1989 / 8月
5．問：（時代雜誌社記者沙蕩 Donald Shapiro）請問院長，天安門事件發生後，您認為台灣在國際關係方面的機會，會有什麼變化？
Sinorama /photos courtesy of Sinorama /tr. by Peter Eberly
Times are changing, tides are changing, and the government's way of doing things is also changing. In the past silence was the golden rule for government officials. Today, it is only with frequent communication with the people that one can win their hearts.
Soon after taking office, Premier Lee Huan decided to meet the press, in hopes of relaying his concepts for his administration through the mass media to the people. He also indicated that in the future he will meet with the media at regular times to maintain communication and stay attentive to outside views as reference for his administration.
For both Premier Lee and the people, this marks a new beginning. . . .
[Director-General Shaw Yu-ming]
Mr. Premier, Secretary-General Wang, friends from the press:
The premier has wished to move up meeting with you since assuming office five weeks ago in order to strengthen communications, so he has decided to hold the first press conference of his premiership today.
We would now respectfully request the premier to deliver his opening remarks.
Secretary-General Wang, Director-General Shaw, ladies and gentlemen, friends from the press:
Many of you present here today are familiar friends indeed, and many of you are friends from the press whom I have not met before. I am extremely pleased to have this opportunity to be here together with all of you today.
After I began serving in the Executive Yuan, GIO Director-General Shaw, in line with his duties, asked me whether I wanted to meet with the press. I told him I did and that I hoped I could meet with you often. Today is a democratic era, in which the work of the government must be communicated through the media to be understood by the populace and in which the media must likewise pass on the will of the people to be made known to the government. So I told Director-General Shaw that I hoped to have the chance to meet with the press often to exchange mutual views on many questions.
It has been one month and a week now since I arrived at the Executive Yuan. Why did it take five weeks to meet with you? Mainly, I wanted to allow myself to gain a full understanding of the responsibilities of the Executive Yuan before meeting with you. I drew up ten administrative initiatives, and I hope to have brief reports on each of the ten major issues before the Executive Yuan to help me understand the current situation. But having been here so long already, I decided to meet with you earlier than planned.
Today's press conference is not just to report to you on issues you want to learn about, but I also hope that my friends in the press can raise concrete suggestions as to just which areas of administration the Executive Yuan should pay more attention to. You are all close to the social pulse and in tune with the public's aspirations, so I think that any concrete suggestions you can offer me today should serve as an excellent basis for reference when it comes time to make policy or carry out administrative work. So at this press conference I not only hope to clarify any questions you may want to ask but I also hope that you will offer many suggestions and pointers to give me a better basis for policy making. That is one of my hopes for this press conference. I can't say a lot because of time limitations, but I do hope that you will raise any questions you may wish to have clarified, and I'll do my best to respond and answer. Thank you.
Li Yen-chiu (Chinese Television) Q: Mr. Premier, I'd like to ask some economic questions of general concern. The first question is, the stock market has practically become a "gambling" market now, and while the attitude of investors certainly must be reviewed, where is the government's policy, and what are its methods? The second question is, the banking law is about to go into effect, and cracking down on [under-ground] investment firms is something the government has announced again and again, but where is our policy, and what are our methods?
A: The question you just mentioned about underground investment firms, Ms. Lee, is in fact closely tied to the question of the entire economy, in which there are quite a few less than ideal phenomena at present. There are many reasons for this, of course, but a very important one is that we have too much floating capital around, so that wherever the floating capital goes there may be economic problems in that direction.
Underground investment firms are a similar situation. Although they may have registered with the government according to law, many investment firms are engaged in illegal practices, which is the case with what are called underground investment firms. And if their practices are illegal and they are reported to a responsible government agency or discovered by the agency on its own initiative, then the agencies involved have to crack down on them. Our agencies have reported 173 underground investment firms in all to judicial bodies so far, but only fifteen of them have been penalized by law. The main reason is that we have no clear legal basis regarding the management of these firms so the courts have had no legal basis to handle these cases.
As a result, we are revising the banking law so that the regulations provide penalties against illegally operated underground financial organizations. The banking law is being reviewed in the Legislative Yuan right now, and after the Legislative Yuan has completed its legislative process, we will be able to use the law as a basis to crack down on underground investment firms. I don't know whether you are satisfied or not, Ms. Lee, but that is a simple answer to your question.
Wang Mei-yu (China Times) Q: Mr. Premier, the premier is the nation's highest executive official and responsible by law to the Legislative Yuan, but some scholars now think that the premier has responsibilities without powers, while the president has powers without responsibilities. I wonder what your views are of this position. And could you clarify for us how the so-called "Double Lee system" actually operates?
A: The powers of the premiership are stipulated with great clarity in the Constitution, and the Constitution also stipulates with great clarity those of the presidency. Our political system is a system based on the provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of China, and since serving in office I have felt that I can fully carry out my work at the Executive Yuan with the powers granted to me by the Constitution. My answer to the question is that simple.
Wang Ming-yi (Independence Evening Post) Q: Relations between Taiwan and the mainland have changed greatly following the Tienanmen Square massacre on June 4th, and the situation has become tense. Mr. Premier, in reporting on the administration's programs to the Legislative Yuan, you have repeatedly stated that the Chinese Communists are a rebel clique, while the Executive Yuan has stressed in declarations that we must do all we can to eliminate the Chinese Communist regime from the earth. Under these circumstances, I wonder whether the new administration you lead defines the present political confrontation across the Taiwan Strait as a situation of "a rebel clique," "a warring faction," or "one country, two governments."
