As part of celebrations of former president Lee Teng-hui's (
The book, President Lee's Photo Collection, is published in four volumes -- Family Album, Road to Politics, Pilot of State Policy, and Navigator of Taiwan -- offering a panorama of the former president's life, as well as Taiwan's development over the past 80 years.
At the book's launch yesterday, Lee thanked his family and spent much time talking about his recent cultural journey to Japan. He said that Japan is a good model for Taiwan to develop as a progressive and normal country.
"Japanese society doesn't forsake its traditions as it progresses," Lee said. "I think Japan learned valuable lessons and reflected deeply after it was defeated [in World War II,] which is something from which Taiwan can learn."
Lee also responded to criticism that he was "capricious."
"Those who criticized me as `capricious' are people who lack critical thinking," Lee said. "If you think about Taiwan from the perspective of a Taiwanese, you would know that people change their destiny with the environment. But the belief is the only thing that stays the same," Lee said.
Lee's wife, Tseng Wen-hui (
Both Tseng and Annie Lee sobbed when talking about Lee Hsien-wen (
Lee Hsien-wen died of nasopharyngeal carcinoma in 1982 at the age of 32 while Lee Teng-hui was Taiwan's provincial governor. The loss of his only son is an issue the former president and his wife rarely touch on in public.
But at yesterday's launch, Tseng talked about their son, who also features in the album.
Tseng said that her husband always worried about Taiwanese people's lives when he was president, and that she had thought he would be all hers after he stepped down.
"He still doesn't belong to me. He still belongs to Taiwan," Tseng said.
"Although my dad is representative of sense, he also has his tenderness in many ways," Annie Lee said.
"I've seen him weeping several times. Once over the death of my elder bother, once at my wedding and another time after a subordinate's death," she said.
"In my opinion, he is a man who values love and relationships highly," Annie Lee said.
She also praised her mother's perseverance and bravery.
Former members of Lee Teng-hui's staff and acquaintances also shared what they knew about the former president.
Huang Kun-huei (
"I have a profound feeling that `love' is the driving force for former president Lee to push his state policies. He always kept people's pain and desire in mind," Huang said. "For 19 days out of one month after the 921 Earthquake in 1999, Lee visited victims and disaster areas without rest."
Huang said Lee values action and honesty and is scrupulous in separating his private interests from those of the public.