President Chen Shui-bian, on March 11, attended a memorial service for the 10th death anniversary of former Advisor-to-the-President Hsu Ching-chung, praising Hsu's contributions to Taiwan.
Hsu Ching-chung (1906-1996) had served in various government positions, including as minister of interior (1966-1972), as vice premier of the Executive Yuan (1972-1981), as an advisor to the president, etc. As the first Taiwanese who acquired a doctoral degree in agriculture at the Taipei Imperial University (now the National Taiwan University), Mr. Hsu, in his career as a public servant, had successfully upgraded the country's agriculture and completed the "Land Reform," which is forever remembered by the Taiwanese people.
"'The Land Reform' paved the foundation for industrial development through the aid of agriculture," the president said. "If the 'Taiwan Miracle' is attributed to former Premier Sun Yun-suan's efforts, Hsu deserves to be named 'Father of Taiwan's agriculture' and bricklayer of the country's economic development."
In criticizing the Kuomintang's (KMT's) study on Taiwan's geography as more limited than those of the Ching Dynasty and the Japanese colonial occupiers, Hsu once said that the KMT "is blind to Taiwan's geography." For this, the president stressed the importance of identifying the characteristics of the land. "All the policy makings and implementations will be alienated from the land and the price must be paid if Taiwan's citizens are indifferent to, and know nothing about, the land," the president said.
"It has been ten years since Hsu passed away. Over the past decade, Taiwan's democracy has allowed us to reflect upon the past history from a more objective and unbiased point of view," the president said and concluded. "May Mr. Hsu's soul be comforted, and you all be joyous and well."