WEDNESDAY
March 22, 2000
volume 11, no. 58
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NEWS & VIEWS     Acknowledgments
Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

TAIWAN'S BISHOPS EVALUATE HISTORIC CHANGE IN POLITICAL LINE
Victory against Communist China and Corruption

    TAIPEI, MAR 19 (ZENIT.org).- The people of Taiwan have voted for an honest government that will support their great economic development and independent character, regardless of China, their elder sister and continental colossus that claims the island's annexation, threatening the use of canons on this island where nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek sought refuge after his defeat by Mao Tse Tung's revolutionary army.

    Taiwan's Bishops have spoken about the electoral process that gave victory to Chen Shui-Bian, a young lawyer from Taiwan, who is the leader of the Progressive Democratic Party, promoting independence from China. Because of his charisma, the 49-year-old was very successful as mayor of Taipei.

    The elections took place yesterday. Prior to that, Cardinal Paul Shan Kuoshi, Bishop of Kaohsiung and president of the Taiwan Regional Episcopal Conference, said to the international agency "Fides": "We hope that the future president will be an honest man, who will know how to improve Taiwan's internal affairs, not only at the material level, but also the spiritual, promoting ethical, moral and spiritual values in society. He must be a man with a broad mind, who establishes contact with Beijing, uses dialogue and finds a peaceful solution for relations with China, without thinking of war. We need a leader of good will for the good of the Chinese populations of both sides."

    In addition, the Episcopal Conference published a letter before the elections entitled, "Great Elections, Great Directions," emphasizing the importance of this convocation. In the title, the message summarized the position of the Taiwanese Church: to encourage Catholics to participate in the elections, to choose a president who will work for the good of society and to promote dialogue and peace with China.

    The candidate chosen was the most feared by the neighboring giant, which immediately showed signs of force against the small island. In his campaign Chen said that his country and China must "have special international relations," a statement that choked the Beijing authorities. After 50 years of separation, they continue to call Taiwan "the rebel province." Nonetheless, the newly elected president has stated that he wants to improve relations with China. Beijing said he is lying and, as it did 4 years ago, when the reelection of outgoing President Lee Teng-hui was being planned, has not stopped threatening an invasion.

    The Cardinal's petition for an honest man was not without meaning. With Lee Teng-hui, a member of the old guard, 50 years of power and corruption of the Kuomintang (the nationalist government created by Chiang Kai-shek) will disappear.

    Chen, who won the elections with barely 39% of the vote, needs alliances with all the parties to implement his program to clean up political and economic life. ZE00031902

          

March 22, 2000
volume 11, no. 58
NEWS & VIEWS

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