Wed, Nov 15, 2006 - Page 1 News List

President talks homeland security with US delegation

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

Two businessmen demonstrate a net for catching criminals outside the venue of an international seminar on homeland security and related industry development yesterday.

PHOTO: CHANG CHIA-MING, TAIPEI TIMES

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said yesterday that safeguarding homeland security would require persistent effort and that the issue transcends partisan affiliations or ideology.

The president made the remarks as he addressed the opening of an international seminar on homeland security and related industry development, an event jointly sponsored by the Executive Yuan's anti-terrorism control office as well as the Industrial Development Bureau under the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Chen said he was positive about the Executive Yuan's vision and mindset in dealing with the homeland security issue.

He also expressed his appreciation to a US delegation led by Tom Ridge, Pennsylvania governor and first secretary of Homeland Security, for their visit to Taiwan.

The president noted that Ridge's Taiwan visit comes shortly after the crucial US midterm election last week, demonstrating the friendly relations between the two countries as well as the close cooperation and exchanges in homeland security between the two sides.

Chen stressed that only by working with the public would the government be able to ensure the security of national territory and the public's welfare and livelihoods.

He said that after the Sept. 11 attacks on the US, the government had made plans for dealing with terrorist attacks and major disasters, adding that these plans included the integration of command systems, information and communication systems, emergency response mechanisms, improving the emergency response ability of agencies at different levels and building systems for dealing with national disasters.

These steps, he said, were taken to enable effective prevention measures as well as minimizing damage and enabling rapid restoration of normality after a disaster.

Chen went on to say that public reliance on fundamentally important resources such as gasoline, water, electricity, Internet connections and transport and communications was growing by the day.

He added that whether it be government agencies or public or private organizations managing basic facilities, they should all consider how to strengthen their ability to respond to natural or man-made threats and destruction in order to guarantee the safety of such facilities.

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