Hyundai issues US recall
Hyundai Motor Co, South Korea’s largest automaker, will recall about 139,500 cars in the US because of steering issues that could result in a loss of or reduction in maneuvering capability, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said. The model-year 2011 Sonata sedans manufactured between Dec. 11 last year and Sept. 10, are subject to the plan, the agency said in a statement on its Web site. Hyundai Motor America informed the agency it is voluntarily initiating a safety recall of Sonata sedans to inspect the steering issues, Hyundai Motor said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.
Ford plans new China plant
US auto giant Ford Motor Co said on Saturday that it signed an agreement with Chinese officials to open a second engine plant in the southwestern city of Chongqing. Plant construction is set to begin next year, with engine production scheduled to begin in 2013, the company said in a statement. The US$500 million investment will be funded entirely by Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Ltd (CFMA) — a three-way joint venture involving Ford, Changan Motors and Mazda Motor Co — and located in Chongqing’s New North Zone. “With the additional capacity of 400,000 units at the new plant, CFMA is more than doubling its existing engine capacity of 350,000, to 750,000 engines annually,” Ford said.
German banks worry officials
European Commission officials are worried about the fragility of three regional banks in Germany, the weekly Der Spiegel reported on Saturday. A letter from the commission to State Secretary to the Ministry of Finance Joerg Asmussen expresses concerns about the threat that WestLB, BayernLB and HSH Nordbank might pose to market stability. “For the commission, it is indispensable to have the certainty that rescued institutions are viable in the long term and that they do not represent a permanent threat to the stability of the financial markets,” the letter said. Describing the three banks’ latest results as “disappointing,” the letter adds: “Given the good current conditions, these figures, in the three cases, are not convincing.”
China starts inter-bank loans
China has begun allowing banks to sell loans to each other, in a move designed to reduce financial risks and help banks meet stricter capital requirements, the central bank said on Saturday. The interbank loan transfer system launched in Shanghai will also help improve monetary policy transmission and strengthen control in the financial sector, People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan (周小川) said in a statement. The system launched amid growing concerns among policymakers about the potential for an explosion of bad debts in the banking sector, after new loans nearly doubled to 9.6 trillion yuan (US$1.4 trillion) last year.
UAE says RIM talks ‘positive’
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is “very optimistic” about reaching an accord with Research in Motion Ltd (RIM) to solve a dispute about BlackBerry services in the country, Abu Dhabi Executive Council secretary-general Mohammed Ahmed al-Bowardi said. “Talks are very advanced and positive,” al-Bowardi told reporters in Abu Dhabi yesterday. “We are very optimistic it will be resolved before the deadline.” BlackBerry Messenger, e-mail and Web browsing services will be halted in the UAE on Oct. 11.
‘UNPRECEDENTED’: Taiwan’s envoy said that official wording framing Taiwan-China issues as not about unification or independence counters the narrative Beijing wants Use of the phrase “democratic Taiwan” by Germany’s new coalition government in official document shows that Taiwan-China issues are not about “independence” against “unification,” but about democracy against authoritarianism, Representative to Germany Shieh Jhy-wey (謝志偉) said yesterday. Germany’s Social Democratic Party, Free Democratic Party and the Greens — known as the “traffic light coalition” for their colors — on Wednesday inked a coalition agreement following elections on Sept. 26. The agreement, a blueprint for their governance for the next four years, mentions “Taiwan,” which is unprecedented, showing that the new German government is paying close attention to cross-strait peace and supports Taiwan’s
BIDEN NOD: A China watcher said that the inclusion of Taiwan is notable, as it is the only democratic state on the list that Washington does not officially recognize Minister Without Portfolio Audrey Tang (唐鳳) and Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) are to attend the US-led Summit for Democracy on Dec. 9 and 10, the government said yesterday, after US President Joe Biden announced the list of guests for the virtual event. The US Department of State on Tuesday announced a list of 110 invited participants, including Taiwan, Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Japan and the UK. China and Russia were not invited, and Beijing expressed anger at the decision to invite Taiwan. The summit is to revolve around three key themes: Defending against authoritarianism, addressing and fighting
‘BADGE OF HONOR’: Lithuanian lawmaker Dovile Sakaliene, who is on China’s travel ban list, said delegation members joked that they would be joining her on it soon A delegation led by the chairman of the Lithuanian Parliamentary Group for Relations with Taiwan yesterday arrived in Taipei to participate in a conference on democracy later this week. The group, led by Matas Maldeikis, a Lithuanian lawmaker and an outspoken critic of China, touched down at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 6:18am yesterday. Maldeikis said at the airport that he expected the trip to enhance understanding between Taiwan and Lithuania after cooperation between the two sides took a big step forward this past year. “This trip will be another step in understanding each other because we are dealing with the same challenges,”
GET A BOOST: After considering the potential for local outbreaks amid an increase in cases abroad, a committee recommended adolescents receive their second shots The level 2 COVID-19 alert is to be extended until Dec. 13, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced yesterday, as it advised people in six high-risk groups to receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot. It also recommended that adolescents aged 12 to 17 who had a first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine receive a second shot. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that the nationwide level 2 alert would remain in place for two more weeks from today. Chen said that during New Year’s events eating and drinking might be allowed in designated areas, while