Fri, Nov 05, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Chen congratulates Bush, hints at better relations

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday congratulated US Pres-ident George W. Bush on his re-election and pledged to seek closer cooperation with the Bush administration in promoting regional peace and stability.

Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said at a Presidential Office press conference that immediately after the result of the US presidential election had been determined, Chen and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) sent messages to Bush and US Vice President Dick Cheney congratulating them on their re-election and to the American people on the success of the election.

Chen said in the message that the governments and peoples of Taiwan and the US had close ties and shared the values of democracy and human rights.

"Based on the two countries' shared values and based on existing foundations, [Taiwan] is willing to work together [with the US] to oppose terrorism, restrict the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, promote peace and deliver humanitarian aid," the message said.

"Taiwan and the US are mem-bers of the Asia-Pacific region, and the Republic of China government is willing to cooperate with the US government on an ongoing basis to safeguard regional peace and stability, while actively seeking dialogue with China to foster prospects for peaceful cross-strait relations," it said.

Su then urged Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) to learn some democratic manners from Democratic presidential nominee Senator John Kerry.

Lien filed an annulment suit challenging the result and encouraged weeks of protests staged in view of the Presidential Office.

"Look at the US and reflect on our situation," Su said. "Our 23 million compatriots must have sighed with emotion to see how Al Gore, the US presidential candidate four years ago, and Kerry yesterday, presented themselves so gracefully in defeat to uphold the democratic system and their responsibilities to the country and the people."

In contrast, Su said, Lien had "set a bad example for a democratic society" by "running in the election yet being unwilling to concede defeat, by filing a lawsuit yet distrusting the court and criticizing the [process] before the court renders its verdict."

Su was referring to remarks made by Lien on Wednesday during a KMT Central Standing Committee meeting, in which he accused Chen of fraud and said a person like this deserved to be killed.

"Lien's behavior leads one to conclude that he is a sore loser who has let his personal feelings bring about disturbances in Taiwan from March 20 until now," Su said.

Su also urged Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), also a KMT vice chairman, to ask Lien "to stop the unrest, because Taiwan can allow no more division."

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