Former president working on book about the future

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter, in Yunlin County

Fri, Aug 03, 2012 - Page 3

Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) said yesterday in Yunlin County that he is working on a new book on Taiwan’s future, which he would dedicate to young Taiwanese.

The 89-year-old said he wanted to write about the topic because he was wondering which direction Taiwan would go in the new century as its economy — along with those of the US and EU — have been declining, but “neither people nor the media would talk about this.”

The book will begin with a review and analysis of the past century, as one can never understand the future without knowing what has happened in the past, Lee said.

Lee observed three important developments in the past century, with the first being technological advances, which have had a great impact on people’s lives, followed by what he called “the failed experiment of socialism,” beginning in post-World War I Russia.

The third critical development was the economic and political rise of the “third world,” in particular countries in Asia and Africa, Lee told reporters on the last day of his three-day visit to central Taiwan.

The economic activities of Africa, which now has 37 member states in the UN, will likely be a stimulus for more opportunities in the future, he said.

Lee said that although people would benefit from information technology and the Internet in the new century, it would control and limit their lives and create a new set of problems.

“Young men nowadays, I would say, are happy and tormented at the same time,” Lee said, as they are able to enjoy the convenience of technology, but they are also unsure about their future in these turbulent times.

“That will be something for which politics is unable to find a solution. A solution will only be found in the cultivation and deliberation of culture, art, religion and living,” he said.

The book, Lee said, aims to be a guide for young people to help them find happiness, the answer to who he or she is and their position in the world, as well as a reminder that everyone should “break the constraint of modern day technology.”

The former president did not begin to work on the book until weeks ago, according to a staffer at his office.

The contents of the book were written as a speech to be delivered at a seminar, but Lee later added more and more of his thoughts on the subjects, the staffer said.