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Thursday, August 23, 2001, updated at 16:28(GMT+8)

Lee Teng-hui Uses 'Big Sticks' to Continue Upsetting Political Situation

Lee Teng-hui, unwilling to live in obscurity, has jumped from behind the scene to the stage to play his trick of "using big sticks" and further mess up the political situation in Taiwan.

On August 20, at the election war study battalion of the "Taiwan Solidarity Union", he, styling himself as the "No.1 authority", waved the big sticks to strike right and left; in the tone of the "founder of a religion", he said to the candidates of the "Taiwan Solidarity Union": "you are all my "another half", "you must win in the December 1 election! If you fail, it would be impossible to keep Taiwan's political situation stable and to rejuvenate its economy". It seems he can live a valuable life only when the Union is sure to win and become a largest political party.

The "Taiwan Solidarity Union" is a new organization rigged up not long ago by pro-Lee key "Taiwan independence" elements. Lee Teng-hui openly "expressed his true feeling", claiming that the "Union's" purpose is "fully identical with my idea" and so is capable of continuing the "democratized line" pushed during his "administration"; although he has not yet joined the Union, at least he can give spiritual support to the "Taiwan Solidarity Union" and, availing himself of all his relations and strengths to help most of the "Union's" candidates to be elected and "Taiwan Solidarity Union" to become the majority party.

In order to show his determination" to prop up the "Taiwan Solidarity Union", as soon as he stepped into the meeting place, Lee Teng-hui, without demur, started singing the "Union" party song together with the organization's members at the meeting, and he appeared to be quite excited in the whole process of delivering his speech. Originally the "Union" planned to set aside only five minutes for reporters' interview, however, at the height of his enthusiasm, Lee took the initiative to ask for devoting the whole process to reporters' coverage, saying "it doesn't matter, let them listen if they want to". Lee encouraged the "Union" saying that each and every of the nominated candidate is his "another half", now there are still more than 100 days away from the election, he still has many measures, which, once presented, will startle everybody.

The "Taiwan Solidarity Union" held a press conference before the end of the election war study battalion, in the face of the media's question "Whether Lee Teng-hui's action can be counted as a service to the Union?" All candidates shouted in one voice", Of course they do"! Secretary-general Su Chin-chiang of the Union said that the "Taiwan Solidarity Union" and Lee Teng-hui which are a "natural integration", complement each other.

While giving a vigorous prop to the Union, Lee played the trick of a thief crying "stop thief". He severely criticized the instability of the Taiwan political situation, claiming that the "freedom" and "democracy" he had established over a period of 12 years were soon to collapse, the political situation was in utter confusion, just like the gradual loss and collapse of family asset and property. He even compared some Taiwan's politicians to "unfilial sons", saying that the situation was just like that the father was going to retire, while several bad children who spoiled the family habit and custom appeared in the family, "the father should endure and fight on regardless of the hardship", then how can he retire under the circumstance?

As the former chairman of the Kuomintang, Lee Teng-hui came to open break with the Kuomintang. When somebody asked whether Lee Teng-hui would render service to the Kuomintang candidate in the year-end election. Lee openly expressed his attitude on August 20 for the first time: "I didn't say that (meaning rendering service to the Kuomintang)"; "There is not such a matter!" Later, he repeatedly stressed that "it's impossible" to render service to the Kuomintang. Lee Teng-hui clandestinely satirized the current Kuomintang leader as not resigning himself to losing in the election", "this is a very abnormal and unhealthy psychology", which "had disappointed him and made him feel resentful".

Lee Teng-hui clearly opposes readjusting the "no haste, be patient" policy at the present stage, and repeats the same old tune of the two-states remark", asserting that Taiwan and the mainland are "special state-to-state relationship", and the mainland has never ruled Taiwan and had never levied tax from Taiwan, and it is "a gross mistake" to say that the territory of Taiwan comes within the mainland.

Lee Teng-hui's ugly performance has aroused rebound in various quarters. Chairman of the Kuomintang Lien Chan indicated that he "has no interest in replying related questions. On August 20 although the Central Committee of the Kuomintang decided to maintain its ""cold approach" to the issue regarding Lee's party membership, the "Legislative Committee members" who disregard the clan background have gradually formed the consensus on "handling the matter as soon as possible". "Legislative Committee Member" Hung Hsing-jung at the "Legislative Yuan" openly called on Lee Teng-hui to quit from the Kuomintang on his own, leaving him to be "provided for" carefully by the "Taiwan Solidarity Union" to avoid making things difficult for everybody. "Legislative Committee Member" Ting Shou-chung demanded that the Kuomintang Central Committee expel Lee from the party, the "cold treatment" method featuring hesitation in taking action can only provide Lee with a chance to make a fuss about this and undermine the Kuomintang. Some pro-Lee Kuomintang "Legislative committee members" have changed their previous stand of "shielding Lee" and proposed for Lee Teng-hui's "voluntary withdrawal from the Kuomintang".

Hong Hsing-jung also said that society would have its own evaluation of Lee's behavior of wandering about the fringe of political party, setting a "very bad example" in democratic politics. At first Lee Teng-hui declared that a dozen or 20 Kuomintang "legislative committee members" would "come to surrender themselves, facts have proved this to be untrue. Take the present alignment of the "Taiwan Solidarity Union" which want to be the "collaboration political party" of the Democratic Progressive Party, but the latter dares not to accept them. Now Lee Teng-hui claims he wants the "Union" to become the first large party, doesn't this mean he wants to trample the Democratic Progressive Party under foot? Lee's relationship with the "Taiwan Solidarity Union" has not only puzzled the Kuomintang, but has made the Democratic Progress Party find it hard to tell about its difficulty.

The People First Party rebuked by Lee Teng-hui has reacted strongly, spokesman Hsieh Kung-ping of this party has openly raised the question: What kind of line did Lee Teng-hui pursue over the past 12 years during his "administration"? Is it a "two-state theory" line? Or a line of closing the "country" to "external economic and trade relations"? Or is it a line boosting the extension of the term of "presidency" for a period of 10,000 years? Hsieh Kung-ping said that Lee Teng-hui once claimed that completion of "constitutional revision" could bring Taiwan 10 years of stability, in fact, there was no stability for even three years. Lee Teng-hui said it was he who boosted the separation of the party from the "state", but who, after all, makes no distinction between the "party and 'state' " and, during last year's election, he employed the "state machine" to attack Sung Chuyu, chairman of the People First Party? Is the fund for the "Taiwan comprehensive research institute" he chairs the money of the "national security bureau" or the money of the Kuomintang? Hsieh asked Lee Teng-hui to give a clear answer to and explanation of this question. Hsieh Kung-ping said that Lee Teng-hui claimed several young spendthrifts had ruined almost all the family property, but Hsieh asked Lee this question: Who, after all, has spoiled all the property of the Kuomintang over the past 12 years during his "administration"?

This article, written by reporter Wu Changsheng of People's Daily, was carried on Page 2 of the East China News on August 23, 2001.

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Lee Teng-hui, unwilling to live in obscurity, has jumped from behind the scene to the stage to play his trick of "using big sticks" and further mess up the political situation in Taiwan.

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