Sun, Dec 22, 2002 - Page 1 News List

Don't vote for blue camp in 2004, Lee says

By Lin Miao-Jung  /  STAFF REPORTER

Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) said yesterday that the country should ensure that the ruling party takes the 2004 presidential election.

Lee said that if "alien rule" takes power again, such an outcome would frustrate the development of Taiwan's democratization and localization.

"Some people said that they want to change the ruling party for a second time, that's a big joke. If alien rule takes power again, it will frustrate Taiwan's democracy and would be a step backwards for localization. We can't allow this to happen," Lee said.

Lee said changing the ruling party for the second time is not the true meaning of a transfer of power.

Lee equates Taiwan's process of democratization to the process of localization. "Via the electoral system, citizens of Taiwan have gradually established a local ruling power. From me to President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), the people of Taiwan have made their choices."

Lee made the remarks yesterday in a news conference held to announce the private Taiwan Advocates (群策會) think tank's new book on the nation's goals for the 21st century. The book addresses politics, culture, defense, international relations and environmental protection.

The book is a collection of opinions from more than 30 experts who have discussed various topics over the past six months.

Lee said setting goals is crucial to a country's future and that is what motivated the think tank to produce the book.

A symposium was held at the same time to discuss the book's introduction and the first chapter, which is about national identity.

Lee addressed the subject by saying that a new Constitution is necessary to break the "one China" concept.

He said Taiwan needs a new Constitution in order to truly establish independent sovereignty, especially in today's quickly changing political climate.

"A new Constitution is much more symbolic than an old, difficult-to-amend Constitution. Via the process of establishing a new Constitution, the formation of a national identity would be complete, the `one China' principle would be given up, and Taiwan would be recognized by the international community," Lee said.

Lee said the "one China" concept, which includes both Taiwan and the territory of China, is a fantasy that does not reflect the real situation.

Lee said during the six rounds of constitutional reform that took place while he was in power did not touch upon the issue of nation-building, which is crucial to Taiwan's national identity.

"Only when a new Constitution is established will the Republic of China's second republic be completed," Lee said.

He said the ROC that exists in Taiwan is much different from the one established in China before 1949. He said that because of the changes, the statement that "Taiwan is part of China" is meaningless.

In addition, while answering reporters' question about the cooperation between the KMT and PFP in the 2004 presidential election, Lee declined to comment.

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