President Lee Teng-hui this morning said that the Republic of China's current level of democratization is the result of the commitment of the government and people here over the past decades to economic development and political reform.
The President made the remarks while meeting with a group of Canadian parliamentarians led by the Hon. David Kilgour (Liberal, Alberta), deputy speaker of Canada's House of Commons. Other members of the group included the Hon. Audrey McLaughlin, MP(NPD, Yukon), the Hon. Mac Harb, MP (Liberal, Ontario), and Mr. Jean-Michel Roy, parliamentary exchanges officer.
Accompanied by ROC Vice Foreign Minister Chen Chien-jen, director of the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei, and Dean Lin Ching-hung of Sun Yat-sen University's Economics Institute, the Canadian visitors came to the Office of the President for the meeting. Also present were Dr. Ding Mou-shih, secretary-general of the ROC National Security Council, and Mr. Stephen S.F. Chen, deputy secretary-general to the President.
President Lee told his guests that Taiwan has made the most of its limited resources to efficiently develop the economy and that the ROC government has been able to map out different economic development plans while facing different problems in each economic development stage.
The President also explained that the government's great emphasis on the agricultural sector in the early years had boosted agricultural development, which in turn helped lay a solid groundwork for Taiwan's industrial development.
At present, President Lee noted, the ROC government attaches great importance to the protection of the rights of women and children by instituting laws and regulations toward this end.
On ROC-Canada relations, President Lee expressed the hope that both countries further strengthen bilateral cooperation and exchanges which will prove mutually beneficial.