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Ex-president Lee rejects Ma's comments on nature of China ties

Ex-president Lee rejects Ma's comments on nature of China ties

Taipei, Oct. 23 (CNA) Former President Lee Teng-hui on Wednesday said President Ma Ying-jeou was "talking nonsense" when he described relations between Taiwan and China as "not international." Ma's comment, from his National Day address earlier this month, made headlines and triggered heated discussions over Taiwan's status. "Don't think that because many Taiwanese came from China, Taiwan is a part of China," Lee told students in Hualien when asked his take on the comment. He cited a statement he made as president in 1999, when he told a German radio station that Taiwan's ties with China are "special state-to-state relations." International relations are based on the evolution of history and international law, he said. Taiwan is in a "special situation" in terms of both categories, he said. "I do not mean the cross-strait relationship is special," he continued, "but rather, the way the international community looks at Taiwan as a special existence." "If relations between Taiwan and China are not international relations, then what are they?" Lee said. He went on to rebut Beijing's long-standing viewpoint that Taiwan is part of China, citing four centuries of history that have seen the island ruled over by six different countries. "The Dutch occupied Taiwan for 200 years, but they don't claim it as a part of Holland. If they did, they would become a laughing stock." Lee was in the eastern city of Hualien to attend a seminar at Yushan Seminary, part of a three-day tour that also covers the northeastern county of Yilan. (By Justin Su and S.C. Chang)


Updated : 2021-05-15 09:26 GMT+08:00