Wed, Nov 24, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Lee Yuan-tseh denies he talked about `one China'

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER , IN SANTIAGO, CHILE

Academia Sinica President Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲) on Monday denied that he ever touched on the "one China" principle with Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤), saying that the two did not discuss cross-strait issues at all during Sunday's meeting.

"We didn't talk about cross-strait relations, as I mentioned earlier during Sunday's press conference," Lee, who was President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) special envoy to APEC, said.

"It's not surprising and one shouldn't feel strange that China has mentioned the `one China' principle, because they do it all the time," Lee said.

"I remember when I met with former Chinese leader Jiang Zhemin (江澤民) three years ago, he immediately mentioned the `one China' policy when he saw me," he said.

Lee made the remarks Monday morning in response to inquiries by Taiwanese media about the Chinese foreign ministry's claim that Hu had discussed cross-strait relations with Lee during the APEC leaders' meeting and that Hu reiterated the "one China" policy during their brief exchange.

"I wonder if the Chinese side would say that our conversation [between Lee and Hu] was based on the `one China' principle," Lee said.

Lee spent Monday engaged in personal affairs, including delivering a speech at the Institution of Chile and visiting an association of overseas Taiwanese.

Lee was scheduled to leave for Taiwan yesterday.

In his speech, entitled "Meeting the challenges of the 21st century -- a scientist's view," Lee outlined the difficulties created and faced by mankind over the past century and called for a sustainable way of development.

Human society underwent drastic changes some 250 years ago after James Watt invented the steam engine, marking the beginning of the industrial revolution, Lee noted.

Two unfortunate facts result from the industrial revolution: irresponsible increase of energy consumption and uneven development of the human world, Lee said.

"Humanity is at the crossroads as the planet is limited in space, capacity and natural resources," he said.

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