Dec. 8,1998---Jacques Chirac

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Taiwan Tati Cultural
And Educational Foundation
B16F, No.3 Ta-Tun 2St.
Taichung, Taiwan, ROC
December 8, 1998.

Dear Mr. President Jacques Chirac,

In Taiwan; there are "three in one" elections. President Lee Teng-hui threw the phrase, and concept "new Taiwanese" into the mouths and minds of Taiwan.

It was the perfect rebuttal to Chen's call for ethnic divide and voters knew it instinctively. You cannot hate your neighbor simply because his grandfather came from mainland China. And now voters will no longer vote for a candidates simply because his grandfather farmed in Chiayi (Taiwan county). Taiwan's democracy has come by age, as demonstrated in Taipei's mayoral election --- a three-way race between incumbent Mayor Chen Shui-bian of the DPP, and former Justice Minister Ma Ying-jeou of the ruling KMT, and former Finance Minister Wang Chien-shien of the New Party.

The battle for the capital was virtually a duel between Chen and Ma since Wang had been regarded as an also-run from the beginning. Fears of possible riots and disturbances on election night proved to be unfounded, as the large crowds gathered in front the campaign headquarters of Chen and Ma showed admirable restraint. Chen's supporters were able to take the defeat in their stride. In Ma's camp, the cheering crowds were celebrating the victory in a festive mood, singing and dancing and crying with joy.

President Lee Teng-hui said last week that "elections should be like a festival" and what happened on election night had borne this out. This is a sure sign that Taiwan's democracy, which has often been regarded in the west as being rambunctious at best is becoming mature. Compared with the elections four years ago, when violence was often involved, this years three-in-one elections were smooth and peaceful.

No wonder Richard Bush, chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan was impressed.

He said in Washington that Saturday's poll reflected "the continued maturation of Taiwan's democracy and multiparty politics".

That's a fair and accurate observation. Looking back at the island's elections over the past decade, it is obvious that democracy has become more mature after each election. Democracy is putting down deeper and deeper roots, and it has become an institution as well as part of daily life. With the passage of time, it is going to become a tradition and a part of Taiwan's culture.

The process of democratic maturation is being accelerated by a people who are becoming increasingly rational as they try to learn step by step the true meaning of democracy.

The people are the biggest winners because they have learned from the campaigns that they should not be divided by differences in ethnic or provincial origins.

President Lee is also a big winner for several reasons,

A. It is he who first introduced the "new Taiwanese" idea as an antidote to provincialism that decides native Taiwanese and mainlanders who came to Taiwan after 1945.

B. Lee's strong endorsement of Ma on the eve of election had dispelled rumors that his support for Ma was half-hearted.

C. The President has shown, once again, that he was the only one in Taiwan

who could sway the election.

President Lee, we call him "Mr. Democracy" also.

In our view; few discrimination happened in Taiwan since transformed into democracy.

New Mayor Ma said; "The notion of new Taiwanese is mutual tolerance and mutual respect" "No matter when you came to Taiwan, no matter where you came from , you are the new Taiwanese as long as you love Taiwan and are willing to struggle for Taiwan" he added.

Taiwan is democratic country. One Taiwan, one China.

Taiwan need your support.


Sincerely Yours,
Yang Hsu-Tung.
President of
Taiwan Tati Cultural
And Educational Foundation


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