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Sun, Sep 16, 2001 - Page 3 News List

Party leaders vow to cooperate

POLITICAL SUMMIT Members from various parties yesterday said they will unite to promote prosperity and act in the best interests of the nation's economy

By Stephanie Low  /  STAFF REPORTER

A meeting between party leaders James Soong of the PFP, left, the KMT's Lien Chan, Frank Hsieh of the DPP, New Party convener Hsieh Chi-ta and People's Union convener Yeh Hsien-hsiu at far right. The party leaders yesterday issued a signed joint statement at the Ambassador Hotel, saying that they would work together to save the economy.

PHOTO: FANG PIN-CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES

Political leaders across party lines yesterday agreed to push for quick implementation of the proposals agreed to at last month's Economic Development Advisory Conference. They also want to promote further inter-party cooperation to help resolve Taiwan's economic problems.

The agreement was reached at a summit of party leaders and groups with deputies in the legislature. The summit was intended as the closing event for inter-party negotiations initiated by the KMT, the majority party in the legislature.

Those attending included KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰), DPP Chairman Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜), New Party convener Hsieh Chi-ta (謝啟大), National Non-Party League convener Tsai Hau (蔡豪) and People's Union convener Yeh Hsien-hsiu (葉憲修).

"Today we've opened a door to inter-party cooperation. Under this atmosphere, we hope that we can further conduct issue-based cooperation to promote national prosperity and stability and the well-being of the people," Lien said.

Under the agreement, the political parties and groups will work to pass 34 pieces of priority legislation in the Legislative Yuan before the legislature is adjourned on Nov. 1 in preparation for the legislative elections.

The 34 items include 20 that are designed to implement the resolutions of the economic conference. The other 14 are aimed at preparing for Taiwan's expected accession to the WTO at the end of the year.

Also, the legislative caucuses of the various parties will set up a monitoring panel to ensure that the executive branch implements the economic conference's proposals in accordance with its targets.

In addition to the substantive measures to improve the economy, the political leaders concurred that other "non-economic factors" that are hampering economic development should be eliminated.

"The parties concerned will continue to push for inter-party amity and cooperation, abide by the constitutional system and build up steady relations between the executive and legislative branches to pursue a long-lasting peace for the country," the agreement stated.

With the prerequisite that Taiwan's national security is protected, the political leaders urged the government to negotiate with China as soon as possible on bilateral issues that are expected to arise after Taiwan's admission into the WTO.

"The authorities on both sides should resolve their differences and resume the cross-strait dialogue carried out by their respective agencies as soon as possible on the basis of the achievement of the 1992 meeting and a subsequent agreement reached in the Koo-Wang meeting of 1993," the agreement said.

The agreement, as soon as it was released, was presented to Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) and Legislative Yuan speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), who were invited to attend the event.

Chang promised that the Executive Yuan would implement the consensus of the Economic Development Advisory Conference comprehensively.

"Pursuing reconciliation between the ruling and opposition parties and the ideal of inter-party cooperation, the Executive Yuan will work hand in hand with the Legislative Yuan to work for the economy," Chang said.

While the Executive Yuan is accelerating the pace of legislative drafting so that bills can be sent to the legislature for review as soon as possible, the Council for Economic Planning and Development has been charged with the task of managing and evaluating the progress of implementation, Chang said.

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