Sat, Feb 25, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Lee Teng-hui denies that `one without' was his idea

By Lee Hsin-fang and Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Former president Lee Teng-hui's (李登輝) office yesterday denied that Lee made the suggestion that President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) should add the "one without" premise to the "four noes" pledge in his 2000 inauguration speech.

The pledge stated that as long as Beijing had no intention of using military force against Taiwan, Chen would not declare independence, change the national title, ensconce the "state-to-state" model of cross-strait relations in the Constitution, hold a referendum on independence or unification, or abolish the National Unification Council and guidelines.

Lee's office issued the denial yesterday in response to a report in the Chinese-language China Times. The report said that the "one without" was not in the original draft of Chen's speech, and that it was Lee who suggested that Chen include it in order to "safeguard the country's interests."

"President Chen never consulted former president Lee during or after the drafting of the inauguration speech, so how would [Lee] make any suggestions [to the president]?" Lee's press statement asked. "The report is false and we are sorry that it has confused the public."

Chen's intention to abolish the unification council and guidelines has generated considerable concern among certain groups. According to the China Times report, Chen decided to abandon the "one without" condition after he suffered setbacks to his "middle course" policies and after China's refusal to negotiate with the government.

The abolition of the unification council and guidelines, the article said, reflected Chen's desire to "surpass Lee and leave no burden for future generations."

Meanwhile, regarding speculation that Chen will restate his "four noes" pledge when he announces the abolition of the unification council and guidelines, DPP Legislator Lin Cho-shui (林濁水) said yesterday that such a move would only hurt Taiwan further.

"The `four noes' pledge is all about Taiwan's sovereignty, while the abolition of the unification council is relatively unimportant," Lin said.

"Restating the `four noes' pledge would be no different from selling the country out in return for [the abolition of the unification council]," Lin said.

Meanwhile, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said yesterday that the US treated Chen's "four noes" pledge and the declaration not to abolish the unification council as a package.

"I don't think the US will accept Chen's restating the `four noes' as a compromise to abandoning the `one without,'" he said.

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