President Chen Shui-bian (
"Though the opposition pan-blue alliance led the ruling DPP and its allies by more than 25 percentage points in opinion polls in April, recent polls and surveys all show that support for the opposition alliance and ruling DPP is even," Chen said.
"The trend shows that support for the pan-blue alliance is going downhill and support for the DPP is continually rising, which means that the ruling DPP has gained the advantage in the campaign," the president said.
Chen said that the DPP's confidence that it can win the election also comes from splits in the pan-blue alliance.
"Recently I have received some grassroots leaders and businessmen from the opposition alliance and they have showed sincerity in shifting their support to us," Chen said. "We believe that it is a trend and there will be more followers."
Chen yesterday welcomed Lilley and Christopher DeMuth, president the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), to the Presidential Office and congratulated Lilley on the success of his new book. He then discussed cross-strait issues, referendums and the presidential election with his guests.
Chen stressed that the main obstacle to the development of cross-strait communication was Beijing's "one China" principle, which is totally different from US government's "one China" policy.
"The US policy and stance is to facilitate a `peaceful means' of solving the cross-strait issue rather than to make `peaceful reunification' the issue's conclusion," Chen said. "What the US emphasizes is the process, not to force both sides into accepting a pre-defined conclusion."
He added that Taiwan is ready to resume dialogue with China on any issue and to realize the normalization of the cross-strait relationship on the basis democracy, peace and equality.
"But if Beijing insists of making the `once China' principle a pre-condition, then it is impossible to make any progress on the cross-strait relationship," Chen said.
"Since we can accept neither Beijing's `one country, two system' nor the `one China' principle, we predict that the main theme of the 2004 presidential election will be the choice between `one country on either side' and `one China' for all people of Taiwan," he said.
In August last year, Chen for the first time described Taiwan and China as "one country on either side" of the Taiwan Strait.
Chen also reaffirmed that Taiwan will hold referendums on important issues and reiterated his promise to the international community in his inauguration speech that the referendum will not touch on the issue of sovereignty.
He said that the public was really interested in the referendum, which has been regarded as a basic human right.
"I insist on keeping my promises of the `five-nos' in my inauguration speech. However, holding a referendum on March 20 next year or even before that date is an inevitable goal," he said.
Lilley arrived in Taipei on Thursday night for the release of the Chinese version of his memoirs: Memoir of James Lilley -- Uncovering the Truth of the Triangle Relations of Taiwan, Mainland China and the United States.
Lilley, director of the American Institute in Taiwan's Taipei Office during the early 1980s, was invited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The experienced diplomat, who has also served as the US ambassador to China, is scheduled to deliver a speech at the Howard Plaza Hotel Taipei tomorrow afternoon.
A Taipei veterinarian is urging pet owners to avoid using insecticides around their homes, as their ingredients can be toxic to pets. Commercial-grade insecticides contain pyrethroids — organic compounds similar to natural pyrethrins, pesticides produced by flowers such as chrysanthemums — in quantities that are harmless to humans, but potentially fatal to cats and dogs, Asian Veterinary Specialist Referral Center veterinarian Chua Man-ling (蔡曼琳) said. Even in small quantities, pyrethroids are hazardous to cats, as they lack the metabolic enzymes needed to process them, Chua said. Cockroach sprays and ant traps are especially dangerous to pets as they contain boric acid, she
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
DREAMING OF TRAVEL: About 7,000 people applied for the experience, with about 60 chosen for the first flight yesterday, which includes boarding an airplane Starved of the travel experience during COVID-19? Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) has the solution — a fake itinerary where you check in, go through passport control and security, and even board the aircraft. You just never leave. The airport yesterday began offering travelers the chance to do just that, with about 60 people eager to get going, albeit to nowhere. About 7,000 people applied to take part, with the winners chosen by random. More fake flight experiences are to take place in the coming weeks. “I really want to leave the country, but because of the pandemic, lots of flights cannot fly,”
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since