At the same time, regarding the overall policy of the government toward the mainland, nearly two years have passed since the lifting of martial law on July 16, 1987, during which time the government has continued to carry out many moves toward liberalization. Along with liberalization, though, many problems have arisen, as we all know. Mr. Premier, as the nation's highest executive official, you are granted many powers under the Constitution. For example, many thousands of ROC citizens, including Huang Teh-pei, a reporter from our newspaper, are on the mainland now visiting relatives, traveling, reporting, or doing business, and if their rights and their freedoms are harmed I wonder what you believe that a responsible government, a government with the duty to carry out the Constitution, should do?
A: With regard to the question that Mr. Wang just asked about the mainland, the ROC government was established under a constitution formulated by representatives of the citizens of the entire country, while the autocratic Communist regime on the mainland was imposed by military force without popular support and without a constitution formulated by the nation's representatives. We do not, therefore, recognize the Communist regime on the mainland as a government but rather as a regime imposed by military force. Although the Republic of China is on Taiwan for now, we represent the whole of China, including each and every city and province on the mainland. That is why our present national policy is to build up Taiwan in order to recover the mainland.
The government views its work regarding the mainland with great importance, and we have set up a Mainland Affairs Council in the Executive Yuan. Mainly what we want to do in our work regarding the mainland is bring the mainland democracy, economic freedom, social equality, and freedom of expression. Those are the main goals of our work. So now that we have allowed trips to visit to relatives on the mainland, we have adopted many other measures as well. We have invited mainland students studying overseas to come to Taiwan to visit and observe. We have allowed members of the news media to travel to the mainland to report stories. And we also welcome visits to Taiwan by many outstanding mainland figures. These measures are all steps we have taken in bringing the mainland democracy, economic freedom, social equality, and freedom of expression.
Most unfortunately, Mr. Huang Teh-pei of the Independence newspaper chain has now been arrested by the autocratic Communist regime. On hearing the news, I telephoned the chairman of the Independence newspapers, Mr. Chen Kuo-hsiang, and asked him just what the situation was and what steps he wanted the government to take to help. I then asked Director-General Shaw to contact members of the media about the problem and find out just what kinds of action to take. We made several decisions at a meeting of the Executive Yuan yesterday. The first was that we want to go through international organizations to tell the Communist regime that its action is illegal and wrong and to release Mr. Huang immediately. Because we are in a hostile position with the mainland regime, and they refuse direct steps by our government, we have to go through international organizations to condemn them and demand that Mr. Huang be released immediately. The second point was that we have to keep in close touch with the gentlemen in charge of the Independence newspapers, and if they want us to do something we will do our best to cooperate and assist. The third was to ask GIO Director-General Shaw to contact the heads of the mass media and have them keep in touch with their reporters now on the mainland. If they want to come back, we hope they will soon and the government can give them assistance. If some media groups still want to send reporters to the mainland, then we hope those who go will be especially careful not to be hurt by the regime there. After we decided these points at the meeting yesterday, I think Director-General Shaw went right ahead and has already carried them out.
Chang Lung (China Central News Agency) Q: Mr. Premier, during the past month since assuming office, besides your regular hours in the office handling work, you have also made unstinting use of your weekends to visit the south and the outer islands. I wonder what sort of opinions you have heard during the course of your visits and what kind of things you have seen. What has impressed you the most? And what sort of help will it be to your administrative work in the future? Thank you.
A: The first step I have taken since beginning service in the Executive Yuan is to gain an understanding of a number of administrative programs. There are ten programs, in particular, that I have asked to learn about related to the report to the Legislative Yuan on administration policies. But besides directing my colleagues in the yuan to brief me in various areas, I also feel that I should gain an understanding of the actual situation, so I have used Sundays to visit various places and meet with farmers and workers to better understand the situation of agricultural production and of industry. This morning I visited several small- and medium-sized enterprises to get an understanding of their situation and the problems and difficulties they are experiencing. I think that the information I have obtained on these visits will certainly be a big help in making future decisions in the Executive Yuan. That is my purpose in using Sundays to make visits.
Donald Shapiro (Time magazine) Q: Mr. Premier, do you believe there will be any changes in Taiwan's opportunities in the area of international relations after the Tienanmen Square massacre?
A: The Tienanmen Square massacre was a very unfortunate event. Many young people and other citizens on the mainland were striving for democracy and freedom, which I think is a trend of the times, but on June 4th the Communist regime used bloody suppression by tanks and machine guns to handle the incident. At five o'clock in the morning of June 4th, after I heard the news, I asked Secretary-General Wang and Vice-Premier Shih, who is in charge of the Mainland Affairs Council, along with GIO Director-General Shaw and other officials to meet and discuss how to handle the problem. We condemned the Communist regime's violent action, and we expressed our hope that the Communists would be condemned and sanctioned internationally. Since the Tienanmen Square massacre the Communist regime has continued to arrest many young people and other citizens. Their actions have aroused the ire of the free and democratic nations of the world, and many countries have not only condemned the Communist regime but have also imposed sanctions.
