Fri, Jan 14, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Tsai Ing-wen talks at Brookings, but for their ears only


Former Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) told participants at a Washington think-tank seminar on Wednesday that Taiwan's constitutional re-engineering plan would not touch on sensitive issues of sovereignty.

Tsai, who will be a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator-at-large from Feb. 1, has kept a low profile during her US visit.

Tsai refused to talk to Tai-wanese and Hong Kong reporters waiting outside the Brookings Institution after attending the closed-door symposium.

Former American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) chairman Richard Bush, who is now director of the institution's Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies, briefed the reporters on the symposium.

He said Tsai had delivered a report on major political developments in Taiwan over the past few months and possible future policy directions for the government.

The seminar was attended by some 40 academics and experts on cross-strait affairs.

Bush quoted Tsai as saying she supported President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) declaration in his May 20 inauguration speech that the constitutional reform program would not address sensitive sovereignty or territorial issues.

Bush said that Beijing's proposed anti-secession law was also discussed, but he would not elaborate.

He said his personal view was that comments on the proposed law should not be made publicly until after the text of the bill is unveiled.

Bush said that participants included two other former AIT chairmen, Nat Bellocchi and David Dean, as well as Harry Harding, a professor at George Washington University, and several research fellows with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, including Bates Gill.

Also present was Rupert Hammond-Chambers, president of the US-Taiwan Business Council.

Tsai arrived in Washington on Tuesday and will go to New York today to attend a seminar on the constitutional re-engineering plan.

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