Sat, Jul 12, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Chen gives pep talk to new graduates

By Lin Chieh-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday restated that Taiwan must build an independent national defense system and create an elite force to deter its enemies and protect the country.

Accompanied by Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), Minister of National Defense Tang Yao-ming (湯曜明) and other top officials, Chen attended a joint graduation ceremony of six military schools held in Peitou.

He addressed the young military officers and urged them to show their loyalty to the country without losing their faith in the country's future.

He stressed that although the relationship between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait is stable now, communist China is undertaking more diplomatic schemes to isolate Taiwan.

He said, "Taiwan must build an independent national defense and an elite force that is small but top-grade, quick and efficient."

"In the face of the threat from communist China, we must be well-prepared and determined to strengthen national security, and we must be responsible to history by building an independent national defense system and by modernizing and consolidating our forces, so as to strengthen our national defense," Chen said.

He quoted American priest Mary Harvey: "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the capacity to act in the presence of fear. Faith is not the absence of doubt, but the courage to believe in spite of doubt. Trust is not the absence of qualms, but the capacity to go forward despite misgivings."

He urged the young officers not to lose faith in the future of their country.

"Pursue your dreams, never be afraid of being defeated, catch the chance and take action," he said.

He also brought up a "well-being formula," saying that one brave heart plus double effort and triple action are equal to 100 percent well-being and success.

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