Lien steadfast in decision to fly to mainland today
Lien’s trip is inappropriate: President Ma
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.