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Industry leaders say yes to new nuclear plant

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Industrial and commerce groups yesterday expressed support for the launch of Taiwan's Fourth Nuclear Power Plant at a breakfast meeting with Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺).

The premier led high-ranking economics and finance officials to meet with representatives of the Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce (CNAIC), touching on subjects such as pension reform, Nuke 4 and finance institute collaboration.

According to Jiang, the Research, Development and Evaluation Commission (RDEC) released a survey on the support rate of Nuke 4 — 54 percent expressed support for the plant under the condition that safety is guaranteed and 38 percent expressed determined opposition whether the plant is safe or not. He stressed that the fate of Nuke 4 was up to the people, and not the government alone.

However, the new poll comes after the office of Taipei City Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) released a survey last month showing 66 percent of people expressed support for the scrapping of Nuke 4.

The RDEC survey showed that 26 percent supported the immediate termination of Nuke 4 construction, while 57 percent supported phasing out nuclear energy gradually; 58 percent think that the early termination would affect the cost of electricity rates, while 42 percent think that Nuke 4 should be halted even if it might affect the nation's economy.

Suggestions to Loosen Finance Regulations

Other than the topic of nuclear energy, industrial leaders suggested that the government loosen restrictions on financial institutions.

Kenneth Lo (駱錦明), chairman of the CNAIC, said that if the government can ensure that the consolidation of some financisl institutes is made on a fair and open basis, Taiwan's finance sector would be sure to see improvements in the future.

To boost the flow of cash from mainland China, the CNAIC also suggested that the government should loosen the restrictions on the amount of cash an individual may carry from 20,000 yuan to 40,000 yuan.

The association also suggested the government to loosen restrictions on the limited amount of foreign workers a company may employ in the free trade zones, adding that the rate of aboriginal workers may not drop below 1 percent of the entire workforce.

They stressed that the government should focus more attention on Taiwan's scientific technology developments and the cultivation of the talents of the next generation.

Jiang commented that he understands the perceived limits of Taiwan's economy, adding that he expects himself to lead the nation out of its dire situation.

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Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce Chairman Kenneth Lo (駱錦明), left, heads to a breakfast with Cabinet officials, yesterday. At the meeting, Lo publicly expressed his support for the launch of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, adding that the government should ensure its safety.

(CNA)

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