US President George W. Bush held up Taiwan's democracy as an example for the world to follow as he addressed a global conference on democracy in Prague, Czech Republic, on Tuesday.
He also made an indirect reference to the Martial Law era of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) rule, contrasting it to the present democratic conditions in Taiwan.
Bush's speech was the keynote address to a conference on "Democracy and Security," whose attendees included dissidents and democratic activists from 17 countries, including China.
"Freedom can be resisted and freedom can be delayed, but freedom cannot be denied," Bush said.
"As our relationships with South Korea and Taiwan during the Cold War proves, America can maintain a friendship and push a nation toward democracy at the same time," Bush said, in a clear reference to the periods when Washington's concerns over the KMT's repressive actions threatened the relations between the two countries.
"We are also applying that lesson to our relationships with Russia and China," Bush said.
"For example, China's leaders believe that they can continue to open the nation's economy without also opening its political system," which Bush called a "strong disagreement" between Washington and Beijing.
The US leader also announced that Uighur activist Rebiyah Kadeer among the prominent dissidents that he would be meeting during the conference.
Kadeer has been persecuted by Beijing authorities for years for pushing for Uighur autonomy in Xinjiang and her sons have been imprisoned in retaliation for her acts.
Bush said of the dissidents and others in the audience, "You are united in an unwavering conviction: that freedom is the non-negotiable right of every man, woman and child, and that the path to lasting peace in our world is liberty."
In Taipei, the Presidential Office yesterday welcomed Bush's comments.
Presidential Office Spokesman David Lee (
Taiwan and the US are partners in freedom and democracy, Lee said.
The two countries share common interests in promoting peace and stability in the region, he said.
Additional reporting by Ko Shu-ling
The One Bear Museum in Hsinchu County’s Guansi Township (關西), a teddy bear museum once touted by the county government as a “luminous pearl” along Provincial Highway No. 13, is facing possible closure. The museum’s building, which was provided by the county government, has a serious water leakage problem and lacks a parking lot for buses to bring in tour groups, Hsinchu County Councilor Lo Shih-shi (羅仕琦) said on Saturday. The county government should step in to rescue the museum, or the negative reviews about the museum on the Internet might affect visitors’ impression of the township and the county, he said. The
‘HONEYMOON’ IS OVER: A political science professor said that the Tsai administration’s popularity peaked after it successfully contained COVID-19, but is waning President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) and Premier Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) approval ratings fell significantly this month in the wake of the government’s handling of the distribution of relief funds and stimulus coupons to people and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, a poll released yesterday by the New Power Party (NPP) showed. The poll showed that 68 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with Tsai’s performance, down 8.9 percentage points from last month, while 21 percent said they disapproved of her performance. Her approval among respondents aged 20 to 29 fell 14.7 percentage points, the largest decrease when compared with other age
Peggy Chen (陳佩琪), wife of Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), yesterday said that the Central Epidemic Command Center’s (CECC) claim that Taiwan had warned the WHO about possible human-to-human transmission of COVID-19 was “far-fetched.” The US on April 9 said that the WHO had put politics first and ignored Taiwan’s early warning in December last year, which the WHO denied the following day. The WHO said that it received an e-mail from Taiwanese authorities on Dec. 31 last year, but that “there was no mention in the message of human-to-human transmission.” Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC,
Food delivery provider Foodpanda had 564 consumer disputes from January to last month and failed to attend many mediation sessions with local governments nationwide, the Executive Yuan’s Consumer Protection Committee said. In a news release earlier this month, the committee said that it investigated consumer complaints and mediations for Foodpanda and rival Uber Eats during the period, when the number of delivery orders jumped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Uber Eats had 80 consumer disputes, the committee said. Of Foodpanda’s consumer disputes, 368 resulted from delivery drivers canceling orders after customers could not be reached, 108 were related to the quality or quantity