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Lee Kuan Yew's death a loss to Taiwan: President Ma

Lee Kuan Yew's death a loss to Taiwan: President Ma

Taipei, March 25 (CNA) The death of former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew (???) is a loss not just to Singapore, but also Taiwan, President Ma Ying-jeou said late Tuesday. After returning from a trip to Singapore to pay last respects to the late Singapore founder, Ma said he hopes other Singapore leaders will be as supