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Fri, Nov 09, 2001 - Page 3 News List

Dec. 1 elections: Chen calls Chiayi a `sacred land of democracy'

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE While campaigning in Chiayi, President Chen said the administration's next goal will be admission into the WHO and eventually the UN

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

On the campaign trail in Chiayi last night, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) vowed to strive for Taiwan's entry into more prominent international organizations following WTO accession.

"After the WTO, our next goal will be [admission to] the WHO and then eventually the UN," Chen told tens of thousands of local supporters, who responded with enthusiastic applause.

Chen then criticized opposition parties for their "barbaric" cuts in the DPP-led Cabinet's budget for social welfare and urged voters not to vote for KMT candidates.

Promoting the international baseball tournament being held in Taiwan, Chen said Chiayi has contributed a number of talented players to the sport, saying half of the members of the country's best teen baseball team -- the Golden Dragons (金龍隊) -- were from the city.

Chen said that the city, which sits astride the Tropic of Cancer, has also played a core role in the country's democratic development, praising the city as "a sacred land of democracy." He expressed his special thanks to citizens since more than 47 percent of the city's eligible voters had supported him during last year's presidential election.

The party has nominated Huang Cheng-nan (黃正男) to run in the city's mayoral race and incumbent legislator Trong Chai (蔡同榮) to seek re-election.

While endorsing Chai, Chen said that Chai's diplomatic efforts have helped Taiwan break its international isolation. He said that as a result of Chai's efforts, the US has proposed the Taiwan Security Enhancement Act to help defend Taiwan against China.

He added that the Formosan Association for Public Affairs, which Chai once chaired, also used its connections with US politicians to facilitate Chen's stopovers in the US during overseas trips this year and to greatly improve US-Taiwan relations.

Lauding the Cabinet's move on Wednesday to relax the "no haste, be patient (戒急用忍)" policy, Secretary-general to the President Yu Shyi-kun yesterday told the crowd that that the DPP-led Cabinet "has proven to be effective during its rule and the president has come through on his promises" to normalize cross-strait trade relations.

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