Chen stresses democratic, civil society

June 15, 2004 at 1:40 AM

TAIPEI, Taiwan, June 15 (UPI) -- Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian said Monday it was time for Taiwan to begin its second phase of building democracy, including a stronger civil society.

Speaking on the third anniversary of the government's Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, Chen said that "Democracy has become a core value and the most proud asset owned by Taiwan's people," the Taiwan News reported Tuesday.

Presiding over the opening of the foundation's new offices, Chen said the foundation's mission was to create an alliance of core values among democratic communities in the Asia-Pacific and elsewhere. The foundation is part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Chen said that "a greater emphasis in the second stage needs to be placed on the establishment of a civil society and on the rebuilding of unity through a sense of shared destiny."

The president described Taiwan's friendship with the United States, Japan and other allies as an alliance of the core values of democracy, human rights and peace.

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