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U.S. lawmaker hails Taiwan's democracy as example for China

2012/05/21 22:51:35

Taipei, May 21 (CNA) A senior U.S. congresswoman praised Taiwan's democracy in Taipei Monday as an example for China by showing that political power can come out of ballot boxes.

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairwoman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, said Taiwan's democratic development, which has seen direct presidential elections and two transfers of power, is an achievement that must be preserved.

Ros-Lehtinen, who is heading a 21-member congressional delegation that is in Taiwan to discuss bilateral ties and congratulate President Ma Ying-jeou on his inauguration for a second term, made the remarks at a dinner hosted by opposition Democratic Progressive Party.

"When bloggers in China hear of Taiwan's democratic elections, they ask 'why can't we also elect our president if Taiwan citizens can cast their ballots freely in the ballot box all the time?'" Ros-Lehtinen said.

She also cited the case of Chinese blind dissident Chen Guangcheng, a human rights lawyer who had been under house arrest before escaping to the U.S. embassy in Beijing. Chen and his family arrived in New York last weekend to begin a new life there.

The light from Taiwan pointed the way for not only for Chen but also for millions in China who thirst for liberty, Ros-Lehtinen said.

The delegation is on a three-day visit that will wrap up Tuesday. During the visit, they were scheduled to call on Ma, Vice President Wu Den-yih, Premier Sean Chen and officials from the ministries of national defense, foreign affairs, and economic affairs and the Mainland Affairs Council.

(By Elaine Hou)
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