2020/8/6  
Lee Teng-hui’s legacy of Taiwanese democracy (2020/07/31)
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  • 英文 English 
    Lee Teng-hui’s legacy of Taiwanese democracy (2020/07/31)

    Former President Lee Teng-hui was a pivotal figure in Taiwan's transition from a police state to a full-fledged democracy. Over his 12 years in office, Lee spearheaded many reforms, culminating in Taiwan's first direct presidential election. As Taiwan's first native-born leader, Lee continued to be an outspoken advocate for Taiwan even after his tenure. His commitment to democratic values even earned him the title "Mr. Democracy" in the international media.

    It's Jan. 13, 1988. Taiwan's leader Chiang Ching-kuo has just died. That very night, Lee was sworn in as president of Taiwan at the Presidential Office. From that very moment, Lee started working on an enormous task: reforming Taiwan. After securing a second term in 1990, Lee faced his first challenge.

    That year, just before his inauguration, the weeklong Wild Lily student protests took off in Taipei. Lee agreed to convene a national affairs conference with non-governmental organizations to spur reform in Taiwan. Lee also kicked off a series of amendments to the Constitution. In March 1991, the Executive Yuan adopted the Guidelines for National Unification, which, among other issues, highlighted that any unification of Taiwan and China should first respect the rights and interests of the Taiwanese. Later, in April, the National Assembly abolished the Temporary Provisions against the Communist Rebellion, which had been enacted in 1948 to establish martial law in Taiwan. Not long after, the first steps were taken to abolish the National Assembly and transfer its powers to the Legislative Yuan. First, the National Assembly held direct elections, with legislative elections following in 1992. That year, the Constitution was further revised to instate direct presidential elections instead of the assembly electing a leader.

    In 1995, Lee visited his U.S. alma mater, Cornell University, where he gave a commencement speech titled "Always in My Heart." That was his first time he publicly referred to Taiwan as "The Republic of China on Taiwan." That, together with policies restricting direct contact between Taiwan and China spurred censure from Beijing. But it also boosted Lee's popularity in Taiwan.

    In 1996, Lee won Taiwan's first direct presidential election with 54% of the vote. While in office, he spearheaded six constitutional amendments, conducted a complete reelection of the national legislature and institutionalized direct elections for Taiwan's provincial governor and president. He took a step further in 1999, defining cross-strait relations as a "special state-to-state relationship."

    Lee Teng-hui (July 1999)
    Former president
    The relationship between the two sides of the strait is a special relationship. It's a special state-to-state relationship.

    Lee was succeeded in the year 2000 by the DPP's Chen Shui-bian, marking the end of 55 years of KMT rule and Taiwan's first transition of power. After stepping down as president, Lee founded the Taiwan Solidarity Union and continued striving to protect Taiwan's democracy. His efforts earned him the title "Mr. Democracy" on the cover of U.S. magazine Newsweek in 1996.
    中文 Chinese  
    台灣民主化推手 「民主先生」李登輝一生奉獻台灣

    已故前總統李登輝終其一生為台灣民主奮鬥,執政12年,他宣布終止動員戡亂時期、廢除萬年國代、推動台灣民選總統,並在任內完成6次修憲、定調兩國論,還完成台灣首次政黨輪替,即使卸下元首身分,還持續守護台灣民主,被時代雜誌封為「民主先生」。

    1988年1月13日,前總統蔣經國辭世,李登輝當天晚上就在總統府內,完成總統宣示,從那一刻起,他一肩扛起改革台灣的重大責任。1990年連任總統後,李登輝面臨第一項挑戰。

    野百合學運,7天抗爭,李登輝同意召開國是會議,取得外部力量、得以加速改革,此後,他開啟一連串憲改工作,1991年3月,由行政院通過國統綱領法,4月國民大會通過,廢止動員戡亂時期臨時條款;不久後,又廢除萬年國代,1991年全面改選、隔年進行立委改選;1992年更推動修憲,總統從原來由國大代表間接選舉,改為人民直接選舉。

    1995年,李登輝前往美國母校康乃爾大學,發表「民之所欲,長在我心」公開演說,首度提出「中華民國在台灣」的國家定位,更提出「戒急用忍」政策,李登輝動作頻頻,引來中國文攻武嚇,卻也成為他最佳助選員。

    1996年,李登輝以54%高得票率,獲選台灣第一任民選總統。在他任內推動六次憲改、國會全面改選、省長直選、總統直選,1999年進一步定調兩岸關係。

    [[已故前總統 李登輝(1999. 07)]]
    "兩岸之間的關係,應該是一個特例的關係,特殊國與國的關係。"

    2000年總統大選,李登輝交棒給前總統陳水扁,雖然國民黨失掉長達55年政權,卻也完成台灣史上第一次政黨輪替。卸任後,李登輝成立台聯黨,終其一生守護台灣民主,被美國新聞週刊封為「民主先生」。

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