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March 23, 2017

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President outlines government priorities for 2017

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Saturday that the government's work will focus on four key areas in 2017, the first of which is boosting Taiwan's slow economy.

In a news conference held on New Year's Eve, Tsai said making all-out efforts to lift the economy will be the government's most important task next year and that as part of such efforts, the government will speed up the structural transformation of Taiwan's economy and expand infrastructure investment.

She outlined six categories of infrastructure targeted by the government, including an integrated rail transport system, broadband and ultra-wideband cloud computing as well as flood and drought prevention in response to climate change.

The other three categories of infrastructure development are building facilities serving the demand of an aged society, infrastructure for basic scientific research and infrastructure that meets the country's energy transformation goal of phasing out nuclear power and reducing carbon emissions, she said.

The second thing the government will do is continuing all kinds of major reforms, with priority to be given to reforming the country's deficit-ridden pension programs to salvage them from bankruptcy, she said.

Third, she said, the government will work to maintain peace and stability in a volatile international situation and play a more active role in regional affairs.

The president reaffirmed her "steadfast diplomacy" approach in which Taiwan will strengthen its substantial relations with other countries through cooperation and reiterated that her commitments to cross-Taiwan Strait relations remain unchanged.

Finally, she said, the government will face divisive issues seriously and try to find reasonable resolutions for those differences through dialogue.

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