No­bel Prize Lau­re­ate Lee lauds Tsai


For­mer Academia Sinica Pres­i­dent and No­bel Prize Lau­re­ate Lee Yuan-tseh ( ) yesterday com­mented on how he be­lieves Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party Chair­woman Tsai Ing-wen (

) is a much more suit­able choice to be­come Tai­wan’s pres­i­dent, dur­ing the third-force New Power Party’s (NPP, ) first round of po­lit­i­cal pol­icy plat­forms for next year’s elec­tions, the Cen­tral News Agency re­ported.

The NPP had in­vited Lee to the plat­form, themed “cre­at­ing a brighter fu­ture for hu­man­ity,” to give a speech on de­vel­op­ments in en­vi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity and emis­sions con­trol.

Lee was asked his thoughts on the “two con­tend­ing pres­i­den­tial hope­fuls’ abil­ity to lead Tai­wan and to cre­ate a bet­ter fu­ture for hu­mankind” at the meet­ing. Tai­wan’s cur­rent likely pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates in­clude Tsai and Kuom­intang Deputy Leg­isla­tive Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu ( ).

Lee, in re­sponse, said he was more op­ti­mistic about Tsai’s abil­i­ties due to her “vi­sion and ex­e­cu­tion ca­pac­i­ties.” He will also at­tend a panel dis­cus­sion with Tsai, to be held at Na­tional Tai­wan Univer­sity in mid-July.

Field­ing ques­tions from the media as to whether he will de­clare his back­ing for Tsai in her pres­i­den­tial cam­paign, Lee said “this is not a ques­tion of declar­ing my sup­port for whomever,” but rather that there are still “many things to dis­cuss with Tsai,” since as a teacher, Lee said, he hopes he can in­flu­ence oth­ers through dis­cus­sions.

The No­bel Prize lau­re­ate fur­ther spoke about how he and Tsai oc­ca­sion­ally meet up, and had seen one another re­cently. “But the meet­ings are not fre­quent, and we some­times bump into each other at some oc­ca­sions,” Lee said.

Lee ex­plained that he of­ten dis­cussed is­sues such as the en­vi­ron­ment and cli­mate change with Tsai, “how­ever, Tsai hasn’t thought quite as in-depth on the is­sues as I have,” and this is the one thing that Lee be­lieves he needs to dis­cuss fur­ther with the chair­woman.

Third Force in Tai­wan

In a media in­ter­view be­fore the speech, Lee com­mented on how the rise of the third-force par­ties in Tai­wan is a pos­i­tive sign. He is also very sup­port­ive of the younger gen­er­a­tion who are more will­ing to “do more for so­ci­ety.”

Most politi­cians, Lee ex­plained, make com­pro­mises for the sake of votes. He is op­ti­mistic about the ris­ing force, how­ever, say­ing that “if there is a new power putting pres­sure on the two ma­jor po­lit­i­cal par­ties, the par­ties will not be as likely to con­tinue com­pro­mis­ing.”

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