Tue, Jan 27, 2009 - Page 1 News List

Lee meets Ma, Siew, warns of over-reliance on China

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

President Ma Ying-jeou, right, shakes hands with former president Lee Teng-hui after their meeting at Lee’s house in Taipei yesterday.

PHOTO: CHIEN JONG-FENG, TAIPEI TIMES

Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) yesterday urged the government to focus on increasing the nation's exports to boost the economy.

Lee made the comments during a visit by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), with the two discussing numerous topics during the one-hour meeting, said a presidential aide who wished to remain anonymous.

During the meeting, Lee expressed his concerns about the current economic situation and suggested that Ma take measures to boost the nation's exports.

Lee also presented Ma with two books, one of which was titled The One China Black Hole (一個中國黑洞).

Lee told the president that he had also given his recommendations to Vice President Vincent Siew (蕭萬長), who visited Lee earlier yesterday.

Lee urged Ma to take his suggestions into consideration and fight for the nation's economy.

Another Presidential Office official said that Siew told Lee during their meeting at 9:30am that the government's primary goal was to stabilize the financial sector.

Lee told Siew that he was not against the government's policy to promote cross-strait ties, but added that the nation's economy should not be wholly dependent on the Chinese market.

Instead, Taiwan should develop its own economy, Lee said.

The former president said the government should focus on how to promote Taiwan's economic competitiveness so as to improve living conditions in Taiwan.

In response, Siew said the government's short-term measures to tackle a rising unemployment rate had been effective, adding that the government would soon propose more mid-term and long-term solutions.

The vice president said the nation should focus on developing industries such as agricultural economics, green power generation and medical, cultural and innovative industries.

During the meeting with Siew, Lee also mentioned the importance of enriching one's mind in the face of the current economic turmoil.

Lee also said he planned to pay a visit to theological schools around the country.

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