Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) said yesterday the government will continue to promote peaceful dialogue across the Taiwan Strait and will uphold its "active opening, effective management" cross-strait investment policy instead of reinstating the previous "no haste, be patient" strategy.
Hsieh made the remarks during a question-and-answer session at the Legislative Yuan in response to a query from Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lai Shyi-bao (許舒博).
Lai asked whether the administration would revise its cross-strait policy after China's enactment of its "Anti-Secession" Law and the massive protest march in Taipei last Saturday against what he called Beijing's "ill-intentioned" legislation.
While acknowledging that the new law has strained relations, Hsieh said the government, after a comprehensive evaluation, has decided to adopt a peaceful and rational manner in dealing with the new challenge.
"Peace and rationality are the best strategy to forge domestic unity and counter China's threat. Many countries have denounced the law that codifies China's longstanding threat to attack Taiwan," Hsieh said, adding that all of these developments have proved the efficacy of the government's response strategy.
As to the future development of cross-strait relations, Hsieh said the government will adopt a wait-and-see attitude.
"We must watch Beijing's follow-up moves before we hammer out our new cross-strait policy. Once we are sure that our national security is not at stake, we will continue to promote peaceful cross-strait dialogue, " he said.
In some cases, he said, "silence is golden."
Asked whether the government is likely to reinstate the "no haste, be patient" cross-strait investment policy implemented by former president Lee Teng-hui's (李登輝) KMT administration, Hsieh said it would not, because the policy couldn't resolve practical problems faced by Taiwanese businesspeople.
The premier said Hsu Wen-lung (許文龍), founder of the Chi Mei Group, one of the nation's largest private petrochemical and optoelectronics groups, was the first entrepreneur to fall victim to the new law.
According to Hsieh, Hsu made huge investments in China during the KMT administration when the "no haste, be patient" policy was in place. He said although stringent restrictions on China-bound investments had been set, enforcement had been lax, resulting in many flaws and problems.
"The DPP administration has replaced this ineffective policy with an `active opening, effective management' one. We would rather adopt a more relaxed policy toward investment in China while tightening enforcement, " Hsieh said.
On Saturday, Hsu, who retired from the Chi Mei Group chairmanship a year ago, published an open letter in a local newspaper apparently throwing his support behind Beijing's "one China" policy and the Anti-Secession Law.
Meanwhile, former Government Information Office director-general Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said yesterday that Hsu's statement would not hurt his campaign for Taichung City mayor in the December elections. Hsu is Lin's great uncle. But Lin said he would not presume to say whether Hsu's statement was the result of Chinese pressure.