Tue, Apr 20, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Annette Lu says ethnic conflict is not a real concern

By Lin Chieh-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday said that ethnic conflict is not an issue that Taiwan should be concerned about , saying that it is the issue of "national identity" that Taiwanese people have to accept.

"The ethnic issue does not actually exist in Taiwan. The issue was only created for the election campaign," Lu said.

"I found that some politicians purposely exaggerated ethnic differences in order to avoid facing the challenge of establishing a national identity," Lu said.

Lu made her remarks while having a tea party with the media yesterday at the Presidential Office.

Lu stressed that the realization of Taiwan's first referendum and her ticket's victory in the election have further illustrated the fact that a new national identity has been created.

"We won votes from over half the people in Taiwan," Lu said. "This means that the Taiwanese people's awareness has firmly become the mainstream of our society and a majority of the people accept the doctrine that Taiwan is an independent, sovereign and democratic nation, as proposed by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and me."

Lu said that once the people of Taiwan recognize the new national identity, which has been formed through democracy and peace, it will be regarded as the public consensus.

"Then the ethnic issue will be of no concern," she said.

Lu appealed to the public for a "green-blue reconciliation" instead of expanding the confrontation between the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the opposition alliance, saying that she does not endorse the DPP's scheme of mobilizing over half a million supporters to attend the new president's inauguration ceremony.

"I am not sure who made such a suggestion, however, I don't think that it was President Chen's idea," Lu said, adding that the party still has time to reconsider the suggestion.

"The inauguration ceremony on May 20 represents the beginning of a new era, which brings new missions and faces new challenges, and we should greet it humbly and joyfully," Lu said.

Moreover, Lu said that the DPP's victory also has formed a new mandate to urge the international community to review the "one China" policy.

"The international media have noticed the rise of Taiwan's new nationalism after the presidential election, and many media also urged their governments to abandon Cold War thought, which was the root of the `one China' doctrine," Lu said.

"All countries should accept the national identity of Tai-wanese people, and admit that there are not only two options -- independence or unification with China -- for Taiwan," she added.

Lu stressed that the government has received over 270 congratulatory letters from Taiwan's allies and those do not have diplomatic ties with Taiwan, which proved that the lie of Taiwan is a part of China has already failed.

"Though the Beijing authority is endeavoring to block the international community to attend our inauguration, we believe that the the DPP government's new era will facilitate Taiwan's bid in joining international organizations and win more friendship from other countries," she said.

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