Thu, Dec 09, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Say `Taiwan' aloud, Chen urges people

BELIEVE The president told a crowd at a rally that they had nothing to fear from China, which was always opposed to Taiwan's democratization efforts

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian, center, yesterday attends a campaign rally to stump for Wang Shih-chien, left, Julian Kuo, second left, and Lan Mei-chin, second right, Democratic Progressive Party legislative candidates running for election in Taipei's northern district.

PHOTO: CHIANG YING-YING, TAIPEI TIMES

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday encouraged everyone to say aloud that the country's name is "Taiwan" as long as people believe in the name, stressing that there is no need to worry about China's threats over Taiwan's bid to rectify its name.

Chen once again vowed to change the names of government agencies overseas and state-run enterprises during a campaign activity held in Taipei City yesterday.

"We don't have to fear China's opposition to Taiwan's reforms and changes," Chen said after praying for DPP candidates at Baoan Temple (保安宮) yesterday morning.

"In fact, China has never stopped threatening Taiwan while we conducted democratic reforms over the past few decades."

Chen said that, from the lifting of martial law and bans on establishing political parties and newspapers, to elections for the legislature and direct elections for president, China has never voiced its consent to Taiwan's changes.

"But we would never give up our transformation just because of China's intimidation," Chen said.

Meanwhile, Chen rebutted some people's argument that the state-run corporations will not make profits anymore if those businesses quit using "China" or "Chinese" in their titles, criticizing these comments as "nonsense."

"Did Wang Yung-ching's (王永慶) Formosa Plastics Group (台塑集團) use the word `China' in its company name? No, it didn't. Yet Wang's company is still profitable," Chen said.

"Why can't we change our name?" Chen asked, pointing out that Taiwan had already successfully changed the bizarre names of Taiwan's resident office in Washington from "Coordination Council for North American Affairs" to "Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US."

The Association of East Asian Relations, the representative office in Japan, was also changed to the "Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office."

By citing a statement that Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) made when he campaigned for his mayoral reelection in 2002, Chen told a rally in Taichung County yesterday that he needs a stable legislature with a majority of the pan-green camp members to push forward with reforms.

He emphasized that the case is the same as when Ma needed a majority in the Taipei City Council for a better administration.

Chen stressed that only when the pan-green camp wins the legislative elections could Ma have a chance to extend his political future, otherwise Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) will never give up politics.

"Just as Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou appealed to Taipei citizens as he sought for his mayoral reelection in 2002, which Ma said that since voters supported his re-election, they should also promise him a stable city council for the sake of better municipal construction," Chen said.

"So did I. I asked all of you to vote for the pan-green camps so that I could have the back-up of the legislature to continue implementing all kinds of reform," Chen said.

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Name-change proposal wouldn't change status quo

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