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Tue, Jun 15, 2004 - Page 21 News List

'An enormous contribution' to Taiwan

By Lin Chia-lung

Since the easing of restrictions on newspapers, this medium has thrived in Taiwan. For instance, the number of Chinese-language newspapers has skyrocketed from 31 to 239. Before the advent of the Taipei Times in 1999, for more than four decades only two English-language newspapers were published in Taiwan. From its first issue, the Taipei Times has created a new and dynamic atmosphere for the local English-language newspaper market, symbolizing a new beginning for the industry.

The Taipei Times bears witness to the pride stemming from the evolution of Taiwan's society. Like its Chinese-language sister paper, the Liberty Times, the Taipei Times stresses the ideal of identifying with Taiwan and putting Taiwan's interests first. It also emphasizes "bringing Taiwan to the world, and bringing the world to Taiwan." That is, while helping to foster Taiwan's national identity, the Taipei Times never fails to build ties between Taiwan and the international community. This paper provides more choices for the Taiwanese and foreign readers in Taiwan. On top of this, by fully advancing Taiwan's viewpoints, it makes an enormous contribution to the integration of Taiwan into the international community and the maximization of Taiwan's role as a responsible member of it.

I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the Taipei Times for its accuracy and professionalism. It accurately reports the aspirations of Taiwan's people and understands well Taiwan's political, economic and social nuances. By the same token, it exemplifies impartial reporting by the media and clarifies current affairs through its editorials.

The Taipei Times plays an indispensable role in providing a channel for foreigners in Taiwan to understand Taiwan's current state, thereby enhancing their understanding, appreciation and support of Taiwan. I am happy to learn that over recent years, the Taipei Times has strived to be the best by adopting Internet technology to further serve its readers with real-time reports. In addition, because the Taipei Times has a wealth and profusion of talent, it often wins international accolades for reporting and design. One can easily understand how the high quality and unremitting efforts of its staff have won recognition by its peers in the industry.

When I first arrived at the office of Government Information Office (GIO) last month, I made it clear that the GIO's primary mission would be to "let the world see Taiwan and let Taiwan understand the world." This happens to be the aim of the Taipei Times as well. Being a long-time reader of the Taipei Times and an old friend of many of its core founders, I take delight in recommending it to foreign officials stationed in Taiwan as well as to foreign businessmen, researchers from think tanks and other guests from abroad. On this occasion, the fifth anniversary of the founding of the Taipei Times, I am honored to extend congratulations on behalf of the government, and wish the Taipei Times a prosperous future.

Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) is the Minister of the Government Information Office.

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