Lien stead­fast in de­ci­sion to fly to main­land to­day

Lien’s trip is in­ap­pro­pri­ate: Pres­i­dent Ma

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY STEPHANIE CHAO

For­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Lien Chan’s ( ) plans to visit main­land China to meet with Xi Jin­ping and at­tend a mil­i­tary pa­rade com­mem­o­rat­ing the end of World War II have re­mained un­changed, with him sched­uled to leave Tai­wan to­day amid at­tempts at dis­sua­sion.

“It is not ap­pro­pri­ate,” Pres­i­dent Ma Ying- jeou re­marked about Lien’s at­ten­dance. “This is the R.O.C. gov­ern­ment’s stance on this mat­ter.” The state­ment marks the pres­i­dent’s first public crit­i­cism of Lien’s de­ci­sion. Prior to Ma’s an­nounce­ment, the Main­land Af- fairs Coun­cil (MAC, ) and pres­i­den­tial of­fice spokesman made their dis­ap­proval of any sort of at­ten­dance clear.

China’s mil­i­tary pa­rade is sched­uled to com­mence on Sept. 3, while the Xi-Lee meet­ing is sched­uled for Sept. 1. Lien is set to visit China in a per­sonal ca­pac­ity, ac­com­pa­nied by his wife Lien Fang-yu ( ) and aides.

Lien’s spokesper­son, for­mer KMT Deputy Sec­re­tary- Gen­eral Chang Jung-kung ( ) stated that the mes­sage the mil­i­tary pa­rade is at­tempt­ing to con­vey is pro­tec­tion of the “value of peace.” Lien him­self also hopes to en­cour­age both sides of the strait to main­tain peace­ful re­la­tions, peace­fully de­velop Tai­wan’s se­cu­rity and democ­racy, and avoid drag­ging the next gen- er­a­tion of young peo­ple into war.

In re­sponse to al­le­ga­tions made by for­mer R.O.C. Pres­i­dent Lee Teng-hui ( ), who claimed Lien had busi­ness ties with clients in main­land China, Chang re­but­ted the ru­mor, and ex­pressed his hope that Lee would cease at­tempts to shift the fo­cus by mak­ing base­less state­ments.

“Peace is the most ef­fec­tive way to pro­tect Tai­wan,” Chang stated. Re­spond­ing to Lee’s re­minder to gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials to be cau­tious when de­cid­ing whether to at­tend the mil­i­tary pa­rade, Chang stated that Lee an­nounced that he con­sid­ered Ja­pan his “mother­land,” and in­voked var­ied re­sponses from cit­i­zens as well.

So­ci­etal Per­cep­tions: Lee

For­mer Pres­i­dent Lee Teng-hui ( ) im­plored Lien and oth­ers to con­sider the “re­ac­tion” of the Tai­wanese peo­ple.

“What would our sol­diers feel and think if they saw one of their lead­ers make peace, shake hands with the very coun­try that they would fight against?” Lee ques­tioned. “This is what mat­ters the most.”

Lee shrugged off his pre­vi­ous claims that Lien was con­duct­ing busi­ness in main­land China. “If it’s just do­ing busi­ness, then that’s the least of our prob­lems.” Vice Pres­i­dent Wu Den-yih (

) re­it­er­ated state­ments made pre­vi­ously by the cen­tral gov­ern­ment — any­one at­tend­ing the com­mem­o­ra­tion pa­rade should make clear the R.O.C. gov­ern­ment’s lead­ing role in end­ing the fight against Ja­panese forces.

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