1989 / 3月
I.C.R.T Carleton Baum問：政府已經開放報紙一年多了，請問，政府現在有沒有考慮開放電視與廣播電台，特別是新聞內容，包括台語和英語的節目？
Sinorama /photos courtesy of Arthur Cheng /tr. by Phil Newell
With the end of the Year of the Dragon, the annual press conference of the premier had come around once again. The conference was held on February 1, with reporters from across the country invited by the Government Information Office.
Attendance at this year's press conference was unusually active. According to statistics of the Department of Domestic Information Services of the Government Information Office, nearly 100 reporters were in attendance, exceeding previous years by a significant amount.
During the 68 minute encounter, Premier Yu spoke with composure in the Press Center of the GIO. In the room is displayed a couplet, "Speak for the people, let the government know what the people want; reflect public sentiments, let the people know what the government is doing."
On February 1, at three o'clock in the afternoon, an upbeat Premier Yu Kuo-hwa, accompanied by Robert Chien, secretary general of the Executive Yuan, and Shaw Yu-ming, director-general of the Government Information Office, entered the site of the press conference. He greeted reporters with a smile and a wave. After all had found their seats, Director-General Shaw delivered the following remarks:
Premier, Secretary General Chien, and friends from the news media: hello and welcome!
This past year has been a year of vast change. From the passing of President Chiang Ching-kuo to the succession by President Lee Teng-hui, the lifting of restrictions on the opening of new newspapers, the continued advancement of mainland policy, and some street demonstrations and activities, plus the passing of the "Voluntary Parliamentarian Retirement Law" and the "Civic Organizations Law," as well as revisions of the "Election and Recall Law," taken overall, this past year has been the year of the greatest transformation and reform since the government came to Taiwan forty years ago. The GIO has traditionally held a year-end press conference personally chaired by the Premier at the end of the lunar year in which members of the domestic media corps and foreign reporters posted to the ROC participate. The purpose has been, on the one hand, to review the past year, and on the other to map out the government's direction for the coming year and the future, in order to strengthen communications between the government and the people and to build consensus. In a moment I would like to first ask Premier Yu to make some remarks, after which we will ask you to raise your questions. Let us first ask Premier Yu to say a few words.
Although this was the first time that Premier Yu has called a press conference using the format of answering questions on the spot, his rich experience from Legislative Yuan interpellations had prepared him well. One could tell by watching him deliver his remarks:
Ladies and gentlemen,
In a few days we will come to the Chinese New Year. I would first like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy new year. Since assuming the job of premier, I have met and spoken with you every year prior to the Chinese New Year. In each of your questions one can see the reflections of the aspirations and impressions of the people toward the government. From your reports the people can know the answers to, "what is our government doing?" "How are they doing it?" "And why do they want to do it this way?" So you are the bridge between the government and the people, and are the reflection of social conscience and justice. I would like to take this chance to thank you all for your hard work and for your support of the government.
In the past year, our country has gone through a great transformation. The late President Chiang Ching-kuo passed away, with the political reform program he promoted still unfinished. At the same time society has been in a transitional stage, with resulting problems of disorder, and has not yet returned to the right path. It can be said that over the past year there have been many difficulties. Fortunately, under the courageous and wise leadership of President Lee Teng-hui, and with the common effort and cooperation of the whole military and people, the Executive Yuan has been able to overcome all kinds of difficulties, and to continue to push forward all kinds of government orders.
Over the past year, the economy has continued to be prosperous, with 77% growth, stable prices, and full employment; per capita income surpassed US$6,000, and everyone has enough wealth to enjoy life. In politics, we have joined forces to continue to promote constitutional democracy, to expand the channels for political participation, and to establish the foundation for party politics. Now, the "Voluntary Parliamentarian Retirement Law," the "Civic Organization Law During the Period of Mobilization for Suppressing Communist Rebellion" and the amending of the "Elections and Recall Law" have all completed the legislative process. I believe that in the future the functions of democratic government can be smoothly promoted. What concerns us is that so-called violent acts, resorting to taking unilateral action, and street movements are still continuingto increase; these are affecting local tranquility and social order, and are making many people dissatisfied. In respect to this, the government, besides establishment of laws, communication, and guidance, at the same time must strengthen its public power, to improve public security andmaintain social order, to protect the safety of people's life and property, and simultaneously allow our enterprises to develop under normal conditions; this is a main focus for our work for the upcoming year.
