Wed, Jan 11, 2006 - Page 3 News List

New Tide unimpressed with Chen's line

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

As the DPP's New Tide faction is the first and only faction to come out and advocate a different approach to that contained in the president's New Year speech, faction members yesterday did not seem to be impressed by the explanation offered by National Security Council Secretary-General Chiou I-jen (邱義仁).

DPP Legislator Shen Fa-hui (沈發惠) called for more transparency in the president's decision-making process, saying that setting government policies without consulting party members was bound to cause a backlash.

Although Shen said that he agrees with Chiou that it is inappropriate for faction members to use such expressions as "one-person decision-making" to criticize the president, Shen said that he is afraid that Chiou knows little about what faction members think because Chiou has shunned factional activities for a long time.

Shen said that he hopes the incident will serve as an opportunity for policy makers to realize that thorough discussion of major government policies is very important during the decision-making process.

Another faction member, Liu Shih-fang (劉世芳), a former Cabinet secretary-general, said that although she is not in a position to represent the faction in commenting on Chiou's remarks, she hopes to inaugurate an association to study cross-strait politics and economics as soon as the Ministry of the Interior approves it.

Liu said that the association would also publish a quarterly discussing cross-strait issues.

"The association has nothing to do with the president's New Year address and is not politically motivated," Liu said. "We just want more young scholars who are interested in cross-strait studies and identify with the party to join the association because the party desperately needs people specialized in cross-strait matters."

While the government is unlikely to accept the offer of two pandas from China, another faction member, Lin Wuei-chou (林為洲), said yesterday that the administration should welcome the giant pandas as long as the importation process corresponds to international law.

"Pandas are not missiles or a Trojan horse. Why does the government have to make a mountain out of a mole hill?" he said. "Rejecting the pandas only shows that we are afraid of them."

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