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Mar 27, 2008

Lee's just full of surprises

President-elect Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) is unlikely to bring Taiwan close to Beijing any time soon as the Chinese Communist Party does not trust him, former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) said.

Speaking in an interview with Japan's Sankei Shimbun newspaper, Lee dismissed suggestions that Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) member Ma would integrate Taiwan with China.

"Taiwan will not be taken by China so easily. Why? Actually the the Chinese Communist Party does not trust Mr Ma from the bottom of its heart," he said in the interview published yesterday.

"I'm not in a position to elaborate but he is influenced very strongly by the United States," the 85-year-old Lee said of Ma.

The former president said Ma "can be self-righteous but is also modern."

Lee had supported Ma's rival, Democratic Progressive Party candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) in the presidential election even though Ma served as justice minister in the 1990s under Lee's rule.

Lee also doubted that China's crackdown on Tibet was a decisive factor in the election, saying that people did not want to provoke Beijing.

"Would it do Taiwan any good if we supported Tibet when Taiwan's safety is not guaranteed? No," Lee said.

Here are some of the articles from the Sankei Shimbun (産経新聞) related to the Lee interview:

日台関係「智恵生かしたい」 李登輝氏会見要旨

「中台統一」加速はない 李登輝前総統

 対中融和策を推進する国民党の8年ぶりの政権奪還で、台湾が中国の統一工作に取り込まれるとの指摘に ついて、「(戦後の)台湾の帰属問題は不明瞭(めいりよう)だと中国はよく研究している。簡単に統一はできない。しばらくは安全だ」と話し、米国の介入を 念頭に、懸念を一(いつ)蹴(しゆう)した。また「馬氏は米国寄り。中台統一に持ち込むことはない」とした。

「敵とは交渉せず」 中国、外交哲学貫きダライ・ラマとの対話拒否

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