Lee Tung-Hui "giving up" Taiwanese independence

Let this thread be for discussion of LTH’s new comments (in Next Magazine, as well as follow-up interviews in TVBS and other venues). I imagine there are English-language articles out there, and I’ll let others link them.

My basic summary:

  • LTH insists that he shouldn’t be called the “father of Taiwanese independence”; he says he’s never supported TI, because Taiwan is already an independent, sovereign state.

  • he says Taiwan should be inviting mainland Chinese investment, as well as opening up fully to Chinese tourists.

  • he says he’s been invited to visit the mainland and would like to do so, probably following the route set out by Confucius.

My conclusion: I think the guy’s full of $hit. He’s a politician through and through, and this would only be the nth time in his career that he’s reversed course. (Japanese imperial -> Chinese Communist -> Chinese KMT -> Taiwanese KMT -> TSU leader -> … moderate on cross-strait issues?)

I think he’s desperate for attention with a fading TSU, and this is his attempt to stake out a moderate position for campaign season. If he was to win any level of political support, he would just manipulate the position for whatever his “true” beliefs are.

I’ll cheer on his policies; I would love to see eased constraints on cross-strait interaction… but only a fool would place their faith in LTH’s good will and/or vision.

Come on, it’s very transparent. He’s not looking to make a political resurgence – he’s too old and frail and knows it.
However, he’s regarded as the voice of the TSU, which is shitting its pants at the prospects of a slimmed-down legislature in which it has no seats, so Lee’s simply taking the cynical approach of trying to make the TSU appear more middle-of-the-road in the hope of getting votes from those who are anti-blue but not pro-allout independence.

well, he said clearly that he does not support TI… because Taiwan is Independent already…
that is something some people here also agree with.

What LTH is, trying to make people focus on the real problems. The TI/Unification problem is something only created to fill the pockets of those in the LY.

a) The KMT knows Taiwan is Independent, but cannot say so on the basis of loosing all it’s support and “raison-d’etre”.

b) The DPP believes Taiwan is Independent (as CSB said uncountable times) and are softly opening the doors to China (the KMT governments never did this, so they cannot come and play foul).

c) The PFP is strongly opposed to this, but knows that this is the present truth.

d) The TSU believes this, but pushes for a change of name and constitution so that the ROC (which is not more than the official name to Taiwan) can reflect what it is now (along with the DPP).

e) The CCP knows this, but also knows that the only way they can keep their “status quo” is by holding the Taiwan flag everytime there is a wind change (read unrest) in their own country. As I said somewhere else, the only one who is putting all the meat in the burner on the Taiwan affair is the CCP itself and it’s “nationalist propaganda”. The day that the people in that side of the strait know the true reality of Taiwan (however bad it is now, it is way better than what they have there), they might want some changes.

My question is, does this mean he’s given up on the idea of forming another new party? At least temporarily?

Oh also I found that pic I love.

I think this is a smart move by LTH, this is the japanese approach to politics. I think by saying he isnt pro independence it softens the TSU image as a Pro independence party, but saying that Taiwan is already independent and that he still strongly supports “Real name movement” abolishing the ROC keeps the originated supporters alight while maybe even bringing in some middle of the road voters. I mean there is 2 sides of the opinion but my opinion is that rather than fighting with the pro and rejoin arguement the TSU becomes more of a neutral party making servicing the citizen of Taiwan a main direction. The change of name which isnt official doesnt sound to bad either, Taiwan Soceity Party. I maybe be wrong but i think the old guy still has a few tricks up his sleeves

LTH hasn’t reversed course as so much as changed hues on a continual basis – a true political chameleon. I remember back in the early 90’s, his first words of a short essay published to celebrate Double Ten Day started off with the words 身為中國人… (Being a Chinese…).

[quote=“cctang”]- LTH insists that he shouldn’t be called the “father of Taiwanese independence”; he says he’s never supported TI, because Taiwan is already an independent, sovereign state.


That seems pretty unambiguous to me. Taiwan doesn’t need to declare independence because it already is independent.


OMG could we have all come to the same conclusion, LTH is a career politician with no fixed ideology besides reflecting popular sentiments of his base.

What will become of Taiwan politics if the leaders just mouth off the results of the latest opinion polls conducted every year on the Strait Issue.

It would be utter chaos…wait a minute….we maybe onto something here….

Yes, rule by the people, aka democracy, tends to be chaotic. The system in the PRC is much tidier and more efficient.

Since it is impossible to make the leaders any smarter, best gerrymander the voting district so that they have an equal number of people of differing view I say. It would force all the politicians on Taiwan to take the populous middle of the road policy since it would reflect the opinion of their base.

One of the issues with Taiwan’s democracy is that the gerrymandering of districts on Taiwan make them too Blue or too Green, not allowing for a true moderate to win a district.

Blind support (or fanaticism) for democracy is dangerous. I lived in Taipei in the early 1980’s during the martial law era, and I’m no fan of what the KMT did during that period. In fact, my house was located close to a facility where local authorities tortured dissidents of the regime. My mom could not bear hearing the cries from that facility and living next to that kind of environment that she took my sister and I back to the States in 1985. But does that mean I automatically support the DPP’s agenda? Definitely no. DPP’s flaws today is just as worse as KMT back then.

DPP is no better alternative to KMT.

If you look at the Four Tigers (Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong), the policies that laid the foundations for economic development and prosperity were all implemented during the authoritarian era. None of these Four Tigers was democratic, not even Hong Kong during British rule.

Singapore today, despite its authoritarian government, is run more efficiently than most European cities. Hong Kong and Singapore surpassed South Korea and Taiwan in economic growth last year.

I still think democracy should be in the best interests of PRC. But if a premature democracy ends up stunting progress and stagnates a nation, I rather live in an authoritarian country where my economic well being is enhanced.

The counter argument is of course democracy doesn’t’ guarantee civil liberties of their citizen either. Just sample US history and you’ll see Red Scare Witch hunts, slavery, Exclusion act, internment, women and gay rights, all trample upon under a democracy.

The reality is governing any society requires the delicate balance of authoritarian rule and individual freedom. Wise leadership is what is needed to keep the balance. The problem is there isn’t a system that guarantees wise leadership will rise to the proper position in society. Until humankind can figure out a non-violent competitive system that selects for wise leadership, any system is just a gamble in my opinion.

The reality in governing any society comes from swiftness:

Swift justice means you think twice before braking the law (doesn’t mean authoritarianism, means justice works and quick);
Swift bureaucracy means that your life is simplified, which ends up in less corruption. The more bureaucrat a country is, the more corrupt it is;
Swift governance, where the government creates laws that are easy to apply and to understand (which means less corruption);
Swift education: when the subjects of study are correct, understandable and realistic, the quantity of drop outs will be low, meaning the money invested in schools will be less.

Put any of these working in any country, and you will see that country developing fast.

notice yesterday’s speech by LTH that he was not in fact giving up the idea of Taiwan independence, a modern constitution, or his fight for the name of taiwan.

he also tells the Liberty Times that he was pissed off at the way his comments had been twisted and distorted by the magazine Next. so i suppose most of the beginning of this thread should be erased.

and mr boogie: the two things any country needs are education and justice. just two. the rest follows from universal and free information, and universal and unbiased application of sensible laws.

try selling that idea in China. notice i did not say 'mainland China", as if there is a difference :loco:

urodacus, even countries with good education have problems with bureaucracy because:

a) Slow Bureaucracy creates jobs for ball scratching public workers
b) Slow Bureaucracy creates opportunities for ball scratching public workers to get some extras

The only way to improve bureaucracy is to simplify and classify. Simplify the systems, so they are easy to do, classify public workers into ball scratcher/ass licking/insert your favourite tag here and good ones (very hard because the ones who are judging are probably in the ass-licked zone)…

[quote=“reztrop”]DPP’s flaws today is just as worse as KMT back then.

DPP is no better alternative to KMT.

here you are saying that DPP does worse than torture and murder… get outta here.

agreed that both mainstream parties here are bags of wet spaghetti when it comes to governance, but you can’t judge democracy by the antics of a pair of immature political parties on this little island.
democracy works well in some places, but it is generally a mess for the first generation or so, until they get it working well for that aprticular country.

still better despite its faults than totalitarianism under any flag, as you the people have the legal right to get rid of an arsehole leader. try doing that in china, or in russia these days: not the most democratic example around.

still, they haven’t gotten rid of the arsehole leader back in australia yet. but they will in time.

Authoritarian countries like China only look more efficient, because the government can simply distort statistics until they get the result they want. There’s no transparency as there is in democratic societies - freedom of the press is one of the basic fundaments of democracy, and so in a democracy all of a nation’s ugly faults and failures get exposed for all to see. In an authoritarian country, a lot of problems can just get swept under the rug. How far can you genuinely trust any statistics handed out by the PRC? At least in a democractic society, statistics and information can come from non-governmental, outside sources, but in the PRC, nearly all the info comes from one source - the government. Does any really put blind trust in what the government says in any country?

Better for who? I won’t bother bringing in “China” (mainland or otherwise) into the picture, because you carry an obvious hard-on for that specific topic.

But let’s talk about Russia, then. Putin has an 80% approval rating, and the Russian populace in general adore his policies… and credit his authoritarian tendencies.

sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c … NSJKD1.DTL

God save us from yet another born-again crusader, looking to save the ignorant natives from their preferred society.

democracy in russia is a sham at the moment: putin simply jails those who pose any kind of organised threat to him, a la khodorovsky, currently just into his jail term in a siberian gulag. and as the original sentence won’t keep him in there for long enough, he is now facing more fraud charges.

and if you are a critical journalist or writer, expect a bullet in the head or a nasty car accident some time soon. or maybe a nice cup of hot tea. very hot.

of course putin has an 80% approval rating (if you believe that people can have a free choice of options). just like the great butcher mao had a 100% rating. he gets to run the kind of political campaign that only berlusconi could match, in terms of its media access and funding base, and lack of opposition. now tell me that russia has a well-functioning democracy.

part of a good democracy is a well-educated populace. in the absence of a free and unhindered press and transparent government processes, and in the presence of a nationalist secret service service that likes to spy on its own people, it is hard to become educated about the full range of options, or to promote same. USA is heading down that path under bush, unfortunately.