Mon, Jul 02, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Ma says Lee Teng-hui supports Siew on KMT ticket

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) was supportive of former premier Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) being his running mate in next year's presidential election.

Ma made the remarks when approached about a report in the Chinese-language China Times.

The paper quoted anonymous sources from the pan-blue camp as saying that Lee "understood" and "accepted" Siew's decision to be Ma's running mate after Siew, who is close to Lee, met with Lee on the eve of Ma's announcement.

"Siew is an honest man," Ma said at a Taipei book release. "It is perfectly natural that he would meet Lee."

Ma declined, however, to reveal what Siew and Lee talked about during their meeting. He also dismissed the newspaper's claim that the Siew-Lee meeting could cause pan-blue supporters to question Siew's political affiliation because Lee has been on poor terms with the pan-blue camp since the KMT lost the presidency to the Democratic Progressive Party in 2000.

Chien Cheng-shan (錢橙山), the secretary-general of the Taiwan Solidarity Union, the party which views Lee as its spiritual leader, yesterday declined to confirm whether Lee and Siew had met.

At the book launch, the KMT presidential candidate presented a book detailing his reflections during a 10-day bike tour in May that took him from the south to the north of the country.

Saying that he began the journey with an aim to find "the force that drives Taiwan forward," Ma said he had gained insight into the core values of the public, which he said are diligence, perseverance, tolerance and refusal to take defeat.

Ma said he would incorporate these values in his platform.

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