Embattled President Chen Shui-bian (
Chen made the remarks while delivering a speech to supporters from his hometown in Tainan County at a gathering in Taipei.
Also on hand were Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), Presidential Office Secretary-General Mark Chen (陳唐山), the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP's) Taipei mayoral candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), as well as several DPP legislators.
Chen, facing public demands for his ouster in the wake of a series of corruption and embezzlement allegations implicating family members, in-laws and top aides, said he was particularly heartened by the boost from his long-term supporters.
Chen pledged he will put up with any difficulties ahead, saying "no matter how vicious the attacks and smears are, I'll stick to my guns and will never fall or lose my will."
Chen refused -- even under heavy pressure -- to renege on the mandate given him by voters, vowing to "bravely go down the right path and pursue my goals and campaigns."
He stressed that he would follow the path of "insisting on a separate identity for Taiwan, and the realization of social justice."
He reaffirmed his four goals -- increasing investment in Taiwan, creating employment opportunities, narrowing the gap between urban and rural areas as well as the gap between rich and poor.
A recent report by the Department of Budget, Accounting and Statistics showed that the income of Taiwan's wealthiest individuals was 6.04 times that of the poorest last year.
The president said he would also insist on three campaigns -- joining the UN under the name of Taiwan, crafting a new Constitution that would be "timely, relevant and viable," and retrieving the opposition Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) ill-gotten assets, which were obtained during the authoritarian era.
He said he as an individual is insignificant, but that safeguarding the nation is very important, saying "everyone should cherish what Taiwan has today."
"What is the meaning if we continue this boisterous squabbling," he asked, adding that if "incessant fighting throws Taiwan into pandemonium and China takes advantage of the situation to invade Taiwan, then what good will it bring to Taiwan?"
The president said Taiwan is a democratic country and democracy means freedom and rule of law.
But he urged respect for this freedom, saying that if the public does not heed the rule of law it will mean chaos for the nation. Any problems should be solved within a legal framework and should not be settled through violence or means outside the existing system, he said.