The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) last night held the first large-scale campaign rally in an envisaged series of national referendum promotion campaigns in Taoyuan County to boost the momentum and public support for an election-day referendum proposed by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).
\nSpeaking at the rally, Chen urged the people of Taiwan to jointly defend the nation's democracy, peace, status quo and the wish not to be belittled as a Chinese local government.
\nChen said that as the national leader, he can't ignore the threat of Chinese missiles aimed at Taiwan and he must raise public awareness of the underlying danger of missiles against Taiwan's security.
\nChen said the facts are that the Chinese missiles are aimed at Taiwan, China wants to make Taiwan a second Hong Kong and China would use force against Taiwan to coerce Taiwan into accepting this situation.
\n"These are things that are happening every day, but some people [in Taiwan] are rather uninformed about these dangers and treat them as natural matters. However, as a national leader, I can't pretend not to see these dangers and we have to voice our discontent towards these unreasonable military threats," Chen said.
\nChen said Taiwan is not a normal and complete country because the people of Taiwan have long refrained to acknowledge that Taiwan is a country, even though they can choose their own lawmakers and national leader and even though Taiwan and China have different areas of jurisdiction.
\n"It is a known fact that Taiwan and China are separate countries on each side of the Taiwan Strait, but some people dare not acknowledge it and think it might bring disaster to Taiwan. That's the reason the international community won't recognize us," Chen said.
\nChen said Taiwan has come a long way in the process of democratization through the abolishment of the ban on political parties, the press and the accomplishment of the legislative elections and direct presidential election in the past.
\n"At this juncture, to further Taiwan's democracy, the holding of such a historic referendum will be necessary to advance democracy and ensure Taiwan's security," Chen said.
\nMeanwhile, Chen said his administration has braved many difficulties, including the economic recession, black-gold politics rampant in the former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) regime and many financial irregularities to enforce many reforms since he took office in 2000.
\nHe urged the people not to allow a corrupt political system led by the pan-blue alliance to stage a comeback.
\nVice President Annette Lu (
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