The US is not concerned about whether President Chen Shui-bian (
Wu, head of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), made the remarks yesterday while responding to lawmakers during a question and answer session at the legislature.
"I've been personally in touch with Richard Bush and US officials, and they've all given Taiwan's handling of the situation high marks," Wu said.
Richard Bush, a former American Institute in Taiwan chairman, is the director of the Brookings Institution's Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies.
Several lawmakers had pointed to an article that Bush wrote for the Chinese-language daily China Times as a call for restraint in responding to Beijing's law.
Responding to complaints that the government should focus on formulating effective policies rather than taking to the streets, Wu said that tomorrow's rally was one of the best ways to express to the international community Taiwan's desire for freedom and democracy.
Wu did not commit to participating in the protest himself, saying only that he would go if his busy schedule permitted.
THE POLICY FRONT
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lin Cho-shui (
"If the Anti-Secession Law is a tiger, then Rice is working to pull out the tiger's teeth by making peace in the Taiwan Strait a common security objective with Japan and by putting pressure on the EU to keep the arms ban on China," Lin said.
In a report commissioned by the legislature, the council identified three policy objectives in responding to Beijing's Anti-Secession Law. The council plans to continue to publicly condemn Beijing's use of non-peaceful means, to lobby for support from the international community and to build domestic consensus on the matter.
Wu said that because the rally's call for freedom, democracy, peace and stability was fundamentally the same as the government's statements in response to Beijing's legislation, there was no real conflict of interest if he decided to take to the streets this weekend.
Wu also said that the National Assembly elections on May 14 could be a possible turning point for cross-strait relations.
"It's just the first major event between now and future [cross-strait] development," Wu explained, while declining to predict where relations might be at that time.
The government will continue to assess the impact of the Anti-Secession Law on cross-strait ties as it formulates future policies, Wu said.
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A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,