Sun, Nov 21, 2004 - Page 2 News List

`Taiwan Go Go Go' office opens

NOT POLITICAL The vice-president opened a new joint office for her NGOs, and denied that the office aims to boost her chances for a possible 2008 presidential bid

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

At the opening of the new "Taiwan Go Go Go" office yesterday, Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) dismissed media suggestions that political ambitions motivated her launch of the office and that she is simply trying to boost her chance of becoming the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) candidate in the 2008 presidential election.

"I have been misunderstood," Lu said while presiding over the opening ceremony. "The office does not belong to Annette Lu nor is it an office of the vice president."

Lu stressed that she already has her own office inside the Presidential Office.

But a glance at the decorations of the new "Taiwan Go Go Go" facilities shows Lu's influence. Books, wall paintings and displays on the tables all carry the design of a lotus, which matches one of the characters in Lu's Chinese name.

Lu said she is surprised by the attention the office had drawn from the media and the public.

"Having encountered all kinds of abuse [from the media] I could almost be described as the media's abused child. I am rather flattered that I have now seemingly become the media's darling overnight," the vice president said.

The "Taiwan Go Go Go Joint Office" is located near the Presidential Office on Hengyang Road.

Among the groups which share the office space and resources are Formosa Heart, National Prospects Foundation and the Democratic Pacific Union Preparation Committee and Taiwan Strategy Research Association.

Lu said the office was the product of joint effort by her and several groups who all share common ideals and goals.

Noting that all of these groups were initiated by her, Lu said the purpose behind setting up the office is to allow these civil groups which have similar goals to work together and integrate resources and strengths in order to become more efficient.

"The establishment of this joint office is very meaningful. I hope Taiwan can become a hub for NGOs [non-governmental organizations] and thereby allow Taiwan to exercise its `soft power,'" Lu said.

In in her first term as vice president Lu began advocating that Taiwan exercise what she called "the power of soft power" (柔性國力) which champions human rights, democracy, love, high-technology development and care for women.

DPP political heavyweights such as President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), Premier Yu Shyi-kun and Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Chen-chang (蘇貞昌) were not invited to attend the office's opening ceremony yesterday.

The office's staff said the three are preoccupied with a busy campaign schedule for the upcoming legislative elections.

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