Sun, May 01, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Lien, Soong are `fools,' Lee says

IDENTITY CRISIS Lien Chan's visit to China, as well as James Soong's forthcoming visit, hurt efforts to instill a national consciousness, Lee said

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Former president Lee Teng-hui holds the baby pictured on the cover of his new book, entitled New Era Taiwanese, at a launching ceremony yesterday.

PHOTO: SEAN CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES

Calling Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) a "fool," former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) yesterday said that only President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) can solve cross-strait problems, and not "unrelated" people.

"To stop the harsh criticism voiced by the international community against the `Anti-Secession' Law, China drags over two fools from Taiwan to have a talk," he said. "The five-point agreement reached between Lien and Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) does not help solve anything. President Chen, who represents the people of Taiwan, is the only one who has the power to untie the knots of the tangled cross-strait impasse."

Lee also said that he does not see any use for Lien to talk with Hu and other Chinese authorities because they are from a country which is neither free nor democratic.

As a former president, Lee said that he shows respect for President Chen and will always support him.

"Lien refuses to address Chen as president and supports the use of violence, letting gangsters beat up Taiwanese people at the airport," he said.

Lee made the remarks yesterday morning while launching his new book, entitled New Era Taiwanese.

The proceeds of the sale of the 124-page pocket book yesterday and today will go to those injured during a violent brawl after pro-independence groups protesting Lien's China trip clashed with pro-unification supporters at CKS International Airport on Tuesday. Fifteen people with injured in the tussle.

Lee said that his book was inspired by the nation's adverse political climate. He also feels that a "new Taiwanese" concept, which he coined and promoted since 1898, has been abused by some politicians since the Democratic Progressive Party took power in 2000.

"The crux of Taiwan's problem does not lie in ethnicity but in national identification," he said. "Let's not label ourselves as Mainlander, Taiwanese, Hoklo, Hakka or Aboriginal, because we are all `new era Taiwanese.'"

While Lee said that it is sad to be Taiwanese, he called on the public to work with the government to remove the obstacles on the road to democratization and end what he called the "era of sadness."

Before speaking at the book launching ceremony, Lee emphasized the importance of political stability during a speech delivered to students of the Lee Teng-hui Academy and its youth leader programs.

Lee said that the so-called five-point "vision for cross-strait peace" made by Lien and Hu is nothing but a sugarcoated lie and part of China's unification strategy aimed at dividing the Taiwanese people.

"The flower of the peaceful democratic revolution, which blossomed after the transfer of power in 2000, withers overnight because of the domination of opposition forces in the legislature. This problem is compounded by China's strenuous efforts to split up the nation," Lee said.

Due to centuries of foreign domination, the former president also said that Taiwanese people lack a sense of the nation's historical, geographical, economic and cultural evolution and that the problem is worrisome.

"All foreign regimes are afraid of the rise of local awareness and consciousness. The same theory applies to Taiwan," he said. "Many Taiwanese don't have much of a national consciousness and are confused about who they are. This is a very serious problem."

Lee also said that he hopes the programs his academy provides will help participants better understand the nation and love this land, as well as purge the educational venom left by the former KMT administration, which promoted the "greater China" ideology.

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