Thirty or forty years ago, after our central government moved from the mainland to Taiwan, we declared that Communism, the Communist system, and the Communist regime do not allow people democracy and freedom and are not suited to today's era. The Tienanmen Square massacre proves the correctness of our understanding. Some countries have formal diplomatic relations with us and some do not, but the countries that do not all have a number of substantive relations with us, such as economic and trade ties, scientific and technological cooperation, athletic and cultural exchanges, a whole host of them. Since the Tienanmen Square massacre, many nations have told us that the Communist regime, just as we said, is opposed to democracy and freedom. Each of you ladies and gentlemen here certainly knows this quite clearly, but I feel that, viewed under the present circumstances, the Communist Party and Communism have been rejected and opposed by the Free World, and I believe that Communism will certainly be eliminated in the future by free and democratic thought.
Tung Chung-pai (China Television) Q: I would like to ask you about the incident two days ago in Kaohsiung in which criminals attacked policemen, leading to extremely serious casualties, an incident which I think flashes a shocking red light for law and order in Taiwan. Mr. Premier, you have said that our public powers must be built on public trust. Now if the police force has a hard time ensuring its own protection, the public may wonder how it can ensure the safety of private citizens. Could I ask you to clarify this point, please? And how should we build up the law enforcement powers of our police? Thank you.
A: Every day since I came to the Executive Yuan there have been reports of crime problems, and when I read about so many cases of robbery and murder in our society I am extremely saddened. Maintaining law and order is the government's responsibiity, and strengthening the maintenance of law and order is an important part of my report to the Legislative Yuan on the administration's programs. I have held one meeting on law and order already since coming to the Executive Yuan, and I will hold a second meeting tomorrow. There was a great deal of discussion at the meeting, but of the most important points I will mention two. The first is that we must strengthen police training, build up police equipment, and supplement police personnel so that the police, who maintain law and order, have sufficient power to do the job. And the second point, I think, is that if we want to improve law and order in our society today we have to master all sides of the social dynamics, and to do that, in addition to relying on the powers of police, we have to place increased attention on the powers of the public. Our society harbors great potential, in that many people are eager to work with the government voluntarily, and I feel that the task of the police should be to strengthen relations with citizens at the precinct level and strengthen grassroots public support, so that crime can be reduced using a comprehensive approach. I hope that our law enforcement agencies can come up with a concrete plan in the near future so that we can eliminate crime in our society.
As to the Kaohsiung incident, I went to Kaohsiung and met with the police chief there to gain a detailed understanding of what happened. I told the director of the Kaohsiung Police Headquarters that the injured police officers should be compensated generously and that their families and dependents must be specially cared for. In response to the many flaws that occurred in the action we took, we must make a special effort to improve police training and education, and we must guarantee the safety of police officers more reliably from now on.
Hsiung Shu-hua (Broadcasting Corporation of China) Q: Mr. Premier, in the past the cabinet often tended toward economics and finance, but as we know you have never had experience in these areas. Faced with the economic disorder of the current transitional period, you have held two meetings since assuming office with officials in charge of finance and economics and have repeatedly stressed that you are determined to solve the get-rich-quick syndrome, but we have not been able to learn for certain what your policies are. Mr. Premier, I would like to ask, what is your prescription for solving economic and financial problems?
A: Economics and finance are very important tasks of the Executive Yuan but of course they are not its whole job, so I feel that saying the Executive Yuan is weighted toward the economy and finance, or law and politics, or foreign affairs is open to question. But economic problems are an extremely important part of the yuan's work, and only by constantly advancing and raising the life of the people can we ensure a stable society. Although I came to the Executive Yuan only a short while ago I have already held two meetings on economics and finance, in order to help me understand the basic problems involved and to take steps to solve problems of immediate concern. Economic and financial questions are extremely numerous in scope, but the heads of our economic and financial agencies, I feel, are extremely outstanding and competent and have a thorough understanding of the problems involved. They have made numerous suggestions, which I have taken in to serve as a reference in policy making.
I would also like to take this opportunity to report to you that I feel that my first step in taking administrative measures in the Executive Yuan has been to gain an understanding of the situation in various aspects of its administrative work, and that first step, of listening to briefings, has now been concluded. As a second step I want to visit each department in order to further understand the work situation there: What are the chief points? And what are the difficulties? After that I can decide which key tasks the Executive Yuan should take in hand and push forward step by step in a planned way. That is my personal thinking, and I would like to take this opportunity today to say to you that if you have any pointers, I hope you will raise them and share them with me as reference.
Li Huey-huey (Taiwan Television) Q: Mr. Premier, the most recent public opinion poll shows that your cabinet does not have as high a reputation as originally predicted. We know that you are highly concerned about this. May I ask, how do you personally differ from premiers of the past? And what kind of expectations can the public hold for you?
A: The poll is over, and I am satisfied with the results, which show that the public is quite understanding of me: 1.1 percent were dissatisfied and zero were highly dissatisfied. Of course, the meaning of that 1.1 percent deserves my attention. Why are 1.1 percent of the public still not satisfied with me? What is the reason? And how can I improve? What deserves concern next is that so many responses were "no opinion" or "don't know," which made up 48.8 percent. The reason so many people don't understand me and answer that way could of course be because I haven't been in office long and no one knows just what I want to do or how I will do it. And it could also mean that many people eagerly hope to know just what I am preparing to do. I hope that I can give those people a further understanding soon so that they can make criticisms and suggestions of my performance. As to your question just now about my predecessors, Premier Yu, who was my superior once, is a modest, self-disciplined gentleman whom I respect immensely. I can't compare with him; I only can learn from him.
