- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 2, 2006


Policy-maker urges talks with Beijing

TAIPEI — Days after scrapping guidelines on unification with China, Taiwan yesterday called for talks with its giant neighbor, but China said it would be “vigilant” against any moves by the island to full independence.

Beijing refuses to deal with Chen Shui-bian, the independence-minded president of the Republic of China (Taiwan). Mr. Chen’s scrapping of a council and guidelines focused on ultimate reunification of the two sides drew harsh warnings from China.

But Taiwan’s top China policy-maker, Joseph Wu, told Reuters that the two sides should talk “in order for China to better understand Taiwan.” Mr. Wu said Taipei does not rule out any form of future relations with China, as long as the decision is endorsed by the island’s 23 million people.


Yudhoyono ends trip urging democracy

RANGOON — Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono wrapped up his visit to military-ruled Burma yesterday, saying he hopes his country can contribute to democratization here.

Mr. Yudhoyono’s visit took place under a thick veil of security that allowed few glimpses of his movements, but he did meet with leaders of the ruling military junta and signed a memorandum of understanding to improve ties between the two nations.


Prison term sought for Gary Glitter

BA RIA — The prosecutor in the Vietnamese child sex abuse trial of Gary Glitter yesterday demanded a prison sentence of three to four years for the British former glam rocker, his attorney said.

Le Thanh Kinh said the prosecutor also asked that Glitter be deported after serving his sentence. “The local prosecutors proposed a jail term of three to four years, but the final decision will be made tomorrow by the court,” Mr. Kinh said.

Glitter was arrested four months ago in Ho Chi Minh City and accused of molesting two Vietnamese girls, ages 11 and 12, in his rented seaside bungalow at Vung Tau.

Weekly notes …

Top security advisers to Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said yesterday she could safely lift a state of national emergency put into place last week amid a purported coup plot. “We in the Department of Justice believe that the situation can already admit the possible lifting of Presidential Proclamation 1017, but we leave that to the judgment call of the president,” Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez told a press conference. … For Australian Prime Minister John Howard, 66, yesterday was just another day at the office as he marked a decade in power, standing in Parliament confidently fending off attacks on his conservative government.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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