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Lincoln inspired Sun Yat-sen's political philosophy: president

2011/07/04 15:30:00

Taipei, July 4 (CNA) The United States played an important role in influencing the founding father of the Republic of China and his political ideals, President Ma Ying-jeou said in a speech Monday at the opening of an exhibition to celebrate both U.S. Independence Day and the ROC's centenary.

The exhibition, titled "Dr. Sun Yat-sen and the United States," features photographs and historical documents, including Sun's Hawaiian birth certificate, that have not been put on show before, according to the America Institute in Taiwan (AIT), the event organizer.

The AIT represents U.S. interests in Taiwan in the absence of formal diplomatic ties.

Ma noted that Sun, when he drafted his political philosophy, was deeply inspired by Henry George, a renowned American political writer of the 19th Century, as well as Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg address of 1863.

It is unprecedented for a country to adopt the political concept of a foreign leader and prioritize it in its Constitution, said the president, adding that the relations between the ROC and the U.S. are of historical significance.

AIT Director William Stanton, speaking in Mandarin Chinese, explained that the Three Principles of the People, or the San-min Doctrine, a political philosophy proposed by Sun, was developed on the basis of Lincoln's ideal government, one that is of the people, by the people and for the people.

Sun's pursuit of freedom, democracy and better lives for his people are of the same values as the founding spirit of the U.S., Stanton said.

Citing newspaper reports of the demonstrations happening in the Middle East, he urged citizens of both countries to treasure their hard-won freedom.

The exhibition, which runs from July 4 through July 30, is taking place at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taipei.

(By Nancy Liu)