James McGregor (Asian Wall Street Journal) Q: The treasury secretary of the United States has a plan to reduce Third World debt, and he suggested that maybe the Republic of China would want to donate some money to that. The government here has not answered back, but some scholars have suggested that maybe the government here would be willing to get involved in that debt reduction plan if the United States and the other countries would help them become involved in the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund again. If it is true--if other countries helped the Republic of China get involved in the World Bank and International Monetary Fund--would you be willing to participate in the Brady Plan and the debt reduction?
A: The Republic of China has had largescale growth in foreign trade every year. That growth is the result of joint efforts by the government and the people--business people, in particular--whose dedication and hard work has created our economic prosperity. But the aid, support, and cooperation of other countries has been an important factor in enabling us to expand trade also, so now that we have large-scale economic growth and abundant foreign reserves, we should try to pay back other countries around the world. That is why we have set up the International Economic Cooperation Development Fund, so that if developing countries want to obtain economic assistance, then we are willing to give it to them and enable them to develop too. Also, as an aside, the Republic of China is trying to carry out the Three Principles of the People, and one of their ideals is striving for the Great Commonwealth of peace and prosperity. How can that be achieved? We have to assist the small and weak countries of the world to develop together and share our economic prosperity and peaceful way of life. That is a political ideal of ours. So I think our setting up a fund to help developing countries is a responsibility and a duty and also an ideal.
Wu Ling-fen (Central Daily News) Q: Mr. Premier, you just mentioned that investment firms will be straightened out with a strong hand. What I would like to ask is, you have said that they will be handled according to law without a grace period, but if investors who have suffered losses should take to the streets, what sort of attitude and methods would the government adopt to handle them?
A: As to this question, I mentioned at a meeting of the Executive Yuan last week that I hoped the Government Information Office would use the mass media to make citizens aware that surplus funds should be directed toward proper investments rather than toward illegal investment channels, because illegal investments may be subject to large risks, and those risks and any future losses must be borne by the investors themselves: the government cannot be responsible for any losses incurred in illegal activity. The GIO reported that to the public, and we very much hope that most people are aware that illegal activity must be stopped, and that after the banking law is passed, the law will be carried out according to the letter, without any so-called grace period, because once a law is enacted and announc ed, it has to be implemented.
Huang Hu-tai (Public Radio System) Q: What I would like to ask about is somewhat related to the question asked by Li Huey-huey of Taiwan Television. After you assumed office, there was a report in the media describing you as having an "enlightened image but a conservative cabinet." Do you agree with that expression? Also, don't you think that the government should actively guide the will of the people by establishing forwardlooking policies rather than administering policy by just going along with them, so as to lead the country to a higher, more ideal plane? Thank you.
A: My responsibilities since coming to serve in the Executive Yuan have been to serve the people and build a better future for the nation. Each matter has to be discussed according to national policy and the needs of the public, and we must use our wisdom and our ethical judgment in solving many problems of public concern. That is the obligation of our office. As to whether the personnel of this administration is considered enlightened or conservative in using that method--that, I think, is a subjective evaluation. In my personal view, each person who takes part in the work of the administration must be dedicated to serving the country and the people. That is my fundamental belief.
Yang Huei-chun (Liberty Times) Q: I recall that not long ago you once said that this would be your last chance to serve the country, and that you would retire at an appropriate moment. I wonder whether by saying that you meant that you do not have the ambition to seek higher office in the elections for president and vice president next year? Could it be deduced that after next year's presidential elections you will choose a time to call it quits and retire?
A: The question you want me to answer seems quite difficult. I feel that those of us in public service must resolve to complete the responsibilities of our positions. That is our duty: to finish the job before us. As to just how long it will take and just what will be done, I think that those questions are not a problem for us to consider, because the responsibility we shoulder today is to complete the tasks before us, and I feel those should be the problems we think about day and night. As to what the future will bring, that is not a question that each of us needs to consider today, I think. A reporter also asked me whether I didn't say that I would resign soon, and I replied that I don't recall ever having said that. Thank you!
Chung Tzu-hao (United Evening News) Q: I would like to ask you whether after taking office you will reconsider the issue of the overseas black list, and if Peng Ming- min or Hsu Hsin-liang were to formally apply to return to Taiwan, would the government consider approving?
A: Many people who apply to return to the ROC from overseas have not obtained approval from the agencies in charge, because each agency has to have its own basis to go by. Applications to return from overseas are reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the government units in charge. Every country has a general rule, of course, that a person who poses a threat to the security of the nation or the society can be termed a persona non grata and not allowed in. But as to just what yardstick is used by our agencies in reviewing applications and just what is recognized by them, I feel they should be circumspect and not expand the definitions so as to affect human rights and limit entry. I have told the units in charge that I hope they can give very thorough consideration to each case under review, and that they must have very concrete facts and bases to go by before making a decision on entries. You have all read recently in the newspapers that certain people can come back, and that is the result of my asking the units in charge to use careful consideration in handling the cases concerned. So I feel it is a question of specific, individual cases which the government units in charge have to handle prudently on the basis of facts and foundation. That is my attitude to the question.
