- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 10, 2001

Taiwan word game

Taiwan has turned to the Internet to find a few good words to promote the "global awareness" of its "special achievements and unique international situation."
The government has opened a slogan contest and is offering a cash prize of $2,000 and two round-trip air tickets to Taiwan for the winning entry. The contest closes Feb. 28.
"By utilizing the power of the Internet, we fully anticipate that this activity will reach across borders, attract global interest and help Taiwan build friendships in cyberspace," Susan Yu, head of the government's Internet team, said in a statement yesterday.
"We're looking forward to receiving witty and highly memorable phrases that we can use in publicity campaigns in Taiwan and overseas."
When word of the contest spread around The Washington Times newsroom, there was no lack of witty, if irreverent, suggestions.
One reporter offered: "Taiwan: The Land of Creative Ambiguity." Located 100 miles off the coast of mainland China, Taiwan formally calls itself the Republic of China. The Communist government in Beijing, the People's Republic of China, is widely recognized as the only government of China.
China considers Taiwan a renegade province and has threatened to use force to prevent it from declaring formal independence.
That prompted another suggestion: "Taiwan: One Nation. One War."
One reporter offered: "Taiwan: We're Like Hong Kong, Only Better."
Internet entries can be made at https://th.gio.gov.tw/slogan/.

Czech celebration

Czech Ambassador Alexandr Vondra remembers 2000 as a year "of great success and prolificacy" that helped strengthen relations with the United States and Western Europe.
He noted that Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright traveled to the Czech Republic and Czech President Vaclav Havel visited Washington.
"While remembering the first anniversary of our entry into NATO this past March, we welcomed [Mrs. Albright] in [the cities of] Prague, Brno and Hodonin, where she participated in the celebration of the 150th birthday of T.G. Masaryk," Mr. Vondra wrote in the latest Czech Embassy newsletter, referring to the founder of the former Czechoslovakia.
"In September, President Havel came here to express our gratitude to the American and Czech-American people for all of their support."
Mr. Vondra noted that Mr. Havel offered Prague as the site for the 2002 NATO summit, where additional members could be considered.
The ambassador said this year will see the departure of John Shattuck, the U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic, who is leaving government to become director of the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston.
Mr. Vondra also noted the continued progress in the Czech economy, where growth is outstripping predictions and inflation continues to fall.
The economy grew by 2.5 percent, instead of the 1.4 percent that was expected. Inflation is expected to average about 4.4 percent over the next two years, down from 10.7 percent in 1998.
Unemployment at 9.5 percent remains a blight on its economic record, but foreign investments could reduce it to about 7.5 percent by the end of 2002.

Diplomatic corruption

South Korea is attacking corruption among its ambassadors, dismissing some envoys who have pocketed government money, accepted bribes or otherwise abused their diplomatic privileges.
Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Lee Joung-binn yesterday said the government will closely scrutinize its foreign missions to detect corruption and order each ambassador to submit to a full audit of the embassy at least once during their regular three-year assignments.
The crackdown follows several embarrassing revelations of diplomatic corruption.
South Korea dismissed its ambassador to Libya after discovering he misappropriated $8,500 from the embassy. The ambassador to Israel was relieved of his duties because of gambling, and the ambassador to Guatemala was dismissed for accepting bribes from Korean residents living there.

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