To the central content area

News & activities

President Chen Shui-bian Meets Former President of Poland

President Chen Shui-bian on January 25 met with Former President of the Republic of Poland Lech Walesa, welcoming the leader to Taiwan to participate in the preparatory conference of the Global Forum on New Democracies. President Chen greeted Former President Walesa on behalf of the ROC (Taiwan) government and the people of Taiwan.

President Chen said he was delighted to meet again with Former President Walesa, who he referred to as a champion of democracy and Taiwan's best friend. The last time the two met was in May last year when both attended the inauguration ceremonies for Costa Rica President Oscar Arias Sanchez. While attending the State Dinner in Costa Rica, President Chen invited Former President Walesa to attend the preparatory conference of the Global Forum on New Democracies, which Taiwan is hosting. Poland's former leader immediately accepted President Chen's invitation.

President Chen said that in June last year, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Chang Siao-yue personally delivered an invitation to Former President Walesa on behalf of President Chen. The president said Former President Walesa's decision to attend the conference will make the event all the more interesting.

Former President Walesa, citing the competition for hosting the  World University Games, said that some countries will use money to obtain the right to hold the games. In today's world, it seems as though money decides everything, he said. President Chen responded by saying that money is not everything, noting that values and systems are oftentimes more important than money. He said that while people cannot live forever, systems can. There are limits to the influence of money, he said.

President Chen congratulated Former President Walesa on winning the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 40. He said that Former President Walesa's achievements, whether during his leading of the union movement in Poland or serving as president, serve as a model for us all.

The president said he hopes both countries can share their experiences, especially since democracy, freedom, human rights and peace are beliefs common to Taiwan and Poland. He said friendship between the two countries should not be inhibited by the geographic distance between them. He added that both countries cherish democratic values, whether it be in Taiwan's case, which emerged from authoritarianism to become democratic, or for Poland, which shed communism to pursue democracy.

President Chen said the Taiwan government emphasizes labor rights. He cited that three rights for laborers, including the right to organize, the right to dispute and the right to mediation, will be included in a new constitution. He said that over two years ago, a new labor retirement pension system was put into effect. In the past, a worker's seniority was jeopardized when he or she was let go or changed jobs, which impacted the rights of laborers. The new system addresses the former flaws, as workers can now carry their seniority with them even when they change jobs.

Former President Walesa was accompanied to the Presidential Building by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Yang Tzu-pao to meet with President Chen. Presidential Secretary-General Mark Chen was also in attendance.

Code Ver.:F201708221923 & F201708221923.cs
Code Ver.:201710241546 & 201710241546.cs