Wang Sheng-chieh (Taiwan Daily News) Q: Following the shooting of policemen in Kaohsiung, besides strengthening police equipment and improving relations between the police and the public, as you mentioned, the numerous cases that the police have cracked involving illegal weapons show that the illegal weapons smuggling is widespread and a serious threat to social order. I would like to ask what concrete measures you have in mind to sweep up illegal weapons and block their importation?
A: The problem you just mentioned is truly a big threat to the security of our society, and the large number of weapons in improper hands is a big problem for law and order. There are two main sources of the illegal guns. The first is importation through cargo containers. Shipping is done by containers now, and since numerous containers arrive each day and each container is packed with so many items, a random check system in used for inspection. As a result, many containers that have not been checked contain weapons that are smuggled in. The second is due to our long coastline, where there is smuggling of drugs and commercial goods as well as guns, so we have to enforce customs inspection work along the coast. There are not only guns but also drugs and other goods, most recently agricultural products, so we have to strengthen our coastal patrol, and at the same time we also have to strengthen inspection of cargo containers. So we must strengthen inspection and seizure on the one hand, and on the other, as you said, our law enforcement units should make a complete sweep of society so that hidden firearms can be ferreted out. This task is extremely important indeed, and I view it with great seriousness.
Huang Ching-lung (Capital Morning Post) Q: It has bee lifting of martial law, and after that time I think that all circles of society hope that we can become systematized in every respect. Recent developments have made everyone a bit concerned, however. That is, two years after the lifting of martial law, a number of disturbing problems in the area of systematization have appeared in the military, and there have been many occurrences. In the intelligence and security systems, for example, the heads of such agencies as the Bureau of Investigation and the National Police Administration have still not been produced through systematic channels. Besides, the role of the military in elections is still rather ill defined, so that even some candidates of the ruling party have been wondering about its neutrality. In addition, the military has recently been promoting education against Taiwan independence, a problem that involves highly controversial political questions of constitutional government and the future of the nation, and the military has already taken a fixed position on it ahead of time. As the nation's highest executive official, what views do you have toward such phenomena? And do you believe this problem will obstruct our country's development toward democracy?
A: We are now a democratic society that is pursuing a democratic political system. There are many explanations of what democracy is, one of them being the rule of law. The rule of law must certainly be promoted in a democracy, so everything we do now is done according to the law. We also have many rules and regulations regarding military affairs. Anything done according to the law is permitted, and anything done against it is prohibited. So in regard to your question, we have to review whether or not illegal things are occurring. If they are, we should stop them; if they are not, then we cannot interfere. As to personnel matters, there is a system for personnel affairs and there are regulations. Government workers, for example, have to possess certain qualifications to hold a position and meet certain requirements. Personnel matters are subject to personnel regulations, no matter what position, be it the Executive Yuan or the Ministry of Education or the Bureau of Investigation, they are all administrative government agencies, and personnel matters must all be handled according to regulations. That is a basic principle of the democracy we are carrying out today. You also mentioned elections. Elections are also subject to regulations. The Ministry of the Interior has many regulations about elections, all of them extremely clear. If something is illegal and violates government regulations, then it must be stopped. If it conforms to the law and related regulations, then the government cannot interfere. That is the basic principle.
Kuo Yueh (Youth Daily News) Q: I would like to ask a question about the mainland. In the wake of the Tienanmen Square massacre on June 4th, the entire world has paid a great deal of attention to the issue of the mainland, and our present policy toward the mainland is decided by the Mainland Affairs Council. When the Executive Yuan was revising its organization law last year, many representatives from various circles of the country said that they hoped a ministry for mainland affairs could be set up to specially handle planning and implementation of mainland affairs. But after the bill was sent to the Legislative Yuan for review, no mention was made of the ministry. Many people around the country and representatives from various walks of life all hope there can be an agency specially in charge of mainland affairs to push forward work related to it. I hope you will respond to this question, please.
A: Before coming to serve in the Executive Yuan I heard many people suggest setting up a special agency to handle mainland affairs, and some of them suggested setting up a ministry of mainland affairs. There have been members of the Legislative Yuan who have raised the issue too. I have asked various colleagues in the Executive Yuan to discuss the question of whether or not to set up an independent agency as well. According to what they have told me, mainland affairs work is extremely broad and various. First, to carry out mainland affairs work we have to have an understanding of the situation there. We need research on what the economic and financial situation is like there, which should be studied by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Finance; on what the educational situation is like, which should be studied by the Ministry Education; and on what the military situation is like, which should be studied by the Ministry of National Defense. If all this research work was consolidated into one ministry, the results would be dubious. Then we have to talk about the policy and methods of mainland affairs work. This question must also be studied by various related agencies, so that one agency cannot research mainland policy and decide mainland affairs work alone. Then there is the question of implementation. If we set up a ministry to carry out mainland affairs work, there may be many difficulties in implementation because it has closely related ties with every department.
