Sun, Sep 04, 2005 - Page 1 News List

Lee urges unity on national identity

CONFUSION Former president Lee Teng-hui said that the most serious problem the government faces is the public's shifting feelings about the nation's identity

BY MO YAN-CHIH  /  STAFF REPORTER

Former president Lee Teng-hui speaks at a forum held by the Northern Society yesterday.

PHOTO: LIAO CHEN-HUI, TAIPEI TIMES

Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) yesterday said the most serious problem the government needs to tackle is people's confusion over national identity. Without establishing a consensus that leads Taiwan toward independence, the country will be lost to China, he said.

Lee said the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government had failed to maintain the strong and united Taiwanese identity that was established during the 228 hand-in-hand rally last year.

He also heaped blame on the pan-blue camp.

He said that Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) misdirected "Taiwan discourse," and the pan-blue camp's "kowtowing" to China and plan to veto the arms-procurement package had caused more damage to national security.

"Ma's Taiwan discourse is nothing but a lie to win more votes in the 2008 presidential election. It is clear that his ultimate goal is to unite with China, and the pan-blue camp's attempt to veto the arms procurement package is a product of this mindset," Lee said.

Lee made the comments yesterday in a lecture at a forum held by the Northern Society.

Lee said three major problems were leading to what he called a "drifting of thoughts," or confusion and changeable feelings about national identity. In addition to the lack of a consensus on national identity, Lee said that growing economic dependence on the Chinese market and Beijing's attempts to spread its way of thinking to Taiwan's young people by encouraging them to study in China are pushing Taiwan away from the "correct path."

Lee also said the recent export of Taiwan's fruit and agricultural products to China will mean the nation's prized agricultural technology will eventually be exported to China.

When asked how to oversee the DPP government, so that people's "drifting of thoughts" will not worsen, Lee said that the key was for the public to speak with unity.

"Everybody should hang together and propose the ideas we talked about today to the government. If the government chooses to ignore people's voices, then do not vote for it," Lee said.

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