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President Lee Addresses National Assembly
1998-12-08

President Lee Teng-hui stated today that the concept of "New Taiwanese" is the recognition of Gemeinschaft for all the people who live and toil here and who dedicate themselves to Taiwan and the Republic of China, regardless of the time of their arrival, their mother tongues or their geographical origins.

He said that the "New Taiwanese" concept represents the aspiration, identity and wish shared by many people in this society, and that he is only bringing to light this common understanding of the people.

The President pointed out that the idea was raised not only to win the elections, but more so, for promoting ethnic integration as well as social and national development. In other words, its introduction aims to brighten the future for the coming generations, he said.

President Lee made the remarks late this afternoon in his response to the National Assembly's recommendations on national affairs.

On the election ethos, the President said that during the just concluded elections, the number of violent incidents has fallen dramatically, but rumors of vote buying and vote-buying cases reported to the authorities were still a problem. This suggests that greater efforts are required to eradicate the involvement of syndicate money in elections, he said.

He reiterated forcefully the government's determination to root out briberies and the presence of syndicate money in elections. He asserted that besides reinforcing its efforts to eradicate this underworld influence through legislation and law enforcement, the government should strengthen education on the importance of law and order, and build a consensus among the people to cleanse election ethos.

The ROC has successfully built itself into a democracy, but it cannot be denied that some underprivileged social and ethnic groups have not escaped from poverty or have remained comparatively poor, the President pointed out. Therefore, after the accomplishment of democratic reform, it is a necessity and an important duty for the ROC to take better care of and further assist its disadvantaged citizens. By so doing the ROC's democracy will be further consolidated, and developed, he maintained.

In response to the National Assembly's recommendations, President Lee also expressed his highest regard to the soldiers and residents in the Kinmen and Matsu areas for the long sacrifice and dedication they have made to safeguard the country and its people.

He said that during his many inspection tours of Kinmen and Matsu, he has been deeply moved by the local people's endeavors to develop their hometowns. However, he has also felt uneasy with the fact that many of the developments there have not fully met the people's needs. Therefore, more government efforts must be directed to further promoting the well-being of the people in Kinmen and Mastu, he added.

On the recent government reshuffle, President Lee said that the reshuffle is based upon the consideration of "accelerating reforms to cope with the country's comprehensive development needs." He cited the nomination of Grand Justice Wong Yueh-sheng and Justice Minister Cheng Chung-mo respectively, to the President and Vice President of the Judicial Yuan. It is hoped that under their leadership, the Judicial Yuan will be able to coordinate with government reengineering efforts and speed up judicial reforms. As far as the realization of social equity and justice is concerned, judicial reform is the most crucial aspect of political reengineering, and the ROC's citizens are very concerned about it. He said he believes that with their professional expertise and administrative competence, the two nominees will not disappoint their fellow countrymen.

Regarding the nominees for the members of the Third Control Yuan, President Lee said that the nomination committee first takes recommendations for candidates from different circles and after careful review decides on the list of nominees. According to the Control Yuan Organization Law, a nominee must hold one or more of the following six qualifications: 1) an elected representative of the people; 2) a judicial personnel; 3) a senior level government official; 4) a university professor; 5) a professional or technical personnel; and 6) an experienced politician or person in charge of prestigious media or cultural undertakings. The list of new nominees has been sent to the National Assembly for approval in accordance with the ROC Constitution.

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