Fri, May 19, 2006 - Page 1 News List

Long-awaited security report released

CRUCIAL The National Security Strategy Report outlines the president's strategies for cross-strait defense and security-related foreign policy for the remainder of his term

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

In the nation's first ever National Security Strategy Report, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) called on Beijing to peacefully resolve cross-strait tensions.

In outlines released yesterday, Chen also set democracy, sustainable development, dialogue with China and peace as the strategic goals for Taiwan.

"Under the principles of sovereignty, democracy, peace and equality, we are willing to engage in dialogue and negotiation with Beijing and hopefully establish a framework for cross-strait peace and stability," Chen said.

"We'd like to work with the international community to help facilitate the democratization of China because it is conducive to perpetual peace and prosperity across the Taiwan Strait and in the region," he said.

In a bid to reach these goals, Chen called on the public to work concertedly with the government in five areas. These are national security, democratic reform, establishing a sustainable economy and social justice.

Chen made the remarks before concluding the National Security Council meeting he chaired yesterday morning. The meeting was the first of its kind after the National Security Council Organization Law (國家安全會議組織法) passed in December 1993.

Chen called six meetings with senior security personnel and high-ranking officials over the past year to discuss the contents of the report, the outlines of which were made available yesterday.

After being approved by Chen, the full text of the report, in Mandarin and English, will be published online tomorrow. Hard copies will be distributed next week.

The report is legally binding and will be updated every two years.

In the five-chapter report, Chen outlines his strategies for cross-strait defense and security-related foreign policy for the remainder of his second term.

The president had originally planned to deliver the unprecedented report on national security to the nation last summer. It has been delayed because of Chen's visit to Central America in September, the "three-in-one" local elections in December, the Cabinet reshuffle in February this year and the president's just-concluded state visit to Latin America.

National Security Council Secretary-General Chiou I-jen (邱義仁) yesterday dismissed speculation that the release of the report was timed to divert public attention away from the recent deluge of allegations of financial and political impropriety leveled at the first family.

"[The timing of the report] coincides with the sixth anniversary of the president's inauguration, nothing else," he said.

The council consulted with the US and Japanese governments before releasing the report. According to Chiou, the US was most concerned about cross-strait relations, constitutional re-engineering, social division caused by national identification and ethnic tensions.

The report covers three major areas: the new security environment Taiwan faces after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the US, the domestic and international threats to Taiwan's national security and the strategy adopted to combat these problems.

On the threats posed by China, Chiou said that the administration's goal was to set up a framework for cross-strait peace and stability.

"Such a framework must deal with issues such as trade and the economy, prevention of military confrontation, establishment of a dialogue mechanism and development of an alternative political relationship with China," he said.

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