Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) yesterday followed up on his recent comments about President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) cross-strait policy by reiterating his position on ending the “status quo” with China, saying that “Taiwanese understand that the nation has to walk its own path without fear.”
The statements came in the wake of his recent interview with Japan’s Sankei Shimbun, in which Lee attributed Tsai’s fall in popularity polls to her stance on maintaining the so-called “status quo” in relations with China, which Lee said is a deviation from popular sentiment.
“Taiwan is Taiwan, how can it maintain the ‘status quo’ with China? Taiwanese are opposed to that,” Lee said on the sidelines of an event in Taipei.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
Presidential adviser Koo Kwang-ming (辜寬敏), who also attended the event, said that 70 years ago there were only three independent nations in Asia and the rest were colonies, whereas today there are more than 20 sovereign nations in the region.
“Only Taiwan’s sovereignty is unclear,” Koo said.
If Tsai wants to talk about “maintaining the ‘status quo,’ then she should lay out a plan for the future,” Koo said, adding that failure to do so would be irresponsible.
As for his comments made in the same interview with the Sankei Shimbun, in which he said Tsai lacks courage and decisiveness, Lee said he was not criticizing her, but rather encouraging her to work harder.
Lee said that many problems remain unsolved, citing the lapses in Mega International Commercial Bank’s (兆豐銀行) internal management and controls exposed by the New York State Department of Financial Services’ announcement in August and a US$180 million fine of the bank’s New York branch for breaches of the US Bank Secrecy Act, pension reform disputes, labor disputes and the recent dissolution of TransAsia Airways Corp (復興航空).
Lee said problems such as those with TransAsia and Mega Bank are due to the handling of banking and financial matters by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) officials installed in their posts during the former administration, adding that Taiwan’s problems cannot be solved until these issues are dealt with.
In response to media queries on the Tsai administration’s performance over the past six months, Lee said the government is not handling the issues the public expects it to deal with, citing a drop in Tsai’s approval ratings from 50 percent to about 30 percent.
“[Tsai] must be careful in regard to the issues I just mentioned, otherwise her approval ratings will drop further. If she is not careful, she could end up like the South Korean President [Park Geun-hye],” Lee said.
Indonesia has sent hundreds of riot police to a tiny island after protests broke out against a China-backed project that would displace thousands of residents. About 1,000 people protested in Batam City on Monday over a plan to develop Rempang island into a Chinese-funded economic zone, including the construction of a multibillion-dollar glass factory, that would displace about 7,500 people. Some protesters clashed with security forces outside a government agency, wielding machetes, Molotov cocktails and stones, police said, adding that dozens were arrested. Beijing has poured money into infrastructure and resource projects in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy and its investments have previously caused
‘HARASSMENT’: A record 103 Chinese warplanes were detected in 24 hours, posing severe challenges to security in the Taiwan Strait and the region, the ministry said Taiwan yesterday told China to stop its “destructive unilateral actions” after more than 100 Chinese warplanes and nine navy ships were detected in areas around the nation. The Ministry of National Defense (MND) described the number of warplanes detected in 24 hours as a “recent high,” while Beijing has so far refrained from issuing any official comment on the sorties. “Between the morning of September 17th to 18th, the Ministry of National Defense had detected a total of 103 Chinese aircraft, which was a recent high and has posed severe challenges to the security across the Taiwan Strait and in the region,”
China would be making “a grave strategic mistake” if it tried to attack Taiwan, US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley said in an interview with CNN that aired on Sunday. Asked by host Fareed Zakaria whether the US could repel a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, Milley said: “It is entirely possible.” Milley reiterated that the US still maintains the Taiwan Relations Act, and that it wants “a peaceful outcome between Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China, and whatever that is between those two peoples.” “Militarily, I think China would make a grave strategic mistake if they attempted to
‘CRITICAL TRADE PARTNER’: The proposal had momentum due to a bipartisan consensus on boosting the economic partnership with Taiwan, a US senator said The US Senate Committee on Finance on Thursday passed the US-Taiwan Expedited Double Tax Relief Act, with US officials saying that it would ease pressure on investors and boost the partnership between Taipei and Washington, although Taiwan needs to enact reciprocal legislation for it to take effect. The bill — which was developed by US senators Ron Wyden, the committee’s chairman, and ranking member Mike Crapo, along with US representatives Jason Smith, chairman of the US House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means, and ranking member Richard Neal — was passed in a 27-0 vote. The proposal had momentum because of