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Taiwan promises to fight name change in medical group

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Taiwan vowed yesterday to take whatever action necessary to defend its official title in an Asian medical student group.

Lin Wen-tong (林文通), director of the Ministry of Education’s Bureau of International Cultural and Educational Relations, said that Taiwan would not oppose the Asian Medical Students Association (AMSA) accepting China as a member, but said that a proposal by Beijing to change Taiwan’s title from “AMSA-Taiwan” to “AMSA-Taiwan, China” was totally unacceptable.

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Taiwan to review ties with the Philippines

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it would “seriously review the current exchanges and ties between Taiwan and the Philippines” after Manila deported 14 Taiwanese to China instead of to Taiwan.

Lawmakers are demanding that the nation’s representative to Manila be recalled to express Taiwan’s dissatisfaction with the Philippines’ handling of the deportation issue, but Minister of Foreign Affairs Timothy Yang (楊進添) said only that “all possible options are under consideration,” the Central News Agency said.

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Huntsman’s US run could draw attention to Taiwan

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The announcement earlier this week by US Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman that he was resigning from his post to seek the Republican Party’s nomination for the presidential election next year could have substantial implications for Washington’s Taiwan policy.

A billionaire and former governor of Utah, Huntsman was a Mormon missionary in Taiwan from 1987 to 1988 and is said to be fluent in Mandarin and Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese).

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Joblessness, rising prices could spark wars: IMF boss

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The world economy is beset by problems such as high unemployment and rising prices, which could fuel trade protectionism and even lead to war within nations, the head of the IMF warned yesterday.

Rising food and fuel prices in recent months have already hit poorer countries and are one of the factors behind massive anti-government protests in Egypt and in Tunisia.

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MND apologizes for wrongful execution

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The Ministry of National Defense (MND) yesterday issued an official apology over what now appears to have been the wrongful execution of a soldier convicted of sexually abusing and murdering a five-year-old girl in 1996.

Amid calls by legislators for President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and the military to account for the execution of Chiang Kuo-ching (江國慶) in 1997, the ministry said in the afternoon that it would fully cooperate with an investigation, adding that the military and judicial system had learned a lesson from this case and that more rigorous investigation mechanisms should be adopted to ensure the protection of human rights.

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US-Taiwan FTA moving up list

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The US Congress is expected to consider a new proposal for a free-trade agreement (FTA) with Taiwan this year, a US-based organization has said.

While it remains unlikely that a bill will pass this year, the tactic is to create enough momentum to give it a fighting chance next year.

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Stand up to China, think tank urges

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The Taiwan Thinktank yesterday urged political parties to pay attention to China’s democratic development and refrain from falling into an “economic diplomacy” trap, which it said has replaced human rights with money power.

In a report published yesterday, the think tank said China has launched “global economic diplomacy” in the attempt to expand its global domination. It has increased its investment in the eurozone and hopes to salvage the European economy and has done the same in Africa in a bid to expand its influence on that continent.

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Newsflash

Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) suggested yesterday that a campaign against President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) in 2012 should have one aim: replacing a Beijing-centric government with one that is more focused on Taiwan.

His remarks come after the Chinese-language United Daily News quoted sources close to the former president as saying that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) should look for political figures outside the party for its nominees prior to 2012.