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Jan 18, 2007 2:04 am


Edwin Moise: Taiwan



To the editor:

Re: "Taiwan Opposition Party Shows Strength in 2 Largest Cities" (December 9):

It is not correct to say that Chen Shui-bian, now Taiwan‚s president, "built the Democratic Progressive Party into a force that spread across the island and brought democracy to Taiwan." It was the previous president, Lee Teng-hui of the Nationalist Party, who brought democracy to Taiwan, holding elections first for the legislature and then the presidency in the 1990s.

The Democratic Progressive Party was not, at that time, strong enough to have forced this. Indeed, one reason the Nationalists were willing to risk a free presidential election in 1996 was the confidence that the Democratic Progressive Party would not win it. Only after the Nationalists had introduced democracy was Chen Shui-bian able to build up a degree of strength that enabled him narrowly to win a later presidential election, in 2000.

Edwin E. Moise
Clemson, South Carolina

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