Former President Lee Teng-hui’s promotion of democracy often angered China (2020/07/31)
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  • 英文 English 
    Former President Lee Teng-hui’s promotion of democracy often angered China (2020/07/31)

    Lee Teng-hui was a pioneer in the promotion of Taiwan's unofficial diplomacy. As a staunch supporter of sovereign democracy, Lee was seen as a public enemy in the eyes of the Chinese Communist Party. He made a historic speech at his alma mater Cornell University in 1995, becoming the first Taiwanese leader to set foot in the U.S. since Washington broke ties with Taiwan in 1979. He also oversaw Taiwan's first direct presidential election in 1996, which prompted China to lob missiles with dummy warheads in waters off Taiwan.

    This was Lee giving a commencement address at his alma mater, Cornell University, in 1995. It was the first visit of a sitting Taiwanese president to the U.S. since the two countries broke off diplomatic ties in 1979. In his speech, titled "Always in My Heart," he spoke of how Taiwan's president would be directly elected for the first time the following year.

    Chen Yi-shen
    Academia Historica president
    If democratic presidential elections can be held somewhere like the area covering Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu then that means the area is in fact a country. Regional governments do not elect presidents.

    Lee revolutionized cross-strait relations, even sending agents into China to establish cross-strait communication channels. But his efforts to move Taiwan towards democracy angered China. Around the first presidential elections in 1996, Beijing conducted war games and missile tests in the waters around Taiwan.

    Lee Teng-hui
    Former president
    This is psychological warfare. They aren't really trying to attack Taiwan. I'm telling you, those missiles are blanks. It's nothing.

    These comments, made during the missile crisis, triggered the rapid disintegration of Taiwan's intelligence networks within China. One of Taiwan's moles in Beijing, General Liu Liankun, was discovered and later executed, and dozens of others imprisoned. The U.S. responded by sending naval fleets into the region to protect Taiwan.

    Chen Yi-shen
    Academia Historica president
    We can only make considered speculation about whether the U.S. would engage its troops if China were to attack Taiwan. But, looking at 1995 and 1996, they did indeed send in their aircraft carrier battle groups, which, while not a declaration of war, was a very clear statement of their position.

    Lee was undaunted by Beijing's aggression, doggedly striving to let Taiwan pursue a path of its own in the world.

    Lee Teng-hui
    Former president
    Since Taiwanese presidential election and missile crisis in 1996, the trajectories of the two countries, Taiwan and China, have begun to diverge more swiftly.

    In 1998, Lee said Taiwan and China's relationship was a "special state-to-state relationship." This controversial comment led China to suspend communications with Taiwan. But despite overseeing some of the frostiest moments in cross-strait history, and becoming an enemy of the people in Chinese eyes, Lee was determined to leave a legacy of democracy for Taiwan.
    中文 Chinese  
    1995年李訪問康乃爾 「民之所欲,長在我心」轟動國際



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    [[國史館館長 陳儀深]]


    [[前總統 李登輝]]

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