Sun, May 23, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Spit on the pan-blue leaders, Lee says

EXPECTORATION The former president believes that the Lien-Soong cabal has made such a nuisance of itself through its poor sportsmanship and by going into denial over the election that it deserves derision of the liquid variety

By Chang Yun-ping  /  STAFF REPORTER

Former president Lee Teng-hui, right, with Huang Kun-hui, the dean of study for the Lee Teng-hui Leadership School, speak in Taipei yesterday at the opening ceremony for the first term of an agricultural economics class at the school and the second term of a class for young leaders. Lee said Taiwan does not have an ethnic problem, but does have problems with national identification.

PHOTO: LIAO CHENG-HUI, TAIPEI TIMES

Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) said yesterday that the people of Taiwan should spit on pan-blue leaders who refuse to recognize that the presidential election is over and who insist on blaming the government for their loss.

Lee said that although President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) has been sworn into office for his second term and disputes surrounding the election are coming to an end through the recounting of votes, the opposition parties' leaders, still unwilling to admit that the election is over, keep blaming their problems on the election-eve activation of the national security mechanism.

"Some people still refuse to accept the results of the recount and even blame the national security mechanism for their loss. If they insist on casting blame like that, the election disputes probably won't be settled even in another four years. The people should really spit on them for their behavior," Lee said yesterday while addressing hundreds of students at the Lee Teng-hui School.

Lee said that the most important thing for the people and the administration now is to redouble their efforts, carry out reforms and push ahead with administrative affairs and legislative operations.

Analyzing the pan-blue camp's loss in the election, the former president said that the pan-blue alliance's defeat resulted from Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) neglecting to appreciate the growth of Taiwan-centered consciousness. Lee said this failure led to the collapse of the KMT's party-state system and to the break-up of the KMT's control over its own network of supporters.

Lee said that efforts by many private social groups to promote Taiwanese national identity have helped bring about a situation in which 57 percent of the people in Taiwan, according to opinion polls, say that they identify with the notion of Taiwanese consciousness. However, Lee said that the goal is to boost that number to 75 percent within four years.

"Candidates in the next presidential election should endeavor to win at least 55 percent of the vote," Lee said.

Urging Hoklo (more commonly known as Taiwanese) members of the KMT to realize that their party is under the control of politicians who are outside the social mainstream, Lee said that ethnic Taiwanese people have remained a part of the KMT only because they have come to rely on certain benefits that they have received as a result of Mainlander leadership.

Lee said that the KMT's leaders have too much in common with the Beijing authorities and that they don't mind seeing Taiwan harmed if it suits their political interests.

Commenting on a plan that would lead to a merger between the KMT and the PFP, Lee said the plan is riddled with trickery and conspiracy and that it would silence the voices of pro-localization party members, many of whom are leery of the proposal.

Meanwhile, Lee yesterday repeated his dismissal of China's recent threats to "crush" moves toward Taiwan's independence "at any cost," saying the bellicose statements were only bluffing on China's part.

"Some reporters asked me whether I was afraid of the threats. I said there is nothing to fear because barking dogs don't bite. Those were just deceptive tricks by the Chinese," Lee said.

"Furthermore, the guidelines they issued on cross-strait relations were only issued by the very low-ranking Taiwan Affairs Office. If the threats really did come from [Chinese President] Hu Jintao (胡錦濤), we would have to seriously wonder if the threats had to be taken seriously. But even if there were any substance to the threats, there is nothing to be afraid of if they want to attack," Lee said.

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