As a result, the Mainland Affairs Council, which cuts across agency lines, has been set up and raised in status, being convened by the vice premier. That is the current situation for handling mainland affairs. In the wake of the Tienanmen Square massacre, of course, we must strengthen our mainland affairs work, we must beef it up and we must take more active and positive action, so I think the question of how to strengthen the Mainland Affairs Council is worth studying. The fact that people bring up these questions, such as the one you just raised, means they hope that the Executive Yuan will take its mainland affairs work seriously and do it well. That is the kind of ideal that lies behind these questions. Many members of the Legislative Yuan also view the mainland very seriously and want to strengthen mainland affairs work, so they hope there can be a sounder agency in the Executive Yuan to handle these things. I think their motive is the same as that of the Executive Yuan and myself, so I also asked my colleagues on the Mainland Affairs Council to study how it can be strengthened and beefed up and what kind of agency and structure would be most ideal. That is a brief summary of my understanding regarding the question you raised.
Chen Jou-chin (United Daily News) Q: Mr. Premier, before Premier Yu left office, because his popularity was not very high, it was rumored that you once said he would have to bear responsibility for the success or failure of the elections at year end. Of course, you denied to the Legislative Yuan that you had said that, but the public is still rather receptive of the idea; that is, that the cabinet must bear responsibility for the success or failure of the ruling party in the year-end elections. As head of the new cabinet, don't you have the obligation to assume that responsibility, and can you promise here and now that you will assume responsibility for the percentage of votes and the number of seats won by the ruling party in this year's elections?
A: When I was secretary-general of the KMT's Central Committee, I made plans for the party's campaign, but now my work post has changed and I have come to serve in the Executive Yuan. The Executive Yuan is the nation's highest administrative organ, so when we talk about elections, the most important responsibility of the Executive Yuan is our hope that through this election our political system can be made more advanced and sound. That is our aspiration for the work of the administration. We very much hope that wise and able people from society can really take part in the elections and win. That is the only way that enterprising, talented people can take up responsibility for the country in the future and our political system can be advanced. Next, as for this election, we hope that it can be carried out in an extremely smooth, harmonious, and legal manner. The rules of this election have to be clearly laid out so that candidates and voters all understand their responsibilities, in which regard the Ministry of the Interior already has many rules and regulations. Next, in a negative vein, we hope that the election will be free from bribery or violence, because the effect of bribery is to wrong many talented people and to violate the goal we wish to reach of political advancement and development. Those are the reasons the administration attaches special importance to this election.
As to being asked in the Legislative Yuan whether I said that the results of the election must be borne by the former premier, I have publicly and formally denied saying that in the Legislative Yuan. Now that I have come to serve in the Executive Yuan, however, I feel that the climate and the orderliness of the election as well as our results in future elections and whether or not talented people come forward are issues that the administration should view with great seriousness, especially the responsible agencies in the Executive Yuan.
Wang Tsao-hsiung (Taiwan Times) Q: The only personnel change in the cabinet since you took over has been the minister of communications, and that change has been subject to much outside criticism. Could you talk a bit about the situation back at the time of the transfer? Also, when are you going to make a large-scale and rational reshuffle of the entire cabinet? About what time will that be?
A: After it was decided I would take over as head of the Executive Yuan, having been nominated by the president and confirmed by the Legislative Yuan, the first question I had to consider, of course, was the cabinet. Scrutinizing the roster of the cabinet, I came to feel that many heads of our ministries, bureaus, and commissions are outstanding young individuals and all are extremely hard working and practical in their work. I learned about them one by one, and they are all well qualified for their work.
As for why I asked Minister of Communications Kuo Nan-hung to serve as a minister without portfolio, there was a minister without portfolio in the past who was closely involved with science and technology, and that was Lee Kuo-ting. He is very enthusiastic about science and technology and has made many big contributions to the nation. I feel that science and technology not only have a large relation ship with upgrading our industry but also have a large relationship toward the development of our nation in various aspects, so I wanted to find a person involved with science and technology to serve as a minister without portfolio. After broad consideration, the one I finally considered is Minister Kuo. He has been engaged in scientific and technological research all his life, having served as president of Kaohsiung Institute of Technology, and later of Taipei Institute of Technology, and then of National Chiao Tung University. His academic field is technology, and his career has all been related to technology, so I feel he is an extremely appropriate choice. During my term in the Ministry of Education, when Mr. Kuo was president of National Chiao Tung University, I went on observation visits to the university many times, and I found that Mr. Kuo has a foundation in science and technology and ideals for scientific and technological development that fit right in with my way of thinking, so I specially asked him to be a minister without portfolio and be responsible for matters of science and technology. I have asked him to come along with me whenever I go on an observation visit related to science and technology now, because he can give me many fresh concepts during the visit. It has been a lot of help to me, and that is the main reason.
Li Chien-jung (China Times Express) Q: I would like to speak for a portion of government workers in letting you know their thoughts. Since taking office, you have stated several times that we must establish a government that is open to new ideas, honest, enterprising, and efficient. As to the part about being clean and honest, you have encouraged government workers to do a good job as public servants without being too particular about pay, or else to go to the private sector. After hearing those words, some government workers, especially those at the lower levels, were somewhat let down, feeling that besides making demands of them, they had hoped you would also consider their pay important. So how to raise their pay and make it easier for them to be clean and honest is something many government workers are thinking of. We are pleased that during the informal discussion with department heads after the Executive Yuan meeting yesterday, you gave some instructions specially regarding the pay for government workers. Would you like to take this occasion to tell government workers about some concrete steps for the future on how to raise their pay and benefits? Of course, an even more important key in promoting honesty in government is clamping down on corruption. You have named Wu Tung-ming to take over as head of the Bureau of Investigation on July 16. Has the Executive Yuan reviewed the nomination? And when you met with Mr. Wu, did you specifically mention the pr down on corruption? Thank you.
