US President George W. Bush, signaling his administration's pleasure over Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou's (
"I congratulate the people of Taiwan on the successful conclusion of their March 22 presidential election. Once again, Taiwan has demonstrated the strength and vitality of its democracy. I also congratulate Mr. Ma Ying-jeou on his victory," Bush said.
"Taiwan is a beacon of democracy to Asia and the world. I am confident that the election and the democratic process it represents will advance Taiwan as a prosperous, secure, and well-governed society."
The statement contrasted to the US position four years ago, when President Chen Shui-bian (
The department was originally scheduled to issue the statement this time, but the administration decided to elevate the statement as the election results came in.
In his statement, Bush called for direct dialogue between Taiwan and China.
"It falls to Taiwan and Beijing to build the essential foundations for peace and stability by pursuing dialogue through all available means and refraining from unilateral steps that would alter the cross-strait situation. I believe the election provides a fresh opportunity for both sides to reach out and engage one another in peacefully resolving their differences," Bush said.
The president also pledged to maintain strong relations between Taipei and Washington.
"The maintenance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and the welfare of the people on Taiwan remain of profound importance to the United States," he said. "We will continue to maintain close unofficial ties with the people on Taiwan through the American Institute in Taiwan in accordance with our long standing `one China' policy, our three Joint Communiques with the People's Republic of China, and the Taiwan Relations Act."
Meanwhile, the head of the leading organization championing better US-Taiwan business relations said on the eve of the presidential election that Washington must permit direct, high-level contacts with Taiwanese leaders if the US expects to develop a healthy, reasonable relationship with Taiwan under the nation's new administration.
"It is essential that Washington drop the counterproductive barriers to high-level communication with Taiwan and begin actively encouraging dialogue between each party," Rupert Hammond-Chambers, the president of the US-Taiwan Business Council, said in a special commentary issued on Thursday.
FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD: Media speculation has fueled confusion about the KMT’s reasons for skipping a Chinese forum and delaying an AIT meeting, party sources said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday said that it is not seeking to improve relations with the US or China at the expense of the other, and that its relations with the countries would be topic-based. The party has faced questions over its foreign policy after it on Monday last week announced its withdrawal from the annual Straits Forum and delayed planned talks with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The party has also taken a tough stance on the importation of US meat containing ractopamine, while also lambasting China for increasing its military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Following
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
AN EXAMPLE: After attending a memorial service for Lee Teng-hui, Mori said the former president’s career reflected the importance of peace and democracy Using military force to resolve conflict is no longer workable in this new era, which requires peaceful discussion, former Japanese prime minister Yoshiro Mori said yesterday before leaving Taipei. Mori made the remarks at a news conference in front of the EVA Sky Jet Center at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport), after leading a delegation to attend the official memorial service for former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) in New Taipei City’s Tamsui District (淡水). This was Mori’s second trip to mourn Lee; his last was on Aug. 9. Although he walked with a crutch, Mori, 83, chose to stand right in front of
CONTROVERSY: NHIA Director-General Lee Po-chang said an outcry over overseas Taiwanese not paying premiums, but having coverage, is pushing rule amendments Rules changes are being considered that would force Taiwanese who permanently live abroad to pay National Health Insurance (NHI) premiums for the period they were overseas before they can re-enroll in the system, National Health Insurance Administration (NHIA) Director-General Lee Po-chang (李伯璋) yesterday said. The case of a married Taiwanese couple who lived in the US for about 30 years, but returned to Taiwan in April and tested positive for COVID-19 has again sparked public debate over why Taiwanese living abroad are allowed to use NHI resources, — although the couple’s expenses were not covered by the NHI. An often cited example