New York, March 19, 1997 (CNA) Visiting Taipei Mayor Chen Shui-bian met with New York City Mayor Rudolph Guiliani on Thursday for wide-ranging talks.
Chen and Guiliani exchanged views on freedom, democracy and major municipal development projects in their cities.
Guiliani lauded the people of Taiwan for their achievements in promoting freedom and democracy as well as their longstanding friendship toward the American people.
The New York City mayor told Chen that he has never hesitated to throw his support behind those who pursue freedom and democracy. "Taiwan is a model in this regard," he added.
For his part, Chen said he feels honored to meet Guiliani who refused to meet mainland Chinese President Jiang Zemin during his 1997 visit to New York because of Beijing's poor human rights records.
Chen expressed his admiration for Guiliani's achievements in promoting administrative reforms and municipal development, particularly in cracking down on crime and sex trade.
Chen invited Guiliani to visit Taipei in the near future.
The first Taipei mayor from the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) arrived in New York on Wednesday after a three-day visit to Washington, D.C.
On Thursday, the brightest political star from Taiwan's opposition camp also met with senior executives and editors from three mainstream American news organizations -- Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.
Later in the day, Chen traveled to Chicago where he delivered a speech at a dinner sponsored by the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations.
Chen, widely regarded a leading contender for the DPP's nomination for the 2000 presidential election, explained the DPP's role in Taiwan's democratic development over the past decade and the true meaning and spirit of the party's "Taiwan independence" platform.
Chen said if the DPP comes to power, it is unlikely to put the safety of Taiwan's 21.3 million people at risk and would not become a troublemaker in the Asia-Pacific region. Nevertheless, he stressed that the people of Taiwan are entitled to determine the future of Taiwan and that Taiwan will continue to seek a decent status in the international community if the DPP grips power.
Chen also analyzed the impact on Taiwan's political development of the island's 1997 mayoral and county chief elections in which the DPP scored a resounding win while the ruling Kuomintang suffered an embarrassing rout.
Following the elections, Chen said, many American think tanks and news media have come to believe that the DPP is likely to become Taiwan's ruling party. Chen said he hopes his current eight-day visit will help American people better understand Taiwan and the DPP.
Chen will give an interview with the Chicago Tribune, meet
with the Chicago mayor and tour major Chicago infrastructure
construction projects on Friday. He is scheduled to leave for home