Mon, Feb 21, 2005 - Page 1 News List

Hsieh touts `one country, one system'

FREEDOM FOR ALLPremier Frank Hsieh said that Taiwan should help China become a more democratic society, thereby handing freedom to all Chinese people

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan should help its arch-rival China to pursue "one country, one system" rather than what it now has, which is "one country, two systems," Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) told the Taipei Times in an exclusive interview.

"Promoting unification with China is an impossible and impractical political fantasy," Hsieh said. "A more sensible approach would be to help China become a more democratic society."

It is unfair, Hsieh said, to apply two different systems to Chinese people because it seems as though some must be reconciled to a life that is less free, while some live a comparatively freer life.

"Chinese people, after all, are people like you and I," he said. "I don't think two different political systems will bring stability."

According to Hsieh, "One country, one system" means everybody is free: Free to have their own opinions, free to hold religious belief, free to elect their political representatives and free to make a decent living in whatever way they choose.

If China becomes freer and democratic and less hostile toward Taiwan, Hsieh said, cross-strait problems can be resolved.

"It sounds more realistic to join efforts with China to combat crimes such as human trafficking, because that, I think, is what the people sincerely want governments to do," he said.

He also called on politicians and the public to stop raising resentment among Mainlanders and stop inflaming patriotism among the people of Taiwan.

Regarding China's proposed "anti-secession law," Hsieh said that he is certain that the US government realizes how the people of Taiwan feel about the planned legislation and it has on various occasions publicly questioned the necessity of enacting such a law.

"China may or may not proceed with this," he said.

"They may eventually enact it but in a significantly modified form. If that's the case, it's worth observing whether it does so simply to save face," he said.

Defining his Cabinet team as promoting "negotiation" and "stability," Hsieh reiterated the importance of "negotiation" with opposition parties, especially when pushing contentious bills.

"My stance on controversial bills is clear: negotiate, negotiate, negotiate," he said. "We have no need to send contentious bills to the legislature merely because we want to appease our supporters."

Hsieh said that the government may be able to garner more support for such bills during future conciliation and negotiating.

"The key lies in patience, perseverance and commitment in the long term," he said.

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