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CHEN'S ELECTION VICTORY SHOWS `TAIWAN IDENTITY' GAINING MOMENTUM

2004-06-05 16:22:38

    Taipei, June 5 (CNA) Former President Lee Teng-hui said Saturday that President Chen Shui-bian's success in winning another four-year term shows that the sense of "Taiwan identity" is gaining an upper hand.

    The former president made the remarks when he spoke on his experience of leading a country to "young future leaders" in a school named after him. "Taiwan is in an unprecedented promising era. The choice of President Chen for a second term has cemented the administration of a native Taiwanese, " Lee pointed out. Chen won by a razor-thin margin against his rival, opposition Kuomintang Chairman Lien Chan.

    Lee noted that Chen is a "native son" of Taiwan, but described the previous Kuomintang administration as an "alien regime, " which retreated to Taiwan only after losing the civil war with the Chinese communists. "This is another victory for Taiwan democracy and another victory for the Taiwan people," Lee said.

    The victory sends a message that "Taiwan identity" has gathered momentum and gained an upper hand in the country, but people must not be content, Lee said, pointing out that there is still much to be done to achieve the goal of "strengthening national identity so as to bring about a normal country."

    To achieve the goal, Lee said, a leader must lead the nation forward and the leader must have the features of "far-sighted goal, grand strategy, independent judgment, crisis management ability, strong will that can resist pressure, broad-mindedness and desire to protect the national dignity."

    He said that Taiwan is part of the international community and added that its tangible achievements and contributions must not be undermined by mainland China or ignored by the international community.

    He also said that although Taiwan is small, it still can shine in the world.

    He noted that the rise and the fall of any organization lies in the quality and ability of its leaders, saying that a leader must have far-sighted goals and must take the factors of the people and human nature into consideration.

    Claiming that world leaders often only "eye today or tomorrow and cannot foresee what is best in 10 or 20 years' time, " Lee said that "it is actually a minor question whether one wins the election or not."

    He said that since the March 20 presidential election, he has not watched television because of the post-election turbulence, referring to several protests by the supporters of the opposition "pan-blue alliance" who demanded a vote recount and an investigation into the election-eve shooting of President Chen Shui-bian and Vice President Annette Lu, which they claim swayed the bitterly contested election in Chen's favor.

    The former president said that he has instead watched a TV series on Genghis Khan (1162-1227) , in which the Mongolian warrior rises from being a small tribal leader to the conqueror of China and leader of a force that invaded Europe. "Genghis Khan gave me the inspiration that although Taiwan is small, it can lead the world if it," he said.

(By Lilian Wu)

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