A: I am very thankful you raised this issue, which gives me a chance to discuss my ideals of government administration. And if a number of our government personnel have any misunderstandings, this is also a good chance for me to clear things up. In my report on government programs to the Legislative Yuan, there were ten important programs I discussed. Who will push forward the accomplishment of those ten tasks in the future? Mainly, it will be government workers at all levels who will be relied on to lead in the accomplishment of those ten tasks. I feel that administrative reform is the most important issue in political reform, and that is why I stated in the Executive Yuan that the administrative agencies and personnel must be open to new ideas, honest, enterprising, and efficient, and that is what I demand of government workers. And that demand is more than just a slogan. As a result, I have instructed the Bureau of Personnel Affairs to come up with a concrete plan on how to achieve openness, honesty, and efficiency; on how--since we must certainly encourage them--to enable the pay and benefits of government workers to gradually be improv; on how to give them more chances for advanced education and training; on how to preserve their dignity and respect; and on how to make their suggestions be heard within the agencies. I hope that the Bureau of Personnel Affairs will come up with concrete methods to implement these many positive measures.
In a less active sense, I hope that administrative personnel can be streamlined, that their level of quality can be raised, and that they can be more clean and honest. That is my thinking. Many people ask whether raising the salaries of government workers will boost their morale. Pay may be a factor, I think, but we cannot rely solely on pay to build up morale. I feel that public servants in the government today must have a dedication toward paying back their country and a determination to serve the people. If a government worker is in it just for the pay, then couldn't he say, "If the pay is good I'll stay, and if it's bad I'll go"? If that is the case, then even if the pay is adjusted every year it still won't compare with that of many private organizations.
Government workers should have cultivation and character, I believe. What kind of character? First, they must cultivate the character of a scientist. That is, in whatever they do they must gather information, they must have data, they must have plans, they must have review, they must have a focal point and measured steps and use a scientific method in handling public affairs. They cannot just shut themselves up in their room and just do as they think. That is unscientific and inefficient. So I think the first level that government workers should cultivate is a scientific character.
Second, they must possess the character of an artist. What does art mean? Art means beauty and perfection, art represents harmony, and it must have a meaning and mood, so taking part in a task as a government worker today does not mean just doing it but doing it well, doing it perfectly, so that everyone is harmonious. Only in that way is our work truly a success. In today's press conference, for instance, if we had just called in reporters any old way, it could not be considered a success. General-Director Shaw prepared one or two weeks in advance for this press conference hoping to make it perfect, although whether it is or not is another question, which will be judged by each of you. But I feel it is like a painter who picks up a brush before painting and gives the picture overall consideration. How should the composition be laid out? Where is the main focus? What things should be highlighted? That is the character of an artist, and to do the work of the Executive Yuan well requires being artistic. For example, if the government has decided on a policy today, how can it be carried out as perfectly as possible? We need to invite many scholars and experts to discuss it and enable them to express their opinions and support the government's decision making. And we must gain a thorough understanding of public opinion to avoid any misunderstandings. What this is is seeking perfection in our work and making it artistic. So I feel that we public servants must have not only a scientific character but also an artistic one.
Even more important is that we must cultivate the character of a philosopher. If we don't have a philosophical character, then being a government worker is very painful, I think. What does a philosophical character mean? It means that each of us must have a view toward human life, toward society, and toward the universe. That is the only way to understand just what life is and what it is worth. Is the value of life just to earn money and enjoy material things? To give our lives more value and meaning, I think each public servant must have an understanding of what a view of the universe means. A view of the universe is what we are now propagating, the unity of heaven and man. What is the unity of heaven and man? It is the principle of the operation of nature. We must also understand what is meant by a view of society. What does the evolution of our society rely on? It relies on mutual assistance, on cooperation, and on harmony. Only then can this society of ours advance. So I feel that if government workers do not cultivate a philosophical character they may feel that their work is very monotonous, boring, and bothersome. If we have a philosophical character though, we will feel that it is an opportunity for us to develop our aspirations. We will truly love our country and our fellow countrymen, and they will have the loftiest values in our lives.
So I feel that a government worker cannot be an ideal public servant without possessing these kinds of character. Science means striving for truth and precision, art means striving for beauty and perfection, and philosophy means striving for judgments of value. So I personally feel that we should encourage government workers from these angles.
