Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) passed away at 7:24pm yesterday at Taipei Veterans General Hospital. He was 97 years old.
The hospital stated the cause of death as septic shock and multiple organ failure.
Lee had been hospitalized there since February, when he choked on a mouthful of milk at home. He was later diagnosed with pulmonary infiltrates and aspiration pneumonia.
The hospital said that Lee had been treated with antibiotics, but that his health had not improved, as his advanced age and diabetes had inhibited his immune system and led to recurring infections.
During his hospitalization, Lee underwent daily kidney dialysis, which removed electrolytes and excess liquids, so that nutrient solutions introduced via intravenous drip and blood infusions would bring him strength.
The hospital said that Lee’s body would remain at the hospital until Lee’s wife, Tseng Wen-hui (曾文惠), and his family, could make further arrangements.
Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times
Yesterday, when a doctor announced Lee’s passing, Tseng was by his side, the hospital added.
During his lifetime, Lee underwent 12 stent procedures, 11 for his heart and one for his vertebral artery — installed when he was 92 years old.
Lee had been diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2011 and underwent a colectomy to remove the tumor that year. In 2007, he was diagnosed with cataracts, and had an intraocular lens inserted in 2013.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) expressed her deep sadness at Lee’s passing, and instructed the Presidential Office and other government agencies to offer Lee’s family whatever assistance they might need.
Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) said that Taiwanese should thank Lee for choosing democracy at a critical time in history, leading the country out from under the shadow of autocratic government.
Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) also offered his condolences to Lee’s family through his office, while affirming Lee’s contributions to Taiwan’s democratization.
Ma believes that while Lee’s political ideas underwent major changes after he left the presidency, history would render a just and objective evaluation of Lee’s career, the office said.
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday posted a photograph of him visiting Lee at the hospital in May last year.
Lee is most admired not only for his political achievements, but also for his life philosophy, which is full of wisdom, Ko wrote on Facebook.
Lee allowed the nation to smoothly evolve from an authoritarian regime to a democratic one, and he was able to withdraw from the political scene at his peak, Ko wrote, describing Lee as a “hero of the era.”
Taipei on Friday rejected Hanoi’s characterization of its recent live-fire drill near Itu Aba Island (Taiping Island, 太平島) as “illegal,” saying that Taiwan’s claim to the small island in the South China Sea was “unquestionable.” The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said in a statement that the comments made by its Vietnamese counterpart about the military’s routine live-fire drills near Itu Aba on Tuesday were “unacceptable.” Earlier on Friday, Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang called Taiwan’s military activity “a serious violation of Vietnam’s territorial sovereignty,” saying it had caused tensions and complicated the situation in the region. Hang
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday said it is more than doubling its US investment to US$40 billion as it plans to make 3-nanometer chips in 2026 at a second Arizona fab, adding to the chipmaker’s original plan of building a US$12 billion fab to make 4-nanometer chips in 2024. The investment would mark the largest foreign direct investment in Arizona’s history and one of the largest foreign direct investments in the history of the US, the world’s largest contract chipmaker said in a statement yesterday. In addition to the more than 10,000 construction workers at the site, TSMC’s two fabs
ENHANCEMENT: The sale would update Taiwan’s Patriot missile system to improve its missile defensive capability and deter threats, the US Department of State said The US has proposed selling Taiwan as many as 100 of its most advanced Patriot air-defense missiles along with radar and support equipment in a deal valued at US$882 million, according to a US Department of State notice obtained by Bloomberg News. The proposal was made under the provisions of a 2010 sale and so technically is not new. It is classified as an enhancement to the earlier deal, with a potential total value of US$2.81 billion. The upgrade would not change the overall value of that deal, which infuriated Beijing at the time and led it to halt planned military exchanges
‘UNITED FRONT’ TOOL? There are already many accounts on Douyin impersonating government agencies, and even Premier Su Tseng-chang, DPP Legislator Mark Ho said Lawmakers and a number of experts yesterday called on the government to ban or heavily regulate Douyin (抖音) over concerns that the short-video platform could be used by China to spread disinformation. Owned by ByteDance Ltd (字節跳動), Douyin and its international version, TikTok, are a subject of concern in democracies worldwide because of potential manipulation by the Chinese government. FBI Director Chris Wray on Friday said that Beijing might have the ability to control TikTok’s recommendation algorithm, “which allows them to manipulate content, and if they want to, to use it for influence operations.” TikTok could also be used to collect personal data