Chen Shui-bian

President of Taiwan from 2000 to 2008

Chen Shui-bian (Chinese: 陳水扁) (born 12 October 1950) is a retired Taiwanese politician and lawyer who served as the president of the Republic of China (Taiwan) from 2000 to 2008. Chen was the first president from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which ended the Kuomintang's (KMT) 55 years of continuous rule in Taiwan. He is colloquially referred to as A-Bian (阿扁).

Taiwan is not a part of someone else, not someone else's local government, and not someone else's province.
Today's Taiwan is a democratic nation. Besides seeking freedom, we must also consolidate the rule of law, accept the responsibilities associated with that, and work together to sustain our system of democratic, constitutional government.
As long as we are united as one, stand firmly in our stride, and master our own direction, I believe we will again open up our own road and carve out the future of Taiwan.

QuotesEdit

  • This [Taiwanese] government, therefore, has always striven to maintain an ever-forbearing attitude with respect to the freedoms of speech, the press, publication and assembly in hopes of liberating Taiwan's people from the spiritual shackles that have bound them. The government has done so not only to enable the people to dare to speak, but to ensure the protection of every person's right to truly speak his or her mind and express views different from those of others.
  • In the past, there was no freedom, so we struggled to get freedom. In the past, we were oppressed by the political system, so we opposed the system. But today's Taiwan is a democratic nation. Besides seeking freedom, we must also consolidate the rule of law, accept the responsibilities associated with that, and work together to sustain our system of democratic, constitutional government.
  • It is our solemn duty and obligation to defend the peaceful status quo in the Taiwan Strait. It is China that is attempting to use military force to invade Taiwan and to change the peaceful status quo in the Taiwan Strait.
  • As the leader of this nation, I want to make Taiwan into a normal country. Even though Taiwan is an independent, sovereign country, it is not yet a normal and complete country. Why do I say that Taiwan is not yet a normal country? Because if it were, it would be a member of the UN family and also be the member of the World Health Organization. Why do I say that Taiwan is not yet a complete country? Because our current Constitution has never been approved by our people. The 23 million people of Taiwan really need a new Taiwan constitution that is timely, relevant, and viable.
  • After I finish my term as president, I want to be a happy volunteer. As I have said before, our democratic reform is still ongoing and it must continue to be consolidated and deepened. But there is still a lot we could do regarding strengthening Taiwan-centric consciousness as well as realizing social equity and justice. I think I could be of assistance in this regard. Apart from being a happy volunteer, I also wish to make some contribution as a pusher and a cultivator and a gardener on Taiwan's road to democracy.
  • Taiwan's democracy embodies not merely a democratic experiment; it signifies an exemplary success. The standard of democracy achieved in Western nations is the result of years of trial and error. By comparison, Taiwan's new democracy, after weathering rough waters, has burgeoned into an even more precious accomplishment. Our experience also serves as a reminder that democracy does not come ready-made, nor is it a utopian ideal. There is no express train to transport us to the final destination. Democratic advancement occurs only through constant and gradual endeavor, one step at a time.
  • As long as we are united as one, stand firmly in our stride, and master our own direction, I believe we will again open up our own road and carve out the future of Taiwan
  • Our Taiwan road is "a road of democracy, a road of freedom, a road of human rights, and a road of peace for Taiwan". Taiwan is our country. Our country should not be bullied, dwarfed, marginalized, and localized.

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