Fri, Aug 06, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Pacific union set to take shape, Lu says

TAIWAN, GO GO GO!The vice president said the democratic union will be established over the next two years. She also announced plans yesterday to `retransform Formosa'

By Lin Chieh-yu and Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) said yesterday that she believes the Democratic Pacific Union (DPU) could be firmly established in the region over the next two years.

"I believe that the DPU can ... gradually actualize its goals and the projects it aims to launch as it slowly takes shape," Lu said in an interview with the Taipei Times.

"Give me 10 years. After that I believe it will be interesting to see how the DPU will have turned out," Lu said.

She yesterday elaborated on a number of ideas and goals of the alliance of democratic Pacific nations, which she initiated.

The second Democratic Pacific Assembly, organized by Lu, is slated to take place in Taipei from next Friday through Sunday.

The assembly was formed last year to facilitate communication among the nation's allies in Central America and the Pacific region and between other Pacific and East Asian countries, as well as promoting democracy, human rights and freedom.

Regional security, marine resources, industrial development, technology exchange and promotion of democracy will be the main themes of this year's assembly.

Lu said during the interview that she is preparing to push for a public campaign in late October to raise awareness of the country's circumstances in the international arena.

Lu has tentatively dubbed the movement "Retransform Formosa, Taiwan, Go! Go! Go!"

"Our comrades in the `Formosa Incident' [美麗島事件] had their historical mission in the previous era," Lu said, referring to an incident on Dec. 10, 1979, in which the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government imprisoned participants in an anti-government rally organized by Formosa magazine.

Lu was one of those who took part in demonstrations at the time. She was arrested for her involvement and imprisoned on Green Island for 1,933 days.

"Now we are faced with a new era in which there are new challenges, and we therefore need to retransform Formosa with a new historical mission, which includes internationalization, a world vision and advanced technology," Lu said, adding that the idea had been approved by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).

"Previously, it was stressed that `Taiwan belongs to Taiwanese.' In this era, we want to transform it into `Taiwan is part of the world.'"

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