Premier-designate Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) yesterday said he welcomed Chinese investment in the nation’s infrastructure, but that certain regulations must be amended to allow for such investment.
China’s expression of interest in president-elect Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) “i-Taiwan 12 projects” was a good start, Liu said, adding that he would not block Chinese investment in the projects and other infrastructure plans.
As the 12 projects are expected to cost NT$3.9 trillion, with NT$1.3 trillion expected to come from the private sector, Liu said, the government welcomed both domestic and foreign investment.
Although questions have been raised over the impact of Chinese investment in the projects, Liu said he would like to see the opposition refrain from “politicizing” the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) efforts to improve the economy.
Liu made the remarks during an interview with the Chinese Television System (CTS) yesterday morning. The program was broadcast last night.
Commenting on the controversy surrounding former Taiwan Solidarity Union legislator Lai Shin-yuan’s (賴幸媛) appointment as chairwoman-designate of the Mainland Affairs Council, Liu said that it could impact on Ma’s election promise of launching weekend charter flights and opening the nation to more Chinese tourists by July.
But he said he was cautiously optimistic about the feasibility of the two schemes.
Liu said the debate over Lai’s appointment had developed in a positive direction over the past few days and that it would be feasible to see Ma’s plans put into effect on schedule.
Since the measures are expected to be the first of Ma’s election promises to be realize, Liu said the incoming Cabinet was taking the matter seriously.
Liu said he had no say in the appointment of Lai, but that he had no problem with Lai leading the council as long as she supports the policies of Ma and vice president-elect Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) and does her best to execute them.
Liu said he had not met Lai since her appointment, but added that Ma’s office kept him well-informed on all communication between Lai and the president-elect. Liu said he had requested that Lai reschedule an overseas trip that would have coincided with a meeting of the incoming Cabinet next week.
Regarding his role as premier, Liu said that he would step down if the public, the president or he himself were not satisfied with his performance after assuming the post.
Liu said he had categorized government policies into short, medium and long-term goals, with the short-term goals to be met within six months, the medium-term goals within 18 months and the long-term goals within four years. He has requested that new Cabinet officials draw up plans of action to meet the goals, he said.
Liu said he believed the incoming ministers would create a new and dynamic atmosphere and produce impressive results.
On fuel and electricity prices, Liu said they were not only an economic issue but also a social one, and that fuel prices, in principle, would be increased to an appropriate level in a single step, but the Cabinet would also put supplementary measures into place.
This means the new government will restore the “floating oil pricing system,” he said, but adjust the formula, Liu said.
A task force led by incoming vice premier Paul Chiu (邱正雄) will map out details of the supplementary measures and the Cabinet hopes to pass them at the first Cabinet meeting following the inauguration, Liu said.