Upon completion of his national grassroots tour, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday restated his determination to lead the nation away from its economic difficulties.
\n"During my visits these past months, I've heard much from the public. I've heard their complaints, suggestions and advice in light of the nation's economic malaise," Chen said yesterday at the Linchi Farm Resort in Chungpu Township (中浦), Chiayi County.
\nTwo years and seven months into his presidency, Chen yesterday completed his tour around the country, having visited all of the nation's 319 rural and urban townships.
\n"I will keep in mind all that I've heard on the tour and will evaluate what I have been told," Chen said.
\n"The government will try its best, as quickly as possible, to salvage the nation's economy."
\nNoting that he'd heard the public's economic plight during his tour, Chen called on everyone to work together as the government strives to combat the sagging economy.
\n"We should work together, face the challenge and work for a better and brighter tomorrow," Chen, extending both of his arms in the air, said in the speech.
\nEnding the last leg of his tour in Chiayi County -- the same county where the tour first kicked off back in June 2000 -- Chen said yesterday that all his visits had allowed him to have substantial interaction with the public.
\n"During my visits to all these townships, I've discovered that although Taiwan is a small place, it is a very beautiful place," Chen said. "And its people are all very friendly and warmed-hearted," Chen said while sharing some anecdotes of his tour with the crowd.
\nChiayi County's Waisan Tingchou (外傘頂洲) was the first destination of Chen's national tour, which he started one month after assuming presidency in May 2000. Chen was the nation's first president to ever visit the area.
\nAccording to Office of President spokesman James Huang (黃志芳), in the past 953 days, not only has President Chen visited all the nation's rural and urban townships, but also the nation's offshore islands, including Lanyu (蘭嶼), Green Island (
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