Tue, Feb 15, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Chen extends goodwill to PFP

REACHING OUT The president revealed his three New Year's wishes, even as the rumors flew regarding his long-anticipated possible meeting with Chairman Soong

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday once again extended goodwill to opposition parties, expressing the hope that his upcoming meeting with People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) could pave the way for cooperation between the ruling and the opposition parties.

"A-bian is very happy about the soon-to-take-place Bian-Soong meeting, which may launch a new scope in dialogue and negotiation," Chen said, referring to himself by his nickname, and using an amalgamation of his and Soong's names to refer to the planned meeting.

"We are confident. [We] believe that everyone's expectations will not come to naught," the president said yesterday in his greeting to the Presidential Office's ranking officials in a ceremony that traditionally takes place on the first working day after the Lunar New Year holiday.

"The [political] atmosphere these days is good, but it is transient," Chen said. "We should take advantage of it while it is still around."

The much-talked-about proposed meeting is an attempt to effect reconciliation between the ruling and opposition parties. However, none of the details -- including time, date, or topics -- of the hypothetical "discussions" have been decided upon.

These details are expected to be hashed out after Presidential Office Secretary-General Yu Shyi-kun meets with PFP Secretary-General Chin Chin-sheng (秦金生). The Preisdential Office yesterday released a statement confirming that Chin will meet Yu on Friday morning at the Taipei Guest House to negotiate about the meeting.

In his speech yesterday, Chen said that his call for "negotiation, dialogue, reconciliation and cooperation" ought not to be confined only to Taiwan's domestic issues, but should apply also to cross-strait affairs.

"If domestically we can't achieve reconciliation between the ruling and opposition parties, and cooperation between political parties, then how can we talk about reopening the door of negotiations with the other side of the Strait?" the president said.

Noting that the past year had been a year full of turmoil, in which two bitterly fought elections had left the people feeling weary and tiresome, Chen said that in the post-election era everyone is hoping for a country that is united.

Chen then said he is preparing to establish the Committee for Cross-Strait Peace and Development (兩岸和平發展委員會), and via this mechanism draft Guidelines to Cross-Strait Peace Development (兩岸和平發展綱領), which will encompass the consensus of the nation's political parties.

"We will not have any bias nor place any restrictions on the process. [We] hope the heads of all parties can take part in it together," Chen added.

Chen also made public his three New Year wishes: reconciliation among political parties, cross-strait peace and the people's well-being were his first wish followed by the hope that Taiwan could deepen and further consolidate its democracy, and that Taiwan's identity can remain the consciousness of the mainstream.

"These are A-bian's dreams, which I believe are also the dreams of the majority of my compatriots," Chen said. "Let's build the dreams, pursue the dreams and actualize the dreams."

This story has been viewed 3371 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top