Besides this, the main direction in which the government will strive in the forthcoming year, in the political realm, is to stride toward democratic constitutional government, and to make democratic politics move forward. In the economic area, we will continue to promote the policy of liberalization and internation-alization. We want to move from the exportoriented economy of the past to an economy led by domestic demand. Last year we already progressed along this road and made considerable accomplishments; we want to continue to promote it this year. Socially, we want to raise the quality of life of our citizens and strengthen social welfare. Therefore, in the coming year we will face many challenges. I hope we can bring together everyone's strength to shorten the time of this transitional period, to enable the people to live and work in safety and happiness, to enable the country to remain prosperous and be stable, and to move toward a brighter future. Now will you please raise your questions.
Lee Huey-huey (Taiwan Television) Q: Recently there have been many labor-management disputes in the country; the longer this continues, the more serious they become. They already seriously affect the domestic investment climate. Premier, what do you believe is ultimately the reason for these disputes, and what concrete methods does the Executive Yuan have for resolving them?
A: Labor-management disputes are one thing we are extremely concerned about. According to the stipulations of our constitution, enterprises are supposed to develop on the basis of the principles of labor-management harmony and cooperation. Only with the mutual cooperation of both labor and management can the common benefit be sought. Both our labor and management should have a consensus based on this principle, and not allow ambitious people to exploit or manipulate them. On the surface, these disputes are in the interests of labor; in fact, on the contrary, labor also loses. So I hope that labor and management can have a consensus on similar benefits and mutual reliance. As for the government, it absolutely takes the stand of impartiality, to assist the two sides, labor and management, to resolve their disputes and to enable them to work together to promote the development of enterprises.
Chen Pai-jia (Broadcasting Corporation of China) Q: According to surveys done by the Public Opinion Research Foundation from 1987 to the end of 1988, the degree of public satisfaction toward the Premier's administration of government has shown a trend of gradually declining. Moreover, two surveys by the United Daily News in the second half of last year indicate that the popular assessment of the Premier is slightly lower than that for other cabinet level officials. Could the Premier please tell us, what is your view of these results? Have you analyzed why they are as they are?
A: I think that all the ladies and gentlemen here know my usual attitude toward my job. I have always sought truth from facts, done much, and spoken out little. I have often done ten parts, but discussed only one. Therefore some people on the outside do not quite understand me. Because this is a democratic information era, everyone hopes to know what the government is doing, why the government is doing what it is doing, and how well it is doing it. They hope that the highest executive official is frequently able to touch base with them. Given this environment, I also understand this. Therefore I will let the results of the public opinion surveys serve as a reference to spur me on and improve in the future. As for public opinion polls, I believe that every democratic country uses this method to serve as evidence of the trends in public opinion. However, public opinion organizations must do their work extremely carefully, and they must plan appropriately. For example, their attitude must be fair and transcendent. The targets of the survey must be comprehensive and representative. Their questionnaires must be clear and simple. Regardless of whether questions are asked by phone or in person, selecting impartial questioners is also extremely important; there should not be other purposes. Otherwise, there could be a misleading of public opinion.
Yeh Ming-hua (United Evening News) Q: Next year will be the election of the president and vice president. Premier, may I ask, if the ruling party nominates you to be the vice presidential candidate, will you accept?
A: I only focus on how to do the job that I am doing at the current time. I have never considered the problem of future office. Because I personally believe that the Kuomintang has many talented people, the Kuomintang should select someone of accomplishment and moral fortitude to serve as the president's main assistant.
Lin Kuo-ching (China Times) Q: The three major bills have already completed the legislative process. However, the appropriateness of two regulations on provincial level organization is still in the process of interpretation by the Council of Grand Justices. Currently it seems the Council of Grand Justices is inclined to determine that these two regulations are unconstitutional. Could the Premier please tell us, how will the Executive Yuan cope with these two regulations? Does the government have any plan to look anew at the general principles for provincial and county self-government, in order to reduce political disputes in the next stage?
A: Mr. Lin, I am extremely sorry, but I have no way to respond to this question today, because the Council of Grand Justices is still deliberating these two bills. Before the Council of Grand Justices issues its interpretation, it would be improper to express any opinion.
Lin Yih-ling (Central Daily News) Q: Since the major cabinet reshuffle at the end of last July, already we have had a half year of the new officials. How does the Premier view their performance? As for those who are not suited for their jobs, do you have any plan to make adjustments?
