President Lee Teng-hui said this morning that the Republic of China's survival and security has always been his top concern.
The President made the statement while receiving members of the cabinet-level Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission (OCAC), who were gathered in Taipei for their annual conference. Dr. Huang Kun-huei, secretary-general to the President, and Dr. James C.Y. Chu, chairman of the OCAC, were also present at the meeting.
The OCAC members are overseas Chinese leaders selected from various parts of the world.
President Lee noted that said he has consistently given top priority to beefing up the ROC's defense capability and safeguarding this country*s security since he assumed the presidency in 1988. In this way, he pointed out, we have promoted peaceful means to replace military confrontation between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.
President Lee went on to say that his two other principal concerns are dismantling the authoritarian system of government as well as expanding the ROC's diplomatic frontiers.
"Though I have encountered many difficulties and setbacks in promoting domestic political reforms and upgrading the ROC's international profile, I have never been daunted," he said, adding that he firmly believes that all the difficulties can be overcome with concerted efforts by the government and people.
Pointing out that the international community has ignored the ROC's existence since it was forced out of the United Nations in 1971, President Lee reiterated: "If we fail to break this false international system, we will be excluded from the world stage forever and can no longer continue existing or developing."
The President noted that Beijing has consistently claimed that the People's Republic of China (PRC) is the only legitimate government of China, and that Taiwan is a province of the PRC. "Such a claim is unacceptable to us," Lee said, adding that the Beijing authorities should not ignore the fact that there are two equal political entities now existing on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.
President Lee also said the Chinese Communist regime has on the one hand promoted economic exchanges with Taiwan with a view to attracting more Taiwan capital, while on the other, consistently suppressed Taiwan's presence in the international society.
In the face of these challenges, the President said, the ROC must continue its four basic policies--expand its external relations, adopt a flexible mainland policy, push for political democratization, and sustain substantial economic growth.
"From now on, we will go ahead with these four policies in order to ensure our country's survival in the international community and safeguard its security," he said.