Chen Yi-mei (Indepedence Morning Post) Q: Since you are the nation's highest administrative official, people not only harbor high hopes for your administrative aspirations but are also very concerned about your family life. Since you are a public personage, the public's concern for this is probably unavoidable, especially the recent question of your son Lee Ching-hua running in the elections. He had printed a personal statement in the newspapers saying that serving the public is very painful and that a letter of yours to him said that you had stayed up all night over this and felt that your urging him to withdraw was a selfish action. Also, the question about whether or not Mrs. Lee would withdraw from office has caused a stir in the Legislative Yuan, although you have explained that to withdraw or not was voluntary and conformed completely with the law. But some people have said that now that the regulations on resigning from office have been passed, it is not a legal question, but a political one. If a person with a representative standing cannot take the lead in retiring how will the rest of the people go along? What are your personal feelings about this kind of situation, in which it is difficult to resolve the conflict between one's concerns for public and private interests, especially since it was rumored that President Chiang Ching-kuo had stopped members of his family from taking part in politics in the past. Also, some members of the Legislative Yuan have mentioned that during the many years that Mr. Yu Kuo-hwa was premier, no one ever heard about his sons. So compared with them, caught in a dilemma like this, what standards do you apply to this kind of legal or political issue?
A: I think that today is for talking about questions of administrative work or public affairs. The question you have raised was also raised by some members of the Legis-lative Yuan, and I answered and explained it there. Yesterday my son Lee Ching-hua issued a statement, which I did not see beforehand, that clarified his feelings and mine. You know my son too, Ms. Chen, and I wonder what your feelings were after you read that statement, or what suggestions you might have for me.
Chen Shun-hua (China Daily News) Q: I would like to pick up on the question raised just now about our mainland policy. Under the government's policy of openness toward the mainland, if people should run afoul of mainland laws when they go there to promote the Taiwan experience, can the government come up with any concrete measures, besides expressions of support and condemnations, to protect their rights?
A: All right. Many people wanted to go to the mainland to invest and do business and many others hoped to have various types of contacts there, but the government alerted them that the mainland is not ruled by a formal government that respects the rule of law, so there is no legal basis for things there. It is not an area subject to the rule of law, and so there are dangers. They can make decisions arbitrarily, and there is no system for many things on the mainland: they can be one way today and another way tomorrow. They even say they can have "one country, two systems." So we have constantly told people they must pay attention to this. We are in a state of hostility with the autocratic regime on the mainland. We have many proposals and ideas, none of which it can accept, because it is a totalitarian Communist regime. After the incident at Tienanmen Square, we said we hoped that people visiting relatives on the mainland who were thinking of coming back would do so quickly. But since they were spread out all over the mainland and there was no way to contact them all, we went through the various travel agencies to notify them that if they wanted to come back the government would provide appropriate help.
Of course the number of people visiting relatives on the mainland has fallen off a lot now since the Tienanmen Square massacre, but the responsible agencies still warn those intending to go that if they have to go they should be very careful. We have adopted a policy of openness toward the mainland, but we must be specially careful about the fact that people who go there from Taiwan may be endangered or harmed, and they must be warned. We believe that Mr. Huang Teh-pei, the reporter from the Independence Evening Post, did not engage in any improper behavior, but the Communist authorities have arrested him anyway and claim that he instigated the Tienanmen Square incident, which is impossible for us to believe. So as far as the issue of the mainland is concerned, because we are in an antagonistic position with them, we do our best to think of ways to do whatever we can. We will continue to develop and unfold our policy toward the mainland using an active, positive approach under the condition of protecting the security of our national recovery bastion. I wanted to take this opportunity to report to you on this point as well.
[Concluding remarks by Director-General Shaw]
We originally prepared for the press conference to go on for one hour, but the premier has wanted to communicate and exchange ideas with everyone so much that it has gone on for an hour and 30 minutes, which is a record length for a press conference by a premier. Since assuming office, besides working on official business each week from Monday to Saturday, the premier on Sundays has traveled to various places for inspections and has held nearly ten conferences on various subjects, which is a grueling pace. The Premier has been standing and answering your questions for the whole press conference. The willingness of the premier to communicate with everyone and his desire to listen to your opinions are extremely gratifying, and we now will thank him with our applause.
[Concluding remarks by the Premier]
Thank you all for coming. I hope that we will have a chance to get together often. Thank you.
Premier Lee Huan held his first press conference five weeks after assuming office to communicate fully with the public and expound on his administrative programs and ideals. (photos by Lee Pei-hui)
Premier Lee has made use of Sundays and holidays to tour various places and gain a deeper understanding of the situations of the people to serve as a reference in policy making. (photos by Lee Pei-hui)
Premier Lee believes that the work of the Executive Yuan is extensive and multifarious, and it cannot be summed up in the term "an economics and finance cabinet." (photo at left by Lee Pei-hui; photo at right by Lily Huang)
The government has revised the banking laws to crack down on the blatantly illegal investment firms that have arisen because of an excess of floating capital. (Sinorama file photos)
It is not easy to inspect every cargo container completely, which gives illegal weapons a chance to be slipped in. The premier emphasizes that citizens should back up the police and work together with them to maintain law and order. (Sinorama file photos)
For many years now the ROC has continued to send agricultural and fishing technology teams to less developed countries to give them technical guidance and improve the life of the local population. It recently expanded the scope of economic aid by setting up the International Economic Cooperation and Development Fund, earmarked at more than US$1 billion, which has drawn the respect and attention of countries around the world. (photos by Arthur Cheng)
Government workers need a pay raise to boost morale, but they also need to cultivate a scientific, artistic, and philosophical character to define themselves with more self-confidence. (Sinorama file photos)
The government hopes that citizens and reporters going to the mainland to visit relatives or cover stories will be extra careful. (photos by Vincent Chang)