A: From the cabinet reorganization to today has been roughly half a year. We can only see some preliminary results. According to my own view, all of the cabinet level officials have a tremendous sense of responsibility. Generally speaking they have all performed not badly, so in the short term there will be no changes. As for those whose accomplish-ments in their work are not adequate, when there is a change in the future, changes will again be considered.
Chang Long (Central News Agency) Q: Over the past year the government has gradually pushed forward mainland policy, which has created a great impact on both sides of the Taiwan Straits. Can the Premier please comment on how the government will push forward mainland policy in the coming year? What about concrete work and objectives?
A: For the past year our mainland policy has been continually pushed forward. Starting from our permitting people living here to go to the mainland to visit family, now it is permitted for those from the mainland to come here to attend funerals or visit the ill, and we have also allowed private citizens to participate in academic conferences, and so on. But over the past year we did not see any response from the Chinese Communists to what we have been doing. It can be said that the Communist threat to us has only gotten worse. Especially in the diplomatic arena, theyhave used all kinds of methods to isolate us. They have heard that we will adopt a policy of flexible diplomacy, and they openly oppose it, even as far as raising protests in the United Nations. Under these circumsta nces, our policy toward the mainland cannot but proceed cautiously and in good order.
Chu Hsin-chiang (Economic Daily News) Q: The Ministry of Economic Affairs recently surveyed the labor shortage situation in twenty domestic manufacturing industries. They discovered the situation is very serious, with labor shortages commonly twenty to thirty percent. Some industries even reached forty or fifty percent. The policy most hoped for by business people is for the government to allow in foreign labor. Will the Premier please tell us, as to the serious labor shortage situation faced by the business community, what kind of guidance, policies and measures to cope with the situation does the government have? Is bringing in foreign labor feasible?
A: The current domestic labor situation is a problem to which the government is directing concern. However, bringing in foreign labor is not a very good way to solve the labor shortage. Currently, all foreign labor coming in to work is illegal. We will resolve the labor shortage problem, but we must still work from what we have ourselves in the country. For example, we must promote automation of production, which is to use machines to replace labor. We are also striving to change the domestic industrial structure, to move toward and develop via high-tech products, to make the time spent using brain power more than using labor power. Moreover the value added is high. This can reduce the use of labor. In the second place, I feel that now we have many people who are neither employed nor in school. This idle manpower is not small in number. If our factories can discover flexible work times, then I think a part of this can go to work in the factories. Aside from this, if we are able to construct day care centers and homes to care for the sick and elderly, then many productive women can come out to work. I think that we should still act from these angles in resolving the labor shortage problem. Because after foreign labor comes in, this could create many side effects, and at the same time could affect our industrial upgrading; moreover the distribution of wealth could also be affected.
Rainy Lin (China Times Express) Q: Since you have become Premier, you have served under both Mr. Chiang Ching-kuo and Mr. Lee Teng-hui. Can I ask you to raise some concrete examples which could illuminate the different styles and characteristics of these two presidents? Could you at the same time also illuminate the situation of your cooperative relations and how you get along with President Lee Teng-hui?
A: I think that everyone knows the personalities of the late President Chiang and President Lee are different, and it's not necessary for me to explain. However, regardless of whether in the past with the late President Chiang or at present with President Lee, we cooperate extremely well, because we all have the fundamental principles of stressing the national interest and putting the people's welfare first in our hearts. Under these principles, we communicate our opinions with each other in order to set the nation's policies; in terms of cooperation, there is not the slightest problem.
Liu Yu-li (Chinese Television) Q: In the coming year, the government will continue to promote the development of constitutional democracy. After the passage of the three major bills which everyone had been concerned about, what concrete methods will the government use to promote and implement them? In particular, after the passage of the law on civic organizations, has the government considered recruiting non-governing party or opposition party persons into the cabinet?
A: We will continue to promote constitutional democracy. Before the end of the year we want to hold elections, so we hope to thoroughly realize party politics. New parties should be established according to the legal process, and to compete fairly in the future according to the election law. Moreover, when elections are held, they must be fair and open, to achieve the purpose of choosing the virtuous and able, to open the channels for participation of the virtuous and able in the government.
