Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Taiwan’s new cabinet unveils reform agenda

By Kathrin Hille, Financial Times, February 1, 2005

Taiwan’s government plans to concentrate on a series of economic and social structural reforms in an attempt to seek common ground with the opposition and avoid further political gridlock. Outlining the agenda for Frank Hsieh, the new premier who took office Tuesday morning along with a newly elected parliament, President Chen Shui-bian said Mr Hsieh’s cabinet should seek an agreement with opposition parties and should consult the opposition in formulating policies.

This represents a departure from past practices, under which Mr Chen’s government tried to ram through controversial policies but was often blocked by the opposition, which had the legislative majority. Mr Chen said the cabinet and the opposition should work together on reforms of the public health insurance system, tax reforms and fighting crime. For a long time, he said, the government had only tinkered with immediate problems and made small adjustments to these issues which were of extreme importance to every citizen.--------------------------

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