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PRESIDENT URGES BEIJING TO ACCEPT TAIWAN PEOPLE'S DECISION

DECISION 2004-03-21 00:42:37

    Taipei, March 20 (CNA) President Chen Shui-bian urged Beijing Saturday to accept Taiwan people's democratic decision and to view the presidential election result from a positive perspective.

    In his acceptance speech after winning the election which will give him another four-year term, Chen said that his re-election marks a new era for peace across the Taiwan Strait.

    Through mutual understanding, sincerity and goodwill, and with great wisdom and broad views, the leaders on both sides should jointly initiate new opportunities for peace, stability, cooperation and mutual benefits.

    The full text of Chen's speech is as follows:

    My dear compatriots, members of the Taiwanese and international media, good evening!

    The results of the 2004 Presidential election are in. Lu Hsiu-lien and I want to express our most sincere gratitude for the support of our people. We also want to thank our Democratic Progressive Party compatriots as well as our Taiwan Solidarity Union friends and other organizations for their long-term support and efforts. The election result is not a victory that belongs to me or my party. Instead it is the victory for Taiwan's democracy and the Taiwanese people.

    Lu Hsiu-lien and I will courageously carry on the great responsibility bestowed on us by the people. We will make every effort to unify all ethnic groups, to strengthen belief in Taiwan and to persist in reform. We will strive to make Taiwan a better place and enable our people to live better lives.

    I also want to make a sincere and serious appeal to our supporters. We must not demonstrate any arrogance, and we must refrain from any irrational or undemocratic behavior. The election is over, and even though there are people who have different ideologies and beliefs, from now on we must all embrace each other, creating a harmonious and unified new Taiwan through our love and tolerance.

    This is not only my appeal. It is a serious request. The whole world is watching Taiwan's democracy, and the 23 million people of Taiwan will get a thumbs up from the world. If we really love and cherish Taiwan, we should hold our hands in unity to protect our country and our democratic values with the most humble and tolerant hearts.

    I also want to express my highest respects to Mr. Lien and Mr. Soong. I want to thank the KMT and PFP parties for their criticisms and suggestions during this campaign period. Taiwan's democracy will only make progress if the ruling and opposition parties engage in serious monitoring and mutual criticism. Over the next four years, I will continue to listen to different views and accept different suggestions. I expect the ruling and opposition parties to work together for the future of Taiwan.

    This is the beginning of a new era. It is not only a new era for Taiwan's democracy, it is a new era for solidarity and harmony, and a new era for peace across the Taiwan Strait. We sincerely ask the Beijing authorities across the Strait to view the election result from a positive perspective, to accept the democratic decision of the Taiwanese people. Through mutual understanding, sincerity and goodwill, and with great wisdom and broad views, the leaders on both sides should jointly initiate new opportunities for peace, stability, cooperation and mutual benefit. I believe that this is not only the view of the people on both sides of the Strait. It is also the common expectation of the US, Japan and the international community.

    The March 20 Peace Referendum is the first in Taiwan. The people of Taiwan have once again written a new page in our history and taken a great step forward in democracy. Because it is the first time, some of our people have not fully understood the democratic value and implementation of this referendum. As such there is much room for future improvement. Nevertheless, the people are the masters of our country, and this fact will never change whether or not you voted in today's referendum.

    The results of the two referenda demonstrate the majority view of the Taiwanese people. The government will abide by the democratic decisions made directly by the people and respond with concrete action in the new major national policy areas of "strengthening defense" and "negotiations based on equality." At the same time, we want to again appeal to the mainland to understand how firm the Taiwanese people's will is in wanting democracy and peace. We ask them to remove the missiles deployed against Taiwan, give up their military threat, and instead let us together open the door to cross- Strait peaceful and stable dialogue and negotiations.

    My dear compatriots, the great 23 million people of Taiwan: I want to make a deep bow, to express my deepest gratitude and highest respects to all of you.

    On February 28 we held hands, each pair of hands an inspiration. On March 20 we voted, each vote representing gentle love, love for Taiwan, our common motherland. God bless Taiwan! Let us join in unity to protect this land and the common future of the 23 million Taiwanese people!

    Thank you.

(By Huang Kwang-chun)

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