Yang Hui-chun (Liberty Times) Q: Now our party politics has already moved toward a system of competitive party politics. There must be separation between party and government. Premier, may I ask, as you are now the country's highest executive official as well as the chairman of the ruling party's Central Campaign Steering Committee, what kind of method will you use to coordinate the party and government departments, to render election assistance? What kind of stance and attitude will government departments have in the future to deal equally with opposition parties, so that the separation of government and party can be carefully preserved?
A: As for the separation of party and government, we have continuously been moving along this road. That is to say, after a party puts up candidates, and then wins an election, it takes the governing power and implements the party platform and policies of that party. As for someone working in the government, if he shoulders party work, he is not supposed to use his executive power to help the party, but rather to use his policy and way of thinking to conform to the party to which he belongs. Therefore as for the separation of party and government, in the future we must do this even more strictly; that is, someone serving in the government can realize the policies of the party to which he belongs. But his executive power is to be exercised according to law; and moreover there should be efforts to move in the direction of administrative neutrality.
Hu Hsueh-chu (China Television) Q: Several elections will be held at the end of the year. The image of the Yu cabinet and the accomplishments of the Yu cabinet are more or less connected to the votes for the ruling party. You just now said that you often do ten parts, but only talk about one. But it can't be denied that whether or not public opinion polls and general informed opinion approve of the Premier is directly related to the ruling party in this year's elections. Given this, what view do you have about this year's year-end elections? How have you prepared for self-promotion?
A: Of course the results of the elections have a direct relationship with the accomplishments of the administration. If the current administration of government is done badly, I think this will certainly produce some effects on the election. Miss Hu has just spoken about my personal image. I think this is secondary. The main thing is to look at the situation of our administration of government. I believe that the accomplishments of our government over these past several years are understood by all. For example, first, politically, after the lifting of martial law last July 15, we have already taken the road of constitutional democracy. We have opened up publication of newspapers, to enable each paper to openly compete; there is even more guarantee of the freedom of speech. I think these are epoch-making matters, and will certainly receive the affirmation of the people. Second, economically, for many years we have continually maintained a situation of economic prosperity. In the five years since I have become Premier, our growth rate has surpassed ten percent three years; the lowest was five percent. This kind of prosperity will win the approval of the people to an even greater extent. Third, with our economy under such great international pressure, now we are in the midst of transforming our main economic direction, moving slowly from an export-oriented economy to an economy led by domestic demand. Since implementation last year, there has been considerable success. Not only have domestic prices not fluctuated, we have also reached full employment. Socially, although currently there is an environmental protection problem,and we started a little late in environmental protection work, our government is actively undertaking it. As for welfare, we are now pushing forward national health insurance. I feel that regardless of whether in the areas of politics, economy, or society, our administration of government has made great accomplishments, and many of these accomplishments areepoch-making. They will certainly be affirmed and recognized by the citizens.
Hu Yuan-hui (Independence Evening Post) Q: After the passage of the "Civic Organizations Law," the Executive Yuan should establish a political party review committee. Does the Executive Yuan have any idea about the membership structure of the political party review committee? How can its impartiality be guaranteed?
A: The "Civic Organizations Law" has just passed. We are still studying how to organize the political party review committee. However, I believe that, regardless of whether it is the political party review committee or the future elections commission, these will certainly recruit many impartial individuals from society to participate, in order to maintain their impartial, transcendent status.
Wang Tsao-hsiung (Taiwan Times) Q: This year is the fourth year of a press conference for the Premier. Over the past four years, the impression the Premier has given people has been one of being very conservative. Is this related to the fact that press conferences are rarely held? Further, at this press conference, the Premier has already not selected the traditional method (that is, the method of setting the topics in advance), and has chosen free questions and answers. Last time President Lee Teng-hui had a sentence, he said: "Officials must not be afraid to speak out a little more; refrain from being a hypocrite and don't be afraid to take a moral stand." Has the Premier been influenced by this and thus changed methods?
A: As for the calling of press conferences, I think that although I only meet with you once a year for direct questioning and responses, the Executive Yuan is made up of all the ministries and commissions. The chiefs of the ministries and commissions frequently report their policies to everyone at Government Information Office press conferences. I feel, vis-a-vis the work of the various ministries and commissions, their heads have a clearer understanding than I. They hold press conferences to reply to your questions, and can be more detailed than I can, and can satisfy your wishes to a greater extent. As for this time, why do we have free questions and answers? This is to accommodate the wishes of the ladies and gentlemen of the press. You hope to use this method, to be a little more relaxed, and a little more at ease. So there are more people in attendance here today than in the past.
Marian Shin (Cheng Sheng Broadcasting Corporation) Q: As for the current problem of foreign labor, following their entrance in larger and larger numbers, the effect created for the society, economy, and labor of the ROC has become greater and greater. Could the Premier please tell us, when will the government have a clear announcement regarding a policy of standards for foreign labor, and when will it be implemented?
A: A short time ago I said that, at this time, all foreign labor which gets a tourist visa to enter the country and then remains here and takes employment is violating our laws and regulations. We have asked the Ministry of the Interior to investigate these foreign laborers; once discovered, they are asked to leave the country.
Shirley Lai (Associated Press) Q: A short time ago the Premier raised the point that after the government adopted a liberalization of mainland policy, the Chinese Communists did not make any reaction. Could the Premier please comment, what kind of response did our government expect? Also, at present because of the appreciation of the NT dollar and continued labor-management disputes, many business people want to go invest in the mainland. In fact, according to reports, already there has been over US$100 million in investment which has been shifted over to the mainland. Has the government considered these matters? In the future will this kind of investment be able to be legalized?
A: For the past year, the policy of the mainland towards us has not had any change from start to finish. They still insist on the "four cardinal principles" and "one country, two systems." At the same time they repeatedly emphasize that they will use armed force to attack Taiwan when it is necessary. As for our internal situation, they have continually taken advantage of our liberalization policy to undertake infiltration and factionalizing work. For example, they have sent a large number of fishing boats to transgress our waters; this is a very clear example. Diplomatically, as I have just said, the Chinese Communists have repeatedly thought to use all kinds of ways to isolate us. Under these circumstances, we cannot but consider even more the policy of the Chinese Communists, and take even more realistic and cautious steps.
I think that the attraction of investment from us by the Chinese Communists is one united front method. Their main objective is to create a close relationship between our business community and the mainland economy. In the future, when our economy's dependence on them becomes greater and greater, once the Chinese Communists' policy changes, then this could affect our entire economy. Therefore, the Chinese Communists want to use this relationship to press our government to accept their authority, and to make our government agree to peace talks and accept "one country,two systems." This is the Chinese Communist plot. I must caution our business community not to be taken in, because at present our business community perhaps is looking to low wages in the mainland to continue to undertake labor intensive industries. Although the Chinese Communists currently have all kinds of incentives to attract them, the policy of the Chinese Communists can change at any time. At that time, our business community may suffer a great loss.
Wan Chen-chung (Taiwan Shin Sheng Daily News) Q: In the past week the Premier has visited numerous social welfare agencies in the north, central, and south of Taiwan. Does the Premier have any preliminary plans and thoughts about the government's social welfare work in the coming year?
A: Our government target in the future is to put an emphasis on social welfare. I feel that in the past there has been not a small amount done in terms of social welfare work. Therefore, taking advantage of the end of the year to go and observe these social welfare agencies, is, on the one hand, to understand the situation regarding welfare affairs managed by the government or privately. The other side was to have a look at these many nursing homes, veterans' homes, institutions for teaching the retarded, and institutions which care for the handicapped. Since going to these three areas, north, central, and south Taiwan, to visit, I find that there are many circumstances which very much deserve our attention. For example, the number of those living under government care in homes for the aged is often less than capacity. That is to say, currently most people are well off, and life is relatively abundant, and they are not willing to be taken in by the government, but would rather spend the money and live in nursing homes at their own expense. Therefore, our future development may go in a different direction. As for the mentally retarded, I discovered that now there are not a small number. Besides our care centers, each school also has some. We must do more work in this areain the future, take in more people for care, and help more. Further, these people are in fact those in society most deserving of our sympathy, and are the most pitiable. As for the handicapped, although they are handicapped, their self-respect is extremely high. They are willing to be self-sufficient and don't need the government to support them. If you only have work for them and give them job training, they can be independent. Therefore in the government it has been studied whether or not a factory for the handicapped can be built to provide them with work, becausein an ordinary factory, when the handicapped go there to work, they easily suffer from the prejudices of others, which creates a spiritual threat. If there can be a factory appropriate for their abilities and character, I believe this will be a little better in terms of looking after their lives and giving them spiritual encouragement.
Wang Sheng-jieh (Taiwan Daily News) Q: There will be elections to the central parliamentary bodies at the end of the year. Some people believe that in the government at present there is a deficiency of high-ranking government officials with backgrounds as elected representatives, and because of this suggest that high-ranking government officials should participate in the elections for central level representatives. Could the Premier please tell us what kind of view and opinion he holds about this? If the Premier's response is affirmative, may I ask if there is any thought to put forward several high-ranking government officials to participate in the central level representative election at the end of this year?
A: I think that our political system is not the same as countries with cabinet systems. Wherever there is a cabinet system, their top executive officials are produced from among the popularly elected representatives. We are the same as the United States; they are chosen and appointed by the government. If you say that some heads of executive bodies intend to participate in popular elections, naturally that is very good. However, the government has no way to encourage them to. This is a different system.
Lee Ching-yuan (Min Sheng Pao) Q: Currently in the transportation industry in all areas strike situations are worse and worse. What kind of policy will the government adopt to cope with, or to improve, this situation?
A: The government is currently working hard. We hope that there will not be strikes in the transportation industry during the holiday, so the industry will be able to serve the people and make travel convenient for the people. If there will really be strikes in the trans-portation industry, and those involved will not accept the government's solutions, I think that when it is necessary, the government will use troops to assist in the work of public trans-portation. Because among our troops there are many who have the ability to be drivers, during the holiday, for the convenience of the public, we will perhaps use drivers from among the troops to assist us to resolve shortterm difficulties.
Carleton Baum (I.C.R.T.) Q: The government has lifted the ban on new newspapers for a year now. May I ask, is the government now considering allowing new television and radio stations, and in particular, liberalizing the contents of news, including for Taiwanese and English language programming?
A: I think that in principle all our mass media should be open. However, radio stations and television stations are different from newspapers. Newspapers can increase and there is no difficulty. But radio and television require frequencies. If there is no frequency, then they can't be opened up. At the present time, in fact, all the frequencies are filled, and there are no additional frequencies to give to the private sector to use to run radio or television stations.
Kuo Yueh (Youth Daily News) Q: A short time ago, while talking about mainland policy, the Premier raised the point that the Chinese Communists have never renounced using force against Taiwan. We know that the success of the development and production of the IDF fighter plane by the Ministry of Defense last year was a great help in raising the people's spirits. However, many problems have occurred in the construction of the HDS-200 class warship. Will the Premier please discuss the main points of future construction in national defense? Further, does the Premier have a concrete proposal to solve the problem of land deeds issued to soldiers?
A: As for the problem of the land deeds issued to soldiers, the Ministry of Defense has decided to take back the land deeds of the soldiers, and at the same time give compensation, and has already made up a proposal. Now we are undertaking the work of coordination between party and government. If this work of coordination is completed early, we will propose this at the Legislative Yuan in the next legislative session. After it is passed it can be implemented. As for the defense industry, currently the weapons we have are all purchased from the United States. The weapons which the United States supplies to us are all defensive, and of no higher performance than the weapons we now have. However, the weapons of the Chinese Communists have continually improved. If we still continue to use our current warplanes and warships, I'm afraid it will not be easy to resist an armed attack by the Chinese Communists. Therefore we now want to manufacture a new fighter plane. We have been helped by the United States in the area of technology. The prototype aircraft of this work has already been manufactured, and has begun flight tests. After the flight tests are successful, we then will start production. After we manufacture a fighter, the second step will be to manufacture a warship. We want to strengthen our national defense equipment and build a national defense industry. It is hoped that in the future after our equipment is increased and improved, we can reduce the usual amount of soldiers needed. This is our current national defense policy.
Chiu Jean-ssu (Asiaweek, Hong Kong) Q: Since the government has implemented the policy of liberalization, the indirect trade via Hong Kong between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits has continually increased. Given the special three sided economic relationship taking shape, I would like to ask the Premier two questions. First, what kind of view do you have toward the possibility of the coming into being in the future of a "Greater Chinese Common Market" or "Chinese Economic Circle" using this relationship as the foundation? Second, people at home and abroad have been hotly discussing the possibility that this kind of "economic unification" might slowly lead to or achieve political reunification between the two sides of the straits. What is your view of this point of discussion?
A: As for the issue of the "Greater Chinese Economic Circle," this is a hope of the Chinese Communists to broaden their influence and power and expand their sphere of control. I think it has already met the strong opposition of the Southeast Asian nations. I saw in today's paper, Teng Hsiao-ping has said in the future this problem is not to be raised again. I think the Chinese Communists feel that the Southeast Asian nations already understand their ambitions and schemes, and because they have consequently met opposition, they will temporarily stop hereafter.
Huang Shiu-feng (Taiwan Shin Wen Pao) Q: In recent years the government has continually been materially encouraging the private sector to participate in public construction investment. But the recent Jung-hsing case reveals that this policy has some flaws. I would like to ask, after the Jung-hsing case, will there be any change in the government's policy in this area? Or, will there be any adjustment in the measures or ways of doing things hereafter?
A: I think that the policy of the government welcoming private participation in public investment will not change. If the private sector is able to invest in public construction, this is welcomed by the government, because there is currently much investment work which the government wants to do. If every matter needs government investment, then in the future perhaps the scope of investment will not be broad enough. If the private sector is able to participate, I think this is a good trend. For example, recently someone suggested to the government that he is willing to build a highway from Sungshan Airport to Chiang Kai-shek International Airport. He will invest and buy the land himself. The government has already indicated its receptiveness. I feel that even if he doesn't do this task, then we will do it ourselves. Today the private sector can do it, and we welcome as much as possible private investment. As for the Jung-hsing Gardens case, this is an unfortunate incident, because of the suspicion of bribery. To avoid problems for the Taipei City government in handling this, the Jung-hsing Gardens investment plan will perhaps be canceled. However, this will not affect the policy of the government welcoming private investment in public construction in the future.
Chen Juo-chin (United Daily News) Q: I would like to especially ask the Premier, in following up the question asked a short time ago by the United Evening News, excluding for a moment the ruling party nominating you to run for election as vice president or president, excluding this possibility, would you personally be willing to serve as vice president or president? Or could you announce that the premiership is your last executive post? Also, I would like to ask the Premier to address for a moment the proportion of this year's adjustment in salaries for the military, civil servants, and educators.
A: As for the first problem, I have already served in the government for about fifty years. After the work of the premier reaches the end of a stage, I am prepared to retire. Second, the adjustment of salaries for the military, civil servants, and educators is still under study; it will probably be from ten to twelve percent.
Chen Shun-hwa (China Daily News) Q: Currently the point which is receiving everyone's criticism is that reducing the size of election districts could lead to a very serious situation of electoral corruption. Will the Premier please comment, is there at this time a relatively strong plan to prevent electoral corruption for this year's year-end elections?
A: As for the decision on electoral districts, in principle, this depends on the size of the electorate; there is also the area's situation. These are both closely related. The advantages and disadvantages of large electoral districts or small electoral districts are not easy to judge. According to the stipulations of our constitution, the electoral districts for the Legislative Yuan are: for every province with population under three million, there will be five people elected. For those of over three million population, one seat will be added for every additional one million people. Therefore it includes two factors: one is the area, the other the population. I believe that our future deliberations will be considered from this direction. Because if the area is too large, it is not fair to the candidates running around to compete in the election. If the area is too small, of course this is also bad. Therefore this problem cannot be decided at this time. In the future the Central Election Commission will carefully study this and make a decision.
After the Premier had answered twenty-four questions, the scheduled one hour had already been exceeded. At this time, Government Information Office Director-General Shaw Yu-ming announced that the press conference had concluded, and invited the reporters to attend a reception at the Chinese Air Force Recreation Center, to chat with the Premier in a different way.
Premier Yu responded to reporters' questions at the conference in depth. (photo by Vincent Chang)
The more democratic politics becomes, the more room there is for reporters to ask their questions. The annual year-end press conference of the Premier attracted reporters from all the mass media. (photo by Vincent Chang)
Quickening the pace of political reform is the direction in which the government has been striving since the lifting of martial law.
After getting wealthy, work must be devoted to raising the quality of life.
Labor, management, and the government must cooperate to resolve the numerous labor problems. (photo by Vincent Chang)
To cope with changes in the domestic and international economic environments, adjusting the industrial structure and making higher value added products is the best way.
The environmental protection problem is coming to the fore. We can slow down economic growth in order to consider future directions.
Implementing national health insurance is to benefit the people.
Increasing spending on social welfare will be to help the low income and handicapped and to realize the goals of the Principle of People's Livelihood.
Increasing domestically manufactured weapons is an important objective of government policy.
In the past year, Premier Yu continually went to the localities to check on the progress of construction, and indicated areas that needed improvement. (photo by P.J. Chen)