The US Congress has congratulated President Chen Shui-bian (
The letter, dated Wednesday, states: "This is to congratulate you on your re-election as president and vice-president of Taiwan. Free and fair elections are the cornerstone to democratic government. Taiwan has exhibited true democracy. We look forward to working with your administration on a host of issues on behalf of the people of the United States and the people of Taiwan."
Lu had said earlier yesterday that the Presidential Office was expecting the US government to follow diplomatic protocol by congratulating the newly elected president when the Central Election Commission (CEC) formally announces the winner of the election today.
"We hope to receive the congratulatory message from US President George W. Bush before March 26, the day that the Central Election Commission will give certificates declaring President Chen and me the winners of the election," Lu said at a meeting with American Institute in Taiwan Director Douglas Paal yesterday morning at the Presidential Office.
"We also hope that the US government will send a special delegation, with higher-level officials than the delegation they sent four years ago, to attend the inauguration ceremony on May 20 to express its respect to the Taiwanese people's sacrifices and democratic achievements," she said.
Chen and Lu invited business leaders to a discussion yesterday about restoring social order and economic development. Lu briefed the guests about her meeting with Paal. She said that the country's people are displeased with the developments in the wake of the election. She said they are worried that the nation's achievements of the past five decades have been cast in a negative light by a few people who continue to make groundless allegations in the media, thereby damaging the image of the entire nation.
"President Chen has paid a heavy price in his political career and I have also suffered the pains of cancer, being jailed and even taking a bullet," Lu said.
The US' first reaction to the election came on Sunday, when the State Department issued a short statement to congratulate "the people of Taiwan" for having conducted a democratic election campaign and for having exercised their democratic voting rights in such large numbers. The statement did not directly mention Chen.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) have been loudly protesting the result of the election, and the US government has urged both camps to resolve the election dispute.
On Tuesday, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the Bush administration had refrained from congratulating Chen because it was waiting for the legal process to be completed.
"We're just comfortable waiting for those processes to work themselves out, and not for us to say who won, but for them to tell us who won," Boucher said.
The Presidential Office said yesterday that the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election and Recall Law (
"Once the commission certifies the result, the international community should respect Taiwan's legal system by making the appropriate diplomatic response to our new president and vice president," a high-ranking Presidential Office official said.
The official said that the High Court's rejection of the pan-blue camp's lawsuit seeking to overturn Chen's re-election was an endorsement of the legitimacy of their victory.
But the government is worried that the US' ambiguous attitude may encourage the pan-blue camp to expand their demonstration, according to the official.
"The Beijing authority and the pan-blue camp have been taking advantage of the US government's reaction to provoke supporters' anger, so that the illegal demonstrations can continue," the official said.
"The pan-blue camp's lawsuit against the commission and President Chen to have the election results annulled will drag on for months. The US government's hesitation in those months could cause disputes to worsen and further complicate the cross-strait situation, which the US government will also have to face," the official said.
Proposed legislation in the US outlines three conditions in which Washington would be authorized to protect Taiwan were China to invade, a report said yesterday. US Representative Ted Yoho this month said he would introduce a Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act, which would authorize US military force if China were to invade Taiwan-controlled areas, including its outlying islands. According to a version of the bill obtained by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times), the bill lists three conditions in which a US president would be authorized to use military force to protect Taiwan: If China uses military force
The Supreme Court on Tuesday found four men guilty of attempted murder in the 2017 stabbing of Spanish surfer Ignacio Prio on a Pingtung County beach in the final ruling in the case, sentencing them to three-and-a-half to six years in prison. The defendants had appealed their convictions for attempted murder in the first and second rulings, which had also led to prison sentences ranging from three-and-a-half years to six years. The then-42-year-old Prio went to Jialeshui Beach (佳樂水) near Kenting (墾丁) on March 31, 2017, was attacked after he asked four men to remove their fishing lines from an area
Two new commuter trains are scheduled to be launched in January next year, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said yesterday. The acquisition of EMU-900 commuter train cars is part of the railway operator’s plan to replace 589 train cars that have been in operation for more than three decades. The agency has also placed orders to buy 600 intercity train cars. The first batch of 20 EMU-900 cars is to be delivered to the nation in September, although delivery might be delayed until October due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency said. The batch would be formed into two trains of 10
‘IMMORAL, INSINCERE’: Huang Kun-huei said that Ma was ‘distorting history’ in claiming that Lee Teng-hui laid the foundation for the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ Former Presidential Office secretary-general Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) on Saturday rejected former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) claim that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had been a proponent of Beijing’s “one China” principle. Lee, who served as president from 1988 to 2000, died in Taipei on Thursday last week. After visiting the Taipei Guest House on Saturday to pay his respects to Lee, Ma posted on Facebook that “28 years ago on this day” Lee hosted a session of the now-defunct National Unification Council, during which he passed a resolution on the “one China” principle. That resolution became the basis of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s