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President Chen Meets with Sir Brian Elwood

Taipei, July 11 (CNA) President Chen Shui-bian said on Tuesday that he is not opposed to the establishment of a human rights protection committee under the Control Yuan to further bolster Taiwan's efforts in international human rights protection. The Control Yuan is the Republic of China's top watchdog body.

Chen said that as he espoused in his inaugural speech delivered on May 20, he would be pleased to see human rights protection legitimately recognized in Taiwan, and added his hope that Taiwan will turn out to be the "world's human rights shepherd" in the 21st century.

The president made the remarks during a meeting at the Presidential Office with Sir Brian Elwood, chairman of the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI) and Control Yuan President Fredrick Chien.

Chen said the ROC has been a full-fledged democracy since the peaceful transfer of power on May 20 when he was sworn in as president. He continued that the "Third Way for Taiwan"--a new political perspective that he espouses--corresponds to the direction professed by the new leadership of New Zealand. According to Chen, this shows that despite their geographic distance apart, both Taiwan and New Zealand are in the middle of a world trend toward new political perspectives.

Welcoming Sir Brian's trip to Taipei, Chen said his visit will bolster exchanges and cooperation between Taiwan and New Zealand in ombudsman affairs.

The Control Yuan became a member of the 22-year-old IOI in 1994. The institute currently has 108 member-countries.

Chen also recognized Chien's performance as president of the Control Yuan. He is widely tipped to be appointed the next chairman of Taiwan's quasi-official intermediary body, the Straits Exchange Foundation, succeeding Koo Chen-fu who has voiced his intention to retire because of his advancing years.

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