Sun, Jan 11, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Chen sheds light on last three years

INSIGHT The president's new books gives details of how the government operates and how some important policy decisions came to be made

By Chang Yun-ping  /  STAFF REOPORTER

In his latest book Believe in Taiwan -- President A-bian's Report to the People, which is to be released next Thursday, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said the March presidential election is the final battle in his political career to ensure that Taiwan can further its democratization and continue reforms.

In this eight-chapter book, Chen shares his thoughts on his three-year administration, providing details regarding the decision-making behind major policies during his presidency.

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday released the outline of the book, including the President's thoughts on cross-strait relations, diplomacy, national security, domestic reforms, financial and trade development, social justice, the national dignity of the Taiwanese people and a final footnote on Chen's expectations for the March election.

Chen says in the book that "democracy is seen by China as the greatest provocation" and discussed what he called the Chinese "Monroe Doctrine," the building of a regional hegemony in Asia.

Chen said he had shown much goodwill towards China in his 2000 presidential inauguration speech, but did not receive any positive response from China. He called China's establishing diplomatic ties with the southern Pacific nation Nauru in 2002 at the same time he assumed the DPP chairmanship a deliberate slight.

Taiwan cut diplomatic ties with Nauru in July 2002 after China built formal diplomatic relations with the island-country.

Concerning post-election cross-strait relations, Chen said China will have to face a new Taiwan after the March 20 election and the two governments need to reinforce mutual trust.

To facilitate better cross-strait communication, Chen suggested that the governments of China and Taiwan could send mutual representatives to build formal and direct communication channels.

In terms of domestic reforms, Chen cited the conviction of the former Kaohsiung City Council Speaker Chu An-hsiung (朱安雄) as a sign that the long-standing impunity with which public office had been able to flout the law had come to an end.

In the chapter addressing the national security, Chen discussed the mysterious role of the National Security Bureau and his efforts to institutionalize the bureau's secret fund operations following the previous exposure of the bureau's secret fund accounts involving illegal international lobbying and sponsoring of some private organizations.

The exposure of the bureau's secret fund accounts came to light in early 2000 when the former Chief Cashier of the National Security Bureau Liu Kuan-chun (劉冠軍) was found to have embezzled the secret funds and fled the country.

The secret fund accounts, many of which were founded during former President Lee Teng-hui's (李登輝) tenure, were gradually legalized after Chen insisted the money be returned to the national coffer and institutionalized the operation of the funds.

Despite the scandals involving the secret funds, Chen still acclaimed the contribution of the two former chiefs of the NSB Yin Tsung-wen (殷宗文) and Ting Yu-chou (丁渝洲), whom were both forced to shoulder the political responsibility for the wrongdoings of their subordinates, he said.

Chen said the existence of the secret fund accounts was the result not of dishonesty but of the unusual circumstances in Taiwan at the time and that the use of the funds had made undeniable contributions to the country's national security.

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