Mending and strengthening Tai-wan's relations with the US will be an important mission of the next president of Taiwan, former premier Frank Hsieh (
According to Hsieh, Taiwan must maintain its credibility while dealing with the international community, and this can be achieved through frequent communication.
Taking US concern over Taiwan's plan to reform its Constitution as an example, Hsieh said the key point in this issue is whether Taiwan has communicated effectively with the US and emphasized that "it is consistent with the interests of the United States and of the world for Taiwan to practice democracy."
The former premier said that Taiwan's democracy is a soft power with a strong appeal to the Chinese people, and that Taiwan's success demonstrates that full democracy can be achieved in Chinese societies.
Hsieh, who was in Washington to attend the National Prayer Breakfast, made the remarks in response to questions from reporters after the event.
Hsieh also said he is seriously considering a run for the presidency in 2008 and what he could do for the country if he was elected.
Saying that one of the purposes of his US trip is to listen to the opinions of various sectors in the US, Hsieh said the manners displayed by US politicians of different partisan affiliations at the National Prayer Breakfast demonstrates the idea of "reconciliation and coexistence" that he advocates.
Although the politicians might not agree with US President George W. Bush, Hsieh said, they all stood up and clapped to welcome the president's arrival, which stands in contrast with the situation in Taiwan, in which political rivals treat each other as enemies.