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New South Korean president could mean upswing in ties: experts
Central News Agency
2013-02-25 07:10 PM
Taipei, Feb. 25 (CNA) Park Geun-hye's inauguration as the first female president of South Korea is expected to help boost the substantive ties between Taiwan and the Northeast Asian country, sources from the National Security Bureau said Monday. Park, who can speak Mandarin Chinese, has a long-term connection with Taiwan, the sources said, expressing confidence that she will bring her influence to bear upon efforts to promote closer ties between the two countries during her term. Park was granted an honorary doctoral degree in 1987 by Taipei-based Chinese Culture University, which forged sisterhood ties with Yeungnam University of South Korea in the 1950s. She visited Taiwan in 2001 at the invitation of the government. Park is the firstborn daughter of Park Chung-hee, who governed South Korea from 1961 to 1979. During his administration, Taiwan gave a great deal of help to South Korea in the form of food aid and assistance in the development of small- and medium-sized South Korean enterprises. Earlier that same day, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng attended the presidential inauguration ceremony in Seoul at the head of a Taiwanese delegation composed of lawmakers from across the political spectrum. Wang previously visited Seoul in 2008 to attend the inauguration of former President Lee Myung-bak. However, he was denied entry to the ceremony due to China's protest. This time he made it to the ceremony venue, which is regarded as evidence of progress in the government's efforts to promote flexible diplomacy. Other members of Wang's delegation included legislators Lin Te-fu and Lo Ming-tsai of the ruling Kuomintang, Lin Chia-lung of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, Lin Shih-chia of the Taiwan Solidarity Union and Lee Tung-hao of the People First Party. The group, which arrived in Seoul the previous evening, was scheduled to head home after meeting with representatives of Taiwanese expatriate groups later in the day, to be back in time for the opening of the Legislative Yuan's new session the following day. (By Angela Tsai, Wen Kuei-hsiang, Chen Wei-ting and Elizabeth Hsu)
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