TSU defends Lee in KMT assets probe

By Chang Yun-ping  /  STAFF REPORTER

Tue, Dec 30, 2003 - Page 3

A Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) lawmaker urged the DPP yesterday not to tarnish the contributions of former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) after a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator suggested Lee be held responsible for the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) stolen assets.

TSU Legislator Chen Chien-ming (陳建銘) defended Lee and urged the DPP not to blame the former president, who has made major contributions to Taiwan's democratization.

"Were it not for Lee, there wouldn't be the DPP today. Were it not for Lee's democratic reforms, would the DPP be able to look into the KMT's asset problems and continue other national development schemes?" Chen said.

The TSU was founded by Lee and has been a close political partner to the DPP.

DPP Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) said on Sunday that former KMT officials responsible for stealing the land now home to KMT headquarters should be held accountable.

Tuan said several former KMT officials should bear responsibility, including former Taipei mayor Huang Ta-chou (黃大洲), then KMT secretary-general James Soong (宋楚瑜), former minister of finance Wang Chien-hsuan, then premier Hau Pei-tsun (郝柏村) and former KMT chairman Lee Teng-hui.

Tuan said these officials were of the same "accomplice network."

TSU caucus whip Cheng Chien-lung (程建隆) said Lee had tried to push for the legalization of KMT assets during his time as the party's chairman, but was met with opposition from old-guard mainlanders in the party.

Cheng urged the DPP not to switch the focus of the issue, saying "even if Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) had worked as the KMT chairman, he wouldn't have been able to solve the KMT's asset problems."