Vice President Annette Lu (
"As world leaders concentrate on the war against terrorism, close attention should be paid to the use of this military threat to terrorize the people of Taiwan. Actions should be taken early before China can trigger a war," Lu said at the opening ceremony of the three-day meeting.
"Regretfully, the more the Taiwanese desire to contribute to global peace, the more China builds up its military forces to intimidate Taiwan," Lu said, adding that China has more than 400 ballistic missiles targeting Taiwanese cities.
Lu, in her capacity as leader of the DPP's observer delegation to Liberal International, expressed her appreciation to the Hungarian government for issuing a visa allowing her to travel to Budapest.
Describing her attendance at the international convention as a "breakthrough," Lu told some 400 people in the audience that "it's the first time ever that Taiwan's president or vice president has delivered a speech at such a significant international forum."
According to a press release issued by Liberal International, a London-based network of liberal parties from some 67 countries, Liberal International President Annemie Neyts and Hungarian liberal leaders welcomed Lu's visit.
"I am delighted that Annette Lu was granted a visa to attend our congress in Budapest. It is a significant step, recognizing President Chen Shui-bian's (
Lu's plan to attend the group's annual meeting in Ottawa in 2000 was thwarted due to the refusal of the Canadian government to issue her a visa.
Lu also highlighted in her speech the "unfair treatment" accorded to high-ranking officials from Taiwan.
"But why should popularly elected leaders of a liberal democracy, like President Chen and myself, be denied the right to visit other democracies?" Lu said. "Are they simply hypnotized by their businesses' potential earnings in China, or are they hypocritical about the common values that we liberals stand for?"