Taipei, Jan. 22 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou vowed Sunday to make Taiwan a world-class country through his "golden decade" plan, saying that the transformation has already begun.
Greeting the people of the country in Mandarin, Hoklo, Hakka, and aboriginal languages in his Lunar New Year's Eve address, Ma promised to lead Taiwan to further progress despite the global economic slowdown.
"We shouldn't be pessimistic, but rather should march on optimistically," Ma said. "The big era of change in Taiwan has already begun."
He said ties with China are warming up, more international space is opening up, and Taiwan is improving gradually with a government of integrity and high efficiency.
The president also touted the country's democracy, pointing out that Taiwan recently held its fifth direct presidential election since its transition to democracy. Ma was re-elected to a second four-year term on Jan. 14.
The foreign media and Chinese intellectuals have praised Taiwan as a model of democratic development in Asia and the pride of all ethnic Chinese worldwide, Ma said.
In his recorded address, the president expressed wishes to the people of Taiwan for a happy and prosperous new year.
(By James Lee)