Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) acknowledged yesterday that he had joined the Chinese Communist Party in the 1940s -- but said he did so in order to realize his ideas for Taiwan.
In an interview with a local cable-TV station yesterday, Lee said he has long been a strong opponent of communism because he understands it so well that he knows the political theory is doomed to fail.
Lee's interview came after a Chinese-language newspaper reported yesterday that the former president had joined the Communists in 1946 through the introduction of Wu Ke-tai (
The newspaper story was based on an interview with Wu, a retired Chinese party official, who said he had meet Lee during a visit to Taipei in March.
Lee's admission triggered an immediate furor in the Legislative Yuan, with TSU and DPP lawmakers defending him and the pan-blue camp attacking him.
Pan-green lawmakers said Lee's Communist Party association was due to his love for Taiwan while PFP and KMT lawmakers accused him of adopting a double standard.
KMT Legislator Cheng Feng-shih (鄭逢時) said it was contradictory for Lee, as a former Communist Party member, to blame the pan-blue camp for attempting to sell out Taiwan by colluding with China.
In his books, Lee has said that he is from the era when the theories of Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin were fashionable and Marx's Das Kapital was popular among college students.
According to Lee, young Taiwan-ese embraced communism in the late 1940s because they detested the KMT's alien rule.
The loathing of the KMT intensified, Lee said, after the 228 Incident.
He said he joined the KMT in 1971 because "the safest place is the most dangerous place."
Lee acknowledged yesterday that he had met with Wu earlier this year, but denied most of Wu's comments about the meeting.
The Taiwan-born Wu moved to China in 1949 when he was 24-years old. He was already a Communist Party member.
He had not seen Lee in 55 years, until the two men met this year, reportedly at the former president's home in Taipei.
Wu said that Lee's manners and the way he talked were still the same, but his way of thinking had changed tremendously.
Wu said that he was surprised by Lee's fondness for Japan and the US, given Lee's Communist Party membership.
"As his old friend, I had to tell him he would lead himself into a risky direction," Wu said.
In his interview, Lee was dismissive of his old friend. He said Wu was simply trying to promote himself by talking about Lee.
He also hinted that that Wu's political leanings might not be so strong, saying "the ideals held by communists no longer exist."
Lee said the main reason Wu returned to Taiwan was to claim compensation for his father, who was a victim of the KMT's White Terror era.
CLASSES HALTED: Cram schools have had to return tuition fees due to mandatory closures and might need to lay off half of their staff because of a lack of revenue The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the education sector, with some cram schools and tutoring centers saying they might soon be unable to pay their instructors due to the extension of a nationwide level 3 COVID-19 alert. The heightened alert level means schools must remain closed, so cram schools and tutoring centers have had to return tuition fees, one cram school said. June is normally the peak season for recruiting new students at cram schools and tutoring centers, but this year many such schools might need to lay off half of their staff due to a lack of
While the antiparasitic drug ivermectin is being touted as a treatment for COVID-19 in many parts of the world, Taiwanese experts on Monday warned against regular use of the drug in COVID-19 treatment, citing a lack of solid evidence. “Following an experts’ meeting, we do not recommend regular use of ivermectin in treating COVID-19 due to the lack of enough evidence,” said Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳), convener of the Central Epidemic Command Center’s (CECC) expert advisory panel. A report in the American Journal of Therapeutics said that meta-analyses based on 18 randomized controlled treatment trials of ivermectin in COVID-19 patients had found large,
A student at National Chengchi University jumped from the roof of his apartment in the early hours of Sunday after he was allegedly bullied online. The 21-year-old student, surnamed Huang (黃), on Friday last week posted on the university’s online discussion forum asking the public to judge a dispute he was having with a female roommate about rent. An anonymous post on the online forum Dcard appeared on the same day, saying he was the last person to judge others, and that he was “a heavy smoker, lazy, a terrible group member for class projects and a person with a poor
A person who was on Friday reported as the first in Taiwan to die after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine died of a heart attack, a Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) official said yesterday. The deceased, whose sex and age were not disclosed, had coronary artery disease, which led to a fatal heart attack, Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is the CECC’s spokesman, told a news conference, citing the autopsy report. It was the first death listed as a possible adverse event after receiving the AstraZenenca COVID-19 vaccine since the start of the vaccination program on March 22. The