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Last Updated: Monday, 23 January 2006, 06:41 GMT
Taiwan's Chen warned over China
Taiwan's Premier Frank Hsieh, right, shakes hands with outgoing minister of economy before the resignation of the whole cabinet, Mon 23 Jan
Mr Hsieh shook hands with other ministers before they resigned
Taiwan's outgoing Premier Frank Hsieh led his cabinet ministers in an expected mass resignation on Monday, paving the way for a planned reshuffle.

Mr Hsieh, whose resignation was announced last week, warned President Chen Shui-bian over his China stance.

He said some of Mr Chen's hardline policies on China were not in tune with what Taiwanese people wanted.

Mr Chen is trying to revive his Democratic Progressive Party following a December election setback.

"It's only reasonable that policies should have the support of over 75% of the people," Mr Hsieh told ministers.

"I think there is possibly a considerable shortfall between our policy execution and actions, and the expectations of the people," he said.

Policy disagreement

Frank Hsieh stepped down last week, accepting blame for DPP's huge defeat in local government elections in December.

But he also acknowledged that he was leaving because of disagreements with Mr Chen over key policies - including the president's continued hard line on dealings with China.

After Mr Hsieh resigned, Mr Chen quickly appointed Su Tseng-chang, a former DPP chairman, to replace him.

Mr Su will be sworn in with his new cabinet on Wednesday. Under Taiwan's political system, the president appoints the premier, who then forms the cabinet.

Analysts say Mr Chen is hoping that the new faces in office will boost support for the DPP ahead of the next presidential election in 2008.

The president has had a tough few months. As well as losing ground to the main opposition Kuomintang (KMT) party in local elections in December, the DPP has also been accused of corruption and has been ignored by the Chinese leadership, which has instead invited senior KMT figures to Beijing.

The two main parties in Taiwan have different strategies towards mainland China.

The DPP advocates a separate Taiwanese identity, while the KMT and its allies oppose Taiwan independence and favour closer ties with Beijing.

China regards Taiwan as a breakaway province which should be reunited with the mainland, by force if necessary.

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