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Vice President Lien Meets with Irish Congressmen

Vice President Lien Chan this morning told Mr. Desmond J. O'Malley, chairman of the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs of Irish Congress, and his colleagues that the situation across the Taiwan Strait is by no means military confrontation, but rather a comparison between democratic and communist systems. Taiwan's success, on the one hand, offers a good model for the people of the Chinese Mainland China to choose, and on the other hand, attests to the fact that Chinese people are capable of implementing democracy.

Furthermore, Vice President Lien stressed that the ROC government insists not only that China should be unified but also that China should be unified under a free and democratic system, because "no one in the Taiwan area wishes to live under totalitarian communism," the Vice President noted.

Vice President Lien reiterated that Peking's "one country, two systems" formula applied to Hong Kong is unsuitable for Taiwan because the Republic of China has already been a sovereign country for 87 years and absolutely refuses to become "a province of the People's Republic of China" as claimed by Peking.

He also pointed out that both sides should resume as soon as possible the institutionalized talks suspended by the mainland authorities in 1995.

Regarding the relations between the ROC and the Republic of Ireland, Vice President Lien expressed his hope that both countries can strengthen cooperation in science, education, agriculture, economy and trade to promote mutual benefits. Since the ROC government is currently developing Taiwan into an Asia-Pacific Regional Operations Center, whereas Ireland has abundant high-tech and manpower resources, both sides can complement each other, he added.

The guests highly praised the ROC's accomplishments in democratic and economic development in recent years. They also pledged to do their best to further enhance relations between the ROC and the Irish Republic in all aspects.

Accompanied by ROC Vice Foreign Minister Wu Tzu-dan, the visiting delegation of the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs of Irish Congress, including Chairman Desmond J. O'Malley, Rep. Austin Deasy, Rep. Ben Briscoe, Rep. Michael P. Kitt, and Senator Madeleine Taylor-Quinn, came to the Office of the President for the meeting. Dr. Su Chi, deputy secretary-general to the President, was also present.

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