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Sep 29, 2000

Taiwan V.P. seeks closer relations

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Diplomats and politicians are experts in the art of talking much but saying little. And while the fast paced tour of Cayo by Taiwanese Vice President Annette Lu did little to change that impression, by the time she settled in at the Radisson on Thursday night, she was ready to reveal a little bit more about her country–and herself.

Annette Lu, Vice President, Taiwan

“The old administration has not done good enough. I came here today and I have my eyes open and I would like to see in what way that Taiwan can help better. Very briefly, it might be a good step to help the food manufacturing industry. You have good quality of agricultural products. If you have the industry to manufacture it into cans or preserves and to sell for export, I am sure that would be very beneficial to Belize. And Prime Minister Musa agrees with this idea, so when we go home, we will see in what way we can help.”

Stewart Krohn

“What is your attitude towards those citizens of mainland China in Belize, who by far outnumber the Taiwanese citizens here. What is your attitude to those people who have no representation officially here? Would your government in a way lookout for those citizens?”

Annette Lu, Vice President, Taiwan

“I have not had a chance to meet with any of them, so I cannot comment. I am sorry.

Stewart Krohn

“But just the fact that you know that there are many PRC citizens here…”

Annette Lu

“Not to my knowledge.”

Stewart Krohn

“Well let me inform you that there are many PRC citizens here. What would be your attitude towards those citizens here who have no legal representation?”

Annette Lu

“I believe those who immigrate here from Mainland China, must be those who long for freedom and democracy. So I don’t think they are strong supporters of the communist regime there.

Stewart Krohn

“Speaking of freedom and democracy, there is a great temptation for citizens in small and poor countries like ours to take the path of least resistance. To go along with whatever government is in power out of fear of punishment if they speak out against certain policies. As one who in your history has worked so tirelessly and suffered horribly to promote democracy, what is your message to those people here or anywhere, who face the dilemma of political activism?”

Annette Lu

“Human rights are most fundamental for the stability and harmony of society, so there is no reason that human rights should be abused. It’s only under a democratic system that human rights can be well assured.

Stewart

“Are you bitter about the time you had to spent in prison? Are you bitter at the treatment that your own government gave you many years ago?”

Annette Lu

“Yes, Taiwan had martial law for 38 years. Human rights have been severely infringed upon. We suffered from many ordeals, we paid a price, we worked hard and now we’ve earned what we deserve, for human rights have been fully installed. So has democracy.”

Stewart

“But do you hold a personal grudge against those people who treated you so badly?”

Annette Lu

“No, out of benevolence, I won’t forget them, but I forgive them and I swear that such a mistake should never be made (again).”

Lu characterised the several thousand Taiwanese citizens who have settled in Belize as “dream seekers” and urged Belizeans to work together with them for a better future.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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