Chen needs 'new mindset' to handle mainland, says Taiwan security chief The secretary-general of Taiwan's National Security Council has defended the new hardline mainland policy of President Chen Shui-bian despite US concerns the island might be moving towards independence. Chiou I-jen denied at a news conference yesterday that Washington had three times demanded alterations to Mr Chen's New Year's speech, in which he revealed his desire for a referendum for a new constitution in 2007 and stricter scrutiny of Taiwanese investments on the mainland. However, Mr Chiou acknowledged that United States officials had read Mr Chen's speech before it was delivered and had 'different views'. 'We only communicated with the US after the final draft [of the speech] was made, and it was less than 30 hours before the president was to deliver the message,' he said, rejecting Taiwanese media reports that the US had sent the draft back to Taiwan three times demanding alterations. Mr Chiou said the US was mainly concerned about the 'referendum for a new constitution' and the cross-strait economic policy in the speech. He admitted the US still had 'different views' about those portions despite subsequent explanations. 'But we have continued to communicate with the US, and this is not something we must resolve immediately,' Mr Chiou added. Mr Chen's plans for a new constitution have unnerved the US and the international community, which fear Mr Chen might move towards declaring formal independence from the mainland, sparking a war in the Taiwan Strait. Immediately after Mr Chen delivered the address, Washington asked him to adhere to his previous pledges of not declaring independence or changing the status quo. Taiwanese officials have denied the proposed new constitution has anything to do with independence. Regarding the tightening of the cross-strait economic policy, Mr Chiou noted that the president had to resort to 'active management and effective opening' to put the brakes on the rush by Taiwanese businessmen to invest on the mainland in the face of adverse consequences for the island. He said that while the mainland refused to deal with President Chen and his government, it had also adopted the Anti-Secession Law to allow the mainland military to use force against Taiwan and had adopted a plan to retake the island. At the same time, Beijing was actively engaging Taiwan's opposition parties to try to reduce the level of alert on the island, including offering pandas and other economic goodies. Because of this, Mr Chen needed to have a 'new mindset' in dealing with the mainland, Mr Chiou said, adding the latest policy was not a one-man decision by the island's president as some ruling party legislators had claimed.