Taiwanese tycoon Shi Wen-long yesterday shocked pro-independence supporters and all politicians by openly supporting the mainland's Anti-Secession Law, just when the island was holding a march to voice its opposition to the law. Mr Shi, founder of the multi-conglomerate Chi Mei Group which invests in petrochemicals, hi-tech enterprises and other businesses, said in an open letter published by the Taipei-based Economic Daily News that, after recent comments by President Hu Jintao and the enactment of the Anti-Secession Law, 'we should all feel more relieved'. 'It is because that people who dare to invest in the mainland are people who will not engage in 'Taiwan independence'. Since we don't engage in 'Taiwan independence', the development of Chi Mei in the mainland will definitely become more prosperous.' Mr Shi, a senior adviser of Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian and a staunch supporter of him during the 2000 presidential polls, said he supported Mr Chen not because he backed independence but because he disapproved of the alleged corruption of the former government. He said Taiwan could not do without the mainland if it was to develop its economy and independence would only lead to war and drag people into disaster. 'I don't hope people of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait are hurt by war and I don't want colleagues in Chi Mei to lose their homes and families.' He called on Mr Chen's government to quickly forge direct transport, trade and postal links with the mainland, which would help economic development.His letter shocked most people in Taiwan, with some pro-independence politicians saying he made the statement because he hoped the mainland would no longer interfere in Chi Mei's investments on the mainland. But the letter, issued as Mr Chen joined thousands of others in the Taipei protest to denounce the Anti-Secession Law, has seriously embarrassed the government. The Presidential Office said it respected Mr Shi's 'individual opinion', while the ruling Democratic Progressive Party said it understood why the tycoon had made such a statement.