Thu, Sep 23, 2004 - Page 3 News List

DPP celebrates 18 years of fighting for democracy

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

President and Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Chen Shui-bian speaks at a reception for foreign diplomats and representatives at Taipei 101 to celebrate the DPP's 18th anniversary yesterday.

PHOTO: SUNG CHIH-HSIUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday said that strong public support for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) showed that the people of Taiwan approved of the party's efforts to stabilize the country by carving out new prospects in diplomacy and improving the domestic economic situation.

Chen made the remarks yesterday at a reception for foreign diplomats and representatives to celebrate the DPP's 18th anniversary. Over 100 diplomats and ambassadors joined the reception held at the Taipei 101 skyscraper.

Ambassador of Burkina Faso and Head of the Mission and Representatives in Taiwan Jaques Sawadogo congratulated the DPP on behalf of all the ambassadors present.

"For 18 years, the DPP marched Taiwan along democracy's blocked path, upholding the principles of honesty, persistence and love for the land as the party's core founding spirit," Chen said. "And the reason that the DPP continues to gain people's trust is because the party has always stood on the right side of history."

Chen said that in 2000, the DPP accomplished the first political rotation and peaceful transfer of authoritarian power. In 2001, the DPP became the largest political party in the Legislative Yuan and, in 2004, it obtained more than half of the voters' support, which underscored that the direction the DPP has insisted on taking was correct.

"The DPP continued to shoulder important responsibilities as the ruling party. The fruits that were democratically and collectively produced are not the sole achievement of one political party, but the history created by all the people of Taiwan," Chen said.

In addition to the achievement in democracy, Chen said, Taiwan finally won its first Olympic gold medals last month after a long wait of 72 years and the nation also entered the WTO after fighting hard for 12 years.

"And, more inspiringly, in bidding for observer status at the World Health Assembly we acquired even greater support from the US, Japan and other countries," Chen said, pointing out that these facts again prove that as long as there is self-confidence and belief in Taiwan and its people, there is no dream that cannot be realized.

Chen stressed that Taiwan could not remain absent from international society and promised to keep the peace and stability between China and Taiwan.

"In protecting cross-strait peace and normalization of relations, Taiwan represents a stable, guardian spirit across the Taiwan Strait, as well as a faithful protector of peace in the region. This is also the DPP's most solemn promise to the international community," Chen said.

He said that he hoped the DPP would win over 50 percent of legislative seats in the year-end legislative elections to offer a stable legislature to all the people of Taiwan.

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