The US Congress has congratulated President Chen Shui-bian (
The letter, dated Wednesday, states: "This is to congratulate you on your re-election as president and vice-president of Taiwan. Free and fair elections are the cornerstone to democratic government. Taiwan has exhibited true democracy. We look forward to working with your administration on a host of issues on behalf of the people of the United States and the people of Taiwan."
Lu had said earlier yesterday that the Presidential Office was expecting the US government to follow diplomatic protocol by congratulating the newly elected president when the Central Election Commission (CEC) formally announces the winner of the election today.
"We hope to receive the congratulatory message from US President George W. Bush before March 26, the day that the Central Election Commission will give certificates declaring President Chen and me the winners of the election," Lu said at a meeting with American Institute in Taiwan Director Douglas Paal yesterday morning at the Presidential Office.
"We also hope that the US government will send a special delegation, with higher-level officials than the delegation they sent four years ago, to attend the inauguration ceremony on May 20 to express its respect to the Taiwanese people's sacrifices and democratic achievements," she said.
Chen and Lu invited business leaders to a discussion yesterday about restoring social order and economic development. Lu briefed the guests about her meeting with Paal. She said that the country's people are displeased with the developments in the wake of the election. She said they are worried that the nation's achievements of the past five decades have been cast in a negative light by a few people who continue to make groundless allegations in the media, thereby damaging the image of the entire nation.
"President Chen has paid a heavy price in his political career and I have also suffered the pains of cancer, being jailed and even taking a bullet," Lu said.
The US' first reaction to the election came on Sunday, when the State Department issued a short statement to congratulate "the people of Taiwan" for having conducted a democratic election campaign and for having exercised their democratic voting rights in such large numbers. The statement did not directly mention Chen.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) have been loudly protesting the result of the election, and the US government has urged both camps to resolve the election dispute.
On Tuesday, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the Bush administration had refrained from congratulating Chen because it was waiting for the legal process to be completed.
"We're just comfortable waiting for those processes to work themselves out, and not for us to say who won, but for them to tell us who won," Boucher said.
The Presidential Office said yesterday that the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election and Recall Law (
"Once the commission certifies the result, the international community should respect Taiwan's legal system by making the appropriate diplomatic response to our new president and vice president," a high-ranking Presidential Office official said.
The official said that the High Court's rejection of the pan-blue camp's lawsuit seeking to overturn Chen's re-election was an endorsement of the legitimacy of their victory.
But the government is worried that the US' ambiguous attitude may encourage the pan-blue camp to expand their demonstration, according to the official.
"The Beijing authority and the pan-blue camp have been taking advantage of the US government's reaction to provoke supporters' anger, so that the illegal demonstrations can continue," the official said.
"The pan-blue camp's lawsuit against the commission and President Chen to have the election results annulled will drag on for months. The US government's hesitation in those months could cause disputes to worsen and further complicate the cross-strait situation, which the US government will also have to face," the official said.
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
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
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb
The National Taiwan Museum’s Railway Department Park in Taipei is to open to the public today. The park in Datong District (大同) near the North Gate (北門, Beimen) is one of the museum’s four branches. During the Japanese colonial era, the site housed the railway department of the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan’s Bureau of Transportation. After World War II, it served as the headquarters for the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) for several decades. In 2007, it was listed as a national monument under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法). At an opening ceremony yesterday, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung