Mon, Jun 28, 2004 - Page 1 News List

China's bullying tactics like Nazis: Lee

`OBNOXIOUS BEHAVIOR' The former president said Beijing should worry more about its own problems and less about nationalism and stop its intimidation efforts

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Former president Lee Teng-hui says many of the difficulties China-based businesspeople are now facing can be attributed to the government's failure to fully implement his ``no haste, be patient'' policy. Lee spoke at a seminar in Taipei yesterday that focused on Taiwanese businesspeople's westward policy.

PHOTO: CHIANG YING-YING, TAIPEI TIMES

China's latest acts of intimidation against Taiwanese entertainers and China-based businesspeople proves that Beijing has not yet altered its imperialist and nationalistic attitude, said former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), warning that its efforts to suppress Taiwan will only get worse.

"Such bullying behavior is similar to that of the Nazis," Lee said.

"The obnoxious behavior is not targeted at individual Taiwanese but at the nation's freedom and democracy," he said.

"As long as China is not a democratic country, people who believe in freedom and democracy will continue to be suppressed by China and treated as its enemy," he said.

Lee made the remarks in a keynote speech at a seminar entitled "Support China-based Taiwanese businesspeople, call out to China."

The seminar, organized by the Taiwan Advocate and Taiwan Thinktank, was called to review the "march west" economic policy of many China-based Taiwanese businesspeople.

During Lee's one-hour speech, he called on the public to speak up in response to the recent string of intimidation efforts against Taiwan-ese in China, including the Aboriginal pop diva Chang Hui-mei (張惠妹), better known as A-mei, and Chi Mei Group founder Hsu Wen-lung (許文龍).

A-mei was forced to cancel a concert last week due to an online boycott staged by students from Zhejiang University, who accused her of supporting Taiwan's independence and called on Beijing to stop her from earning money in China.

The official People's Daily accused Hsu of using profits gained in China to finance the independence movement in Taiwan.

Hsu later relinquished his position as Chi Mei chairman in an attempt to defuse tensions.

Lee said that many of this nation's economic problems, such as high unemployment and deflation, could be attributed to the fact that the "no haste, be patient" policy he pioneered was not thoroughly carried out.

"Without this policy, problems such as overproduction, high unemployment and kidnappings of China-based Taiwanese business-people would be even worse," he said.

China's rapid economic development has not led it to become a freer and more democratic state, only to become more tyrannical, he said.

Lee called on China to pay more attention to its own economic problems and less to nationalism.

"To prevent nationalism and anti-democratic thinking from causing internal disorder ... China must stop treating Taiwan, Japan and the US as its enemies and make genuine efforts to cooperate and get along with Taiwan and other countries," Lee said.

If Beijing fails to change its erroneous polices, Lee said, the Taiwanese people must realize that China will never regard Taiwan as its friend or ally.

The government and other countries should learn a lesson from the failed experience of China-based Taiwanese businesspeople and never seek to appease China's bullying behavior, he said.

Lee called on businesspeople to focus more on developing a knowledge-based economy and less on moving to China.

"We must walk our own path so we don't have to depend on China nor be afraid of it," Lee said.

Following Lee's speech, five political and economic commentators, including Chinese dissident writer Cao Chang-qing (曹長青) and Taiwan Thinktank chairman Chen Po-chih (陳博志) spoke during a panel discussion.

Labelling China's intimidation against Taiwanese entertainers and businesspeople "hooliganism," Cao called on the Taiwanese people and government to fight back.

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