Wed, Feb 14, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Lee Teng-hui tells Japanese paper DPP is ineffectual

LASHING OUT Lee has declared war on the DPP administration, which is incompetent and only interested in winning the presidential election, the former president said

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) harshly criticized the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in an interview with a Japanese newspaper, saying that it has been politically ineffectual.

Lee told Japan's Sankei Shimbun in Taipei that the remarks he made was "a declaration of war against the DPP administration," saying that the party was incompetent.

"The only thing [the DPP] is concerned with is winning the presidential election," he said.


Lee has come under fire since a controversial interview with the Chinese-language weekly Next Magazine two weeks ago.

The story bore sensational headlines that read "abandon independence," "accept Chinese investment" and "hope to visit China."

During his interview with the Sankei Shimbun, Lee said that the headlines did not reflect the content of his remarks, as his focus was meant to be on Taiwan's democratic development.

Taiwan is already an independent sovereignty, Lee said, and it was unnecessary to declare independence. What should be pursued is enacting a new constitution, he said.

However, the administration of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) has been focused on a power struggle with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), and has turned a blind eye to the plight of the people, the former president said.

`Empty promises'

"What I was trying to say was that the administration should stop deceiving the people by making empty promises," he said.

"The most important thing is to figure out how to fix problems, and the unnecessary political infighting must stop," Lee said.

Regarding accepting Chinese investment, Lee told the Japanese daily that he understood the administration is afraid of opening up to Chinese investors, but it is the government's job to establish a framework that allows bilateral capital flows.

As for visiting China, Lee said he does not want to visit the country when it is still under communist rule, and that a visit is not part of his immediate plans.

In response, DPP legislative caucus whip Wang Sing-nan (王幸男) yesterday told a press conference that Lee was criticizing the DPP merely to protect the Taiwan Solidarity Union's (TSU) interests in the year-end legislative election.

Former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), however, said the DPP should heed Lee's comments, because the pursuit of a moderate approach would be helpful to TSU's performance in those elections.

Additional reporting by Flora Wang

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