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FIRST LADY MIGHT VISIT MAINLAND CHINA IF RECOGNIZED BY BEIJING

2004-02-23 19:34:35

    Taipei, Feb. 23 (CNA) First lady Wu Shu-chen said Monday that if Beijing were to recognize her position as the Republic of China's first lady, she would consider visiting mainland China.

    Wu made the remarks at the Presidential Office during the launch of an illustrated book that chronicles her high-profile European visit which took her to Germany and the Holy See last July.

    Joseph Wu, vice secretary-general to President Chen Shui-bian, Vice Foreign Affairs Minister Kao Ying-mau and National Palace Museum Director Tu Cheng-sheng also attended the ceremony.

    Asked by the media if she is willing to help Chen to visit the mainland, she said that if the mainland recognizes her as the first lady, then that could be a possibility. "If Taiwan is denigrated into the position of a local government under Beijing, I would not accept the situation," she said.

    Wu noted Taiwan's difficult diplomatic plight and said that in her first lady position, her job is to serve the Taiwan people.

    Wu said that during her several overseas visits, she realized that Taiwan's diplomatic work could be better. "One must have confidence in oneself, " Wu said, adding that Taiwan should not be described as small since compared with some other countries, Taiwan is not so small. "Both the education level of the people and the nation's per capita income are at the global forefront, " Wu said, adding that one must respect oneself if one wants respect from others. "Taiwan must stand up for itself, otherwise no-one else will help, even if they want to," she said.

    Wu, who has been confined to a wheelchair since being run over by a truck in 1985, added that if diplomacy were not a consideration, she would most like to visit Japan to see the cherry blossoms, as it is a short journey.

(By Lilian Wu)

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