Sat, Feb 12, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Everything's rosy: Chen will meet Soong next week

RECONCILIATION?The president is pressing for cooperation with the PFP, and said so while viewing potatoes and flowers in Taichung and Changhua


Changhua County Commissioner Weng Chin-chu, left, accompanies President Chen Shui-bian, second left, as he admires a sea of flowers at the Changhua County flower festival yesterday.


Preparations for a meeting between President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) will begin on Monday, Presidential Office Secretary-General Yu Shyi-kun said yesterday.

Yu said that details on when and where the meeting would be held had not been decided on, adding that Chen was open to suggestions relating to the meeting's format and content.

He said that Chen would respect Soong's requirements in relation to the meeting.

Yu's remarks followed reports that Chen and Soong had agreed to meet on Feb. 23 in a gesture of reconciliation between the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and opposition parties.

Meanwhile, Chen yesterday restated his wish to bring about a reconciliation with opposition parties after the Lunar New Year and pursue cooperation with them.

Sunny day

"Thank God that we have a sunny day today after misty weather for the last few days. I hope that Taiwan's political atmosphere will resemble today's weather and be sunny," Chen said while visiting a potato fair in Taichung County.

The fair was organized by former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator Lin Feng-hsi (林豐喜) to promote the county's agricultural products.

When asked about a possible meeting with Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜), Chen replied. "There was only a `Bian-Hsi' meeting."

Chen praised the farmers for not only exporting produce to Japan, Singapore and Shanghai, but also sharing agricultural skills with allies such as Palau and the Solomon Islands, which had helped the rural sector maintain self-sufficiency.

Later in the day, while visiting Changhua County's flower festival, Chen said Taiwan's political spectrum was like a colorful rainbow and would be boring if the spectrum consisted only of green and blue.

"To make the spectrum more beautiful, we need to add more colors like orange and yellow," Chen said, referring to the PFP and the New Party.

Common goals

"We should focus on common goals and put aside our differences for the sake of the nation," Chen said.

He then expressed the hope that the ruling and opposition parties could achieve reconciliation, and that the Taiwan Strait would remain peaceful.

Elsewhere, supporters of Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) yesterday urged him to run for the post of KMT chairman.

Wang yesterday organized a lunch in his hometown of Luchu, Kaohsiung County, to express his appreciation for the support he had received throughout his 30-year political career.

Several KMT and PFP lawmakers urged him to succeed Lien as KMT leader and shouted slogans of support.

Wang responded with a smile and said that he supported Lien for re-election.

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