Tue, May 23, 2000 - Page 1 News List

Chen, Lee discuss security over dinner

By Lin Chieh-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) last night had a private dinner with former President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) at his home in Tahsi (大溪) in Taoyuan County.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the transfer of power, to share experiences, to discuss Chen's inauguration speech and other matters related to national security.

Sources inside the Presidential Office said that President Chen has already planned to ask for advice from Lee in the future and "the two presidents will keep in constant contact by meeting in private, much like families keep in touch with one another."

Sources also stressed that the dinner last night was arranged before the inaugural ceremony, but refused to say exactly what the two presidents might have spoken about.

"Only four people attended the dinner -- President Chen, the First Lady, Mr Lee and his wife," sources said.

The secretary-general of the Presidential Office Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) told the Taipei Times in an exclusive interview on May 8 that former President Lee was actively relating his experiences as well as all details of national security issues to President Chen.

"Lee wants to guide Chen as much possible," Chang said in the interview. The Chen-Lee meeting symbolizes the successful transfer of administrative power and the continuation of Lee's influence, sources said.

In order to pay his respects to past leaders of the country, but carve his own path to the future, Chen will present a bouquet at CKS Memorial Hall today, but he will not go to Touliao (頭寮) to pay homage to former President Chiang's remains, sources said.

Paying homage to Chiang's remains was a necessary procedure when new officials of the old government and leaders of the KMT were inaugurated in the past, and it was also symbolic of official "legitimacy." Now, Chen will liberate future leaders from that requirement.

When DPP lawmakers met with Lee last week, Lee appealed to Chen "not to be cowardly or make too many concessions to China."

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top