Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday stated that commentary on the New Year's Day message issued by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) had overlooked its core focus on the linkages among Taiwan's national security, economic security and social security.
Speaking in her capacity as interim Democratic Progressive Party chairwoman, Lu made the remarks at the beginning of luncheon meeting with DPP city and county branch directors at the Taipei Guest House.
Lu stated that it was "very unfortunate" that media and other commentary on Chen's address had "not been willing to face" the core issues raised in the president's message.
The vice president stated that Chen had highlighted the need to link "three securities" of national defense, economic and social security.
First, Lu said that the president had noted that China's People's Liberation Army has already deployed 784 missiles aimed at Taiwan and has continued to expand its military spending and capability.
Moreover, the vice president said that Chen had revealed the PLA "has clearly delineated phased objectives" in its campaign against Taiwan, namely the formation of a comprehensive rapid reaction force capability before 2007, the preparation of a large-scale force capability before 2010 and the possession of a capability for victory in a decisive campaign before 2015.
"The president revealed this for the first time and we believe everyone should take note of this, but we have not seen any discussion in the media on this great challenge and threat to our country," Lu stated.
In addition, Lu related that the president's decision to offer the principle of "proactive management and effective opening" to guide economic and trade policy with China was aimed to ensure Taiwan's "economic security."
She also affirmed the president's linkage of "economic prosperity" and "equity and justice"' as both being essential for Taiwan's sustainable development.
"Most importantly, the president stressed that much of our trade depends on China," related Lu, who cited the figure that 40 percent of goods produced to fill export orders to Taiwan companies were manufactured abroad and that 90 percent of such goods were made in the People's Republic of China.
"We need to have proactive management by the government in order to reduce the risks of opening as we cannot put all our economic interests in China," Lu cautioned.
Third, "we cannot only focus on economic prosperity, but must pay attention to social equity," said Lu, who warned that Taiwan faces challenges from trends for an expansion in income disparity and the transition to an "aging" society.
"The linkages among national security, economic security and social security comprise the core thinking of the president," said Lu, who stated that the DPP would continue to guide Taiwan's entry into the 21st century and further progress toward democracy and prosperity" and would not be led into despair by a single electoral setback.
Lu also stated that a major reason for the DPP's setback in the December 3 local elections was the combination of the polls for city and county commissioners, city and county councils and township mayors into one date.
"President Chen, myself and Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) were resolved to realize this democratic reform and realized that we would have to bear a certain cost," said Lu, who stated that the combination was made to simplify the election system and save national resources.
Lu stated that if the combination was not made, the city council and township elections would have been held this February, followed in June by village council elections and then in December by the races for Taipei City and Kaohsiung City mayor and councils.
"As the governing party, the DPP had to put top priority on our country's progress," said Lu, who asserted that "if we did bear this price, the cost to the country would have been even greater.