Sun, Dec 30, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Shih meets Robert Tsao to discuss ties with China

OPEN AIR FORUM The leader of the anti-Chen campaign met with the businessman to discuss cross-strait relations and national development

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman and leader of the anti-Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) campaign Shih Ming-teh (施明德) met United Microelectronics Corp (UMC) chairman Robert Tsao (曹興誠) on Ketagalan Boulevard yesterday, calling for a peaceful cross-strait coexistence.

The two discussed cross-strait relations and the nation's development during an outdoor forum held by the Home Party, which was formed last month by leaders of the demonstrations against Chen last year.

The establishment of the political party follows Shih's previous promise that his anti-Chen campaign would not form a political party nor recommend people to run in the legislative elections.

Shih last night compared Tsao with South Korean president-elect Lee Myung-bak, a former CEO of Hyundai Construction and Engineering, suggesting it would be better for an entrepreneur to lead the nation.

"The combination of two politicians only produces more politicians. Having entrepreneurs join the political stage would change the political environment for the better," Shih said.

"Both [DPP presidential candidate Frank] Hsieh (謝長廷) and [Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate] Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) compared themselves to Lee Myung-bak. I think Taiwan's Lee Myung-bak should be Mr Tsao," he said.

Tsao had no comment on that suggestion. But he reiterated his support for drafting a law that would provide a basis for peaceful cross-strait coexistence and safeguard Taiwan's democracy.

Tsao said the proposed law would resolve the cross-strait issue and end the political wrangling over independence versus unification, while ruling out a referendum on independence -- because that would be contrary to the nation's claim that it is already an independent and sovereign state.

Tsao earlier this month ran front-page ads in local newspapers suggesting that Hsieh and Ma work together to draft the law.

The ads sparked heated debate, with Chen slamming the idea as tantamount to capitulation to China.

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