Lee Teng-hui’s ben­e­fits may be stripped, say law­mak­ers

The China Post - - LOCAL -

Rul­ing Kuom­intang ( KMT) law­mak­ers want to re­voke for­mer Pres­i­dent Lee Teng-hui’s ( ) priv­i­leges as a for­mer head of state for com­ments he made to Ja­pan’s Voice mag­a­zine, in­clud­ing that he was happy to fight for Ja­pan dur­ing World War II.

Law­maker Lai Shyi-bao ( ), head of the KMT’s Cen­tral Pol­icy Com­mit­tee, said in a press con­fer­ence Fri­day that what Lee said showed he had for­got­ten his roots and should be harshly de­nounced by the peo­ple.

KMT Leg­is­la­tor Lu Hsueh-chang ( ) said the party’s leg­isla­tive cau­cus in­tends to amend the law and abol­ish the bud­get for the ben­e­fits Lee re­ceives as a for­mer pres­i­dent in the next leg­isla­tive ses­sion.

The law­mak­ers had pre­vi­ously threat­ened to cut off Lee’s ben­e­fits when the for­mer pres­i­dent said in Ja­pan in late July that the Diaoyu­tai Is­lands in the East China Sea be­longed to Ja­pan rather than the Re­pub­lic of China (Tai­wan).

In the in­ter­view with Voice mag­a­zine, Lee said Tai­wan did not par­tic­i­pate in the Sec­ond Si­noJa­panese War (1937-1945) be­cause Tai­wan and Ja­pan were one coun­try and Tai­wanese, in­clud­ing he and his brother, saw Ja­pan as the father­land.

“We two broth­ers, as Ja­panese, were fight­ing for our father­land (Ja­pan),” he was quoted as say­ing by the Ja­panese pub­li­ca­tion.

Ma’s Com­ments

The ad­min­is­tra­tion of Pres­i­dent Ma Ying-jeou ( ) has ar­gued that Tai­wan did put up re­sis­tance to the Ja­panese and that Lee’s com­ments de­nied the ef­forts by Tai­wanese to free them­selves from Ja­panese colo­nial rule.

Ma said Tai­wanese fought fiercely against the Ja­panese regime for more than two decades af­ter Tai­wan was ceded to Ja­pan in 1895, with over 100,000 Tai­wanese killed or in­jured fight­ing the Ja­panese in the first five months they ruled the is­land.

The fight con­tin­ued un­til 1920 when non-vi­o­lent re­sis­tance was adopted, Ma said, and it was only af­ter the end of World War II that the Ja­panese were forced out of Tai­wan.

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