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PRESIDENT CHEN VOWS TO MAKE TAIWAN NUCLEAR-FREE ISLAND

2004-04-22 18:33:31

    Taipei, April 22 (CNA) President Chen Shui-bian reaffirmed his commitment Thursday to building Taiwan into a "nuclear-free, green-silicon island."

    Chen made the reaffirmation at an national environmental protection meeting jointly organized by scores of local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) dedicated to protecting the ecology and wildlife.

    Due to insufficient knowledge about nature, Chen said, Taiwan's ecology was seriously damaged during the previous Kuomintang administration.

    Since taking office in 2000, Chen said his administration has adopted a different way of thinking and different strategies to achieve a balance between environmental protection and economic development.

    In 2002, Chen said, the Legislative Yuan passed an environmental protection basic law, which sets an ultimate goal of making Taiwan a nuclear-free, high-tech island.

    Noting that Taiwan is the first Asian country to declare a determination to scrap the use of nuclear energy, Chen said his administration will push for early decommissioning of the island's three existing nuclear power plants and the half-built Fourth Nuclear Power Plant.

    Meanwhile, Chen said, his administration plans to hold a national conference in the near future to discuss policies on sustainable national development and exploration of new energy resources.

    Chen further said his administration will refer to major conclusions reached at the ongoing NGO environmental protection meeting in formulating future national development guidelines.

(By Sofia Wu)

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