'China Doesn't Understand Ah-Bian'

David Hartung for TIME.

President Chen Shui-bian, at home with his golden retriever.

Thursday, May. 17, 2001 Chen Shui-bian made history a year ago when he was elected President of Taiwan, ending 55 years of Kuomintang rule. He's now honing his role on the global stage, as a key player in the cross-Strait drama and with a visit later this month to Latin America via the U.S. Chen sat down last week in Taipei for an interview with TIME editors and reporters. Edited excerpts:

TIME: How do you interpret the Bush Administration's arms-sales plan for Taiwan?
The decision was made because...

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