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President Chen's Chinese New Year's Message

Taipei, Jan. 31 (CNA) President Chen Shui-bian encouraged his fellow countrymen to usher in the new Chinese lunar year with more diligence and caring in his televised Chinese New Year's message Friday.

The president said a little more diligence could lead to great changes, and a little more caring could make society a warmer place.

As an example, the president quoted a story in local newspapers about a woman who sold clothes until she was 50 years old, when she turned to designing jewelry and subsequently won an award in a prestigious international competition.

Another example quoted by Chen was that of a young Taiwanese who was assigned to work in Burkina Faso as a medical worker in lieu of military service. After he arrived in the country and found the people there were poor, he contacted some of his friends in Taiwan and asked them to send him some used clothes. He gave out the garments in reward for the people there picking up trash, thereby improving the general living conditions.

The president said these two examples have convinced him that diligence and caring are sound investments in the future that benefit not only ourselves but also our descendants.

The country and its people's living environment will improve a little each day if both the government and people from all walks of life are a little more diligent and caring, the president said.

He urged his countrymen to promise their children on the eve of the lunar new year a future with dignity and prosperity, a Taiwan with peace and kindness.

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