise those countries with very few confirmed COVID-19 cases, such as New Zealand and Palau. Travelers from the countries in this category would only need to practice self-health management,” Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told a Legislative Yuan seminar hosted by
China would attack Taiwan if there is no other way of stopping it from becoming independent, Chinese General Li Zuocheng (李作成) said yesterday. Speaking at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on the 15th anniversary of China’s “Anti-Secession” Law, Li, who is chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Central Military Commission, left the door open to using force. The 2005 law is China’s legislative basis for military action against Taiwan. “If the possibility for peaceful reunification is lost, the people’s armed forces will, with the whole nation, including the people of Taiwan, take all necessary steps to
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
CASH BOOST: Foreign spouses with residency permits are also eligible for the coupons, which can be bought at post offices or linked to digital payment options Stimulus coupons for Taiwanese and foreign spouses with residency permits can be ordered starting on July 1 and can be used from July 15 to Dec. 31, the Executive Yuan said yesterday. Aimed at boosting domestic spending, the coupons worth NT$3,000 (US$100.04) are to cost NT$1,000. “For our consumers, this is a very good deal as they get three times as much value for their money,” Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told a news conference in Taipei. While the coupons are to have a wide range of uses, including at department stores, restaurants, book stores, night markets, beauty and hair salons, hotels, and to