Mon, Mar 18, 2002 - Page 1 News List

No nation an island unto itself: Chen

GLOBALIZATION Though geographically Taiwan is an island surrounded by water on all sides, it can't afford to be isolated from the world, the president said at a meeting of the World Taiwanese Congress

By Lin Mei-chun  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday called upon Taiwanese to stand up and to walk toward the international community because Taiwan would be safer through internationalization.

Stressing the significance of maintaining a liberal mindset, Chen said that Taiwanese should not be afraid of opening up, nor should they resist reform because as a part of the world community, "Taiwan will feel more security by being more internationalized."

"Taiwan is not an isolated island, but an island in the world. Taiwan has to walk to the world, and to allow the world to enter Taiwan. ? We should not be frightened by opening up, nor should we refuse to change," Chen said.

"Sometimes being contained and controlled are not the best policies. It might be better to communicate and to adopt effective management," the president said.

Chen gave the address at the second annual meeting of the World Taiwanese Congress (WTC, 世界台灣人大會) yesterday in Taipei.

The congress, which is composed of nearly 100 pro-Taiwan groups worldwide, was formed last March with the aim of elevating Taiwan's international standing and pushing Taiwan's entry into the international community.

Declaring the government's resolve to take a more liberal approach concerning cross-strait trade, Chen told the attending members that the former "go slow, be patient" initiative had been replaced by the "active opening and active management" policy at last August's Economic Development Advisory Council.

Besides striving for economic reforms, the president said he had placed the same emphasis on political reforms.

To that end, he had pledged to fulfill three primary tasks: reform in governmental agencies, in the legislature and within the DPP.

Chen said the governmental system had to be overhauled because the system adopted for the time being was not suitable for a nation of 23 million surrounded by water.

"Taiwan is not a continental country, it is an ocean nation. Taiwan has to be small, yet powerful," Chen said.

The president also pointed out the urgent need to carry out reform in the legislature.

He said the size of the legislature had to be reduced to bring about an efficient legislature that could oversee the government.

The last task was the reform of the DPP, because it was founded as an opposition party, whose system was not designed to rule a country, according to Chen.

He said the DPP had to be changed and the party should come up with measures on how to lead the country and how to coordinate between the party and the government.

To celebrate the second anniversary of the DPP's assuming power, hundreds of Taiwanese residing overseas returned to Taiwan to show their support to for the party.

The convener of the WTC, Kuo Cheng-kuo (郭重國), said this year the organization's main task was to push for the term "Republic of China " to be replaced by "Taiwan."

He said Taiwan was not recognized by most of the countries in the world, and only by using the name "Taiwan" could the nation enter international society with dignity.

Members of the WTC consider the most crucial undertaking for the organization to be its efforts to get Taiwan into the UN.

Dozens of members of the Chinese Unification Alliance (中國統一聯盟) protested outside the annual meeting of the WTC yesterday, saying "unification with China is the only hope for Taiwan."

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