Former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) new book is scheduled to hit the shops next week, the first time he has unveiled his personal feelings since being detained again on allegations of money laundering and corruption.
Chen’s office issued a statement announcing that the cover of the book, The Cross of Taiwan, would be a photograph taken on the day of Chen’s initial detention without charge in November last year, with Chen holding his handcuffed hands high in the air.
The book will consist of two sections: “Long Live Taiwan” and “Prison Conversation,” the statement said. “Long Live Taiwan” contains five chapters representing the five stages of his life. They are rebirth after death, striving upstream, visions, persistence on principles and Taiwan independence.
“Prison Conversation” is the diary he kept during his pre-trial detention from November to December last year and his current imprisonment.
The office said that Chen wrote about 3,000 words during the 32-day pre-trial incarceration, including his 13-day hunger strike. Chen used up five ballpoint pens and wrote nearly 100 pages on A4 paper.
The book also comprises photographs, copies of Chen’s manuscripts, detention warrants, his detainee’s delivery and safekeeping slips. In the introduction, Chen’s university teacher, National Taiwan University’s College of Law honorary professor Lee Hong-hsi (李鴻禧), said that he hoped the book would help the public better understand the state of mind of “A-bian” (Chen’s nickname) and make a calm and objective judgment.
The book is scheduled for release on Monday and a book launch press conference is scheduled for the following day.
The office of the former president said the first print run would be 20,000 copies, while the retail price would be NT$168.
Meanwhile, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday said that there was room for improvement in the country’s government, but emphasized that he would not interfere in Chen’s case.
“The government’s position is clear: we totally respect the judiciary and we will never meddle in investigations and rulings of a case,” Ma said.” It is a fundamental principle I insist upon as president.”
Ma said he did not know whether government corruption had anything to do with the country’s world ranking of political power released by Freedom House.