- The Washington Times - Friday, June 21, 2002

Taiwan vice president urges peace with China
TAIPEI, Taiwan Annette Lu, vice president of the Republic of China (Taiwan), yesterday called for peace with the mainland and urged both sides to stop their buildup of weapons.
Mrs. Lu, from the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, frequently a vocal critic of Beijing, said people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait have every reason to work together to promote peace.
"Historically, many of our Taiwanese ancestors immigrated here from the mainland some 300 and 400 years ago. Thus, we are relatives," she told Taoist leaders from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and China.

Party suspends former Japanese minister
TOKYO Former Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka was suspended from Japan's ruling party yesterday amid accusations that she misused the state-paid salaries of her aides.
She was suspended after senior members of the Liberal Democratic Party accused her of not fully cooperating in their request for clarification of the accusations, which surfaced in two weekly newsmagazines in April.
Mrs. Tanaka said the salaries were paid through a company she owned, but denied any wrongdoing.

Downpours threaten Yangtze flooding
BEIJING Heavy rain pounded regions in east and central China draining into the Yangtze River yesterday, weather bureaus said, prompting fears of further floods after deluges left more than 550 people dead or missing.
Strong rainstorms were affecting regions around the flood-prone river in Jiangxi, Anhui, Hubei and Zhejiang provinces, officials at the local meteorological bureaus told Agence France-Presse.
Jiangxi province already was badly affected after a dike burst at Fuzhou, temporarily trapping up to 20,000 residents on Wednesday.

Laotian general welcomed in Hanoi
HANOI A top general of the Laotian army hopes to boost military ties with Vietnam during his five-day visit here, official media said yesterday.
"We will try our utmost to consolidate and strengthen the special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between the two peoples and two armies," said Maj. Gen. Chansamon Channhalat, head of his army's political department.
The English-language daily Vietnam News said the general made the remark Wednesday at a reception given by Vietnam's Communist Party chief, Nong Duc Manh.

Weekly notes
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad called on ethnic Malays yesterday to reject hard-line brands of Islam. In a speech opening the annual conference of his United Malays National Organization, he criticized the rival Parti Islam se-Malaysia, saying it had spread hatred in a nation that prized prosperity and stability. About 80 journalists at one of Hong Kong's two English-language newspapers have lost their jobs because the paper is transforming itself into a sports and business daily. Among those laid off at the former iMail called the Hong Kong Standard until a name change last year is editor Andrew Lynch.

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