Fri, Feb 24, 2006 - Page 3 News List

`Brokeback Mountain' sets good example, Chen says

By Chang Yun-ping  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday used the Oscar nominated movie Brokeback Mountain as an analogy to describe relations between the US and Taiwan, stressing the importance of both sides seeking ways to reconcile and cooperate with one another to reach the common pursuit of a "great new world."

"Although challenges abound on this road ahead, as long as we believe in the value of this common mission and in ourselves, there is no obstacle too great or mountain too high," said Chen, who made the remarks last night at a banquet held by the American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei (AmCham).

The banquet was attended by around 550 people, including Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and American Institute in Taipei deputy director David Keegan.

Although Brokeback Mountain revolved around the issue of same-sex relationships, its most profound lesson transcends the love affairs in the movie, Chen said.

"It motivates us to understand that all of us are bound to make a difficult decision in life; yet we must strive to dispel prejudice, create trust, uphold mutual respect, and seek ways to reconcile and cooperate with one another, because only by so doing can we together reach the frontier of a `great new world,'" he said.

During the speech, Chen also reiterated the importance of the government's new cross-strait economic policy of "active management, effective opening."

Pressed to comment on Chen's analogy, Ma said last night that for US-Taiwan relations to be like the characters in Brokeback Mountain, both parties needed to trust each other.

The two main characters in the movie knew what the other was thinking and doing at all times, and did not spring "surprises" on each other, Ma said.

When questioned about the president's ongoing plan to disband the National Unification Council (NUC), AmCham president Tom Johnson said that although national security is a basic need which Taiwan is entitled to pursue, a strong economy will also add to the nation's overall security.

Johnson said that the foreign business community's confidence in the nation's investment environment remains strong and unaffected by the government's plan to abolish the NUC.

"I think it's very positive to invest in Taiwan ... You can see a lot of companies putting [money] into their infrastructure to support these. I do think you'll continue to see investments. These are very exciting areas," Johnson said.

Johnson said that Chen's Brokeback Mountain analogy demonstrates the value of cooperation.

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