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---"Focused Coverage Informed Perspectives"---
Thu, Dec 18, 1997 edition
DPP and KMT inch closer to Cooperation
historic shift in power needs careful planning

Also in this edition . . .

1: Clinton says mainland attack on Taiwan would be of 'grave' concern
2: Siew's government looks for closer coordination with victorious DPP
3: Taiwan firms looking for safer haven than mainland
4: city council rescinds grants two-year grace period
5: mayor says he wants to remain for full term
6: USIA pulls interview with Wei, causes minor storm
7: China will cooperate on crime-fighting in run-up to '99 handover
8: Jia Qinglin elected as city's Party secretary
9: News links galore for Korea's elections and economics; China; Hongkong; and Taiwan


US: Clinton says mainland attack on Taiwan would be of 'grave' concern
(source: Associated Press)

US President Bill Clinton reaffirmed on Tuesday the long-standing American policy that an armed attack by mainland China on Taiwan would be viewed here with the "gravest possible concern."

Clinton commented at a news conference in which he was asked about the recent US visit of a communist Chinese general who is alleged to have threatened to launch missiles on Los Angeles if Washington intervened militarily in support of Taiwan. Clinton suggested the visit had no impact on US policy towards Taiwan. "Nothing, nothing has changed in our position on the security of Taiwan," Clinton said. He noted that Beijing has committed itself to a peaceful resolution of issues between itself and Taiwan.

See also

  • ( Envoy warns foreign forces about Taiwan )
  • ( Qian renews call for cross-strait unity )

    Election aftermath: Siew's government looks for closer coordination with victorious DPP
    Premier Vincent Siew sought clearer positions and better coordination of government links with the recent victors of the Nov.29 mayor and county commissioner elections at a dinner meet yesterday.

    Siew said during the gathering at a Taipei hotel that "there is only one government," despite its different levels, and the central and local administrations should not just "do their own things." "The atmosphere was congenial, but the relations were tense," said Tsai Jen-chien of the Democratic Progressive Party, who will be sworn in on Saturday as Hsinchu's mayor, as he described the dinner in a TV interview later.

    Government spokesman David Lee also said the dinner carried a warm atmosphere, but did not mention about any tensions. The DPP grabbed 12 of the 23 commissioner and mayoral seats in the elections, and the Kuomintang got only eight. Three went to independents.

    Earlier, Cabinet officials said the meeting did not have any particular agenda, but Tsai said major topics of discussion were centered around local financial problems and personnel matters. The DPP has called for a change to the status of the top county and city officials from executive officers to administrative officers.

    Administrative officers are appointed by the chiefs and must step down as the chiefs leave. At the meeting, some DPP officials singled out a few financial cases for discussion, while some others called for further development of their own counties. Siew promised to quickly find ways to solve the financial difficulties and personnel matters. But as the personnel matters fall into the Examination Yuan's jurisdiction, Siew said he will have to talk to them individually later.

    Taiwan Governor James Soong, who also attended the dinner, made a few suggestions, saying the central government's policy should not create financial problems for local administrations. Interior Minister Yeh Chin-fong, and a few other Cabinet officials were also present.

    The seating was arranged around a huge oval table that was likened to the shape of Taiwan, with Siew, Soong, the Cabinet officials and the county chiefs from offshore islands sitting at the east side of the table. The others were seated around the table according to the geographical positions of the constituencies in which they were elected.

    See also

    (Chinese BIG 5 encoding) (Note: Access to China Times articles are limited to subscribers. As the paper's system is currently configured, to access an article listed here you must first go to the front-page at and from there locate the article)

    Business: Taiwan firms looking for safer haven than mainland
    More than half of the Taiwan-based companies with businesses in mainland China hope to divert their investments to other countries to avoid potential risks, a survey released here Wednesday showed.

    "Investors have felt that having the mainland as their only or major investment site is too risky," said Chen Ming-chang, chairman of the Chinese Professional Management Association of Taipei, which conducted the survey in September. About 54 percent of the 120 companies polled said they hoped the government in Taipei could help them shift investments to other areas. Some 30 percent of the enterprises had troubles with their mainland partners and 25 percent experienced labor disputes, the survey said. Eighty percent of the respondents complained about excessive miscellaneous fees charged by authorities in the mainland, it said.

    Mainland China used to be the favorite destination of local investors due to cheap labor, easy access to raw materials and cultural similarities. But the absence of protection to overseas investors and restrictions on capital flows discouraged Taiwan businessmen from pouring more investment into the mainland, Chen said. He added that Southeast Asian nations had become more desirable destinations than mainland China after the sharp currency depreciations in the region.

    Some 35,000 Taiwan-based companies have invested US$30 billion in mainland china since Taipei lifted its ban on cross-strait exchanges in late 1980s. President Lee Teng-hui has called for "no haste, be patient" policy on mainland-bound investment to reduce the island's economic dependence on the mainland.

    Prostitution: city council rescinds grants two-year grace period
    The Taipei City Council yesterday voted to uphold a proposal granting a two-year grace period for licensed prostitution in the city, rescinding a ban effected by the city government on Sept. 6.

    About a dozen prostitutes, their identities obscured by hats, masks and sunglasses, lobbied deputies from the visitors' gallery and greeted the news with cheers and hugs. The extension is designed to give them time to move into other jobs. Yesterday's ruling was the second adopted by the council after an earlier proposal on Oct. 29 was rejected by the city government. The council had Mayor Chen Shui-bian brief members on the reason for rejecting the proposal before it was taken to vote. Chen earlier released an audit of prostitutes' assets which, he said, showed they were secure financially. He said 16 former prostitutes had already accepted job training and had received monthly allowances of up to NT$50,000 from the city government.

    But deputies from the Kuomintang and New Party denounced the audits as an invasion of privacy and voted to restore the brothels. The deputies said municipal authorities had acted too hastily by suddenly deciding to ban licensed prostitution.

    Kaohsiung: mayor says he wants to remain for full term
    Kaohsiung Mayor Wu Den-yih yesterday said he had a strong desire to finish his current term, despite rumors that he planned to resign early in preparation for the Taipei mayoral election.

    When asked if he hoped to stay until the end of his term next year, he replied: "Very strongly." But he did not comment on the chances of his leaving early. Wu had previously expressed his hope to leave the mayoral post, despite the ruling Kuomintang's preference that he run for reelection to defend the party in a losing battle for local control. But he said he would not make a final decision about his future until talking to President and KMT Chairman Lee Teng-hui. Wu did not reveal his possible plans after leaving the mayoral post, but he may be running in the Taipei mayoral race or the legislative elections.

    But observers said Wu is likely the only KMT candidate that could keep the party's rule in the southern port city, which is crucial to maintaining the KMT's rule in the local political scenario.

    See also

    (Chinese BIG 5 encoding) (Note: Access to China Times articles are limited to subscribers. As the paper's system is currently configured, to access an article listed here you must first go to the front-page at and from there locate the article)


    Wei Jingsheng: USIA pulls interview with Wei, causes minor storm
    ( US Halts Broadcast Interview with Dissident Wei ) THE US embassy in Beijing requested that a scheduled interview with Wei Jingsheng not be broadcast by the US Information Agency in its Worldnet broadcast last week. A program of the USDI designed to promote US policies, Worldnet mainly is aired in US embassies and cultural centers. The US embassy is apparently in the midst of on-going negotiations with Beijing on the future of other political prisoners, and it felt the interview would sour these negotiations, reports Reuters .USIA Director Joseph Duffey pulled the program and asked the Voice of America, the US government's radio program, to not air its interview with Wei. By statue the VOA enjoys editorial independence, and the interview aired despite Duffey's request.

    "With Wei there was an implied commitment that our purpose was not political exploitation. That's a commitment also in the negotiations, which frankly now may be in the can," Duffey said.

    Nonetheless, the entire 'incident' has caught the attention of at least one Congressman who, when questioned by Reuters, said any attempt to persuade VOA not to broadcast the interview was 'sad news'. The Whitehouse said it respects VOA's independence.

    See also ( Storm over block on Wei TV broadcast )

    Macao: China will cooperate on crime-fighting in run-up to '99 handover
    (source: Agence France-Presse)

    Mainland China will strengthen cooperation with Macao in crime-fighting to prepare a smooth handover in 1999, a senior communist Chinese police official said Wednesday. Zhu Entao, head of the foreign affairs bureau of the mainland Chinese public security ministry, told reporters in Macao that "we will strengthen measures of cooperation" with authorities in the Portuguese enclave to combat crimes. He said Macao authorities were capable of maintaining peace and order in the enclave ahead of the 1999 handover despite the fact it has been hit by string of violence. Zhu, who head the mainland Chinese side Interpol, led a eight-member delegation from Beijing for a week-long visit to Macao.

    Beijing: Jia Qinglin elected as city's Party secretary
    (source: Agence France-Presse)

    Jia Qinglin was formally elected communist party secretary for Beijing, at a meeting of the municipal party committee Wednesday, the official Xinhua news agency said. Jia, 57, had been appointed in August by the communist's party's central leadership. He has also served as Beijing mayor since February.

    The meeting also elected the new party lineup for Beijing, which includes a 13-member standing committee and four deputy secretaries, Xinhua said. During the six-day meeting, communist deputies reviewed Beijing's work over the past five years and worked out the city's development strategies for the coming five years, Xinhua said, but gave no details. Jia succeeded Wei Jingxing, now a member of the powerful seven-man standing committee of the party.


    Korea: economics and elections




    Hongkong '98 Election Coverage

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    ©1997 Matthew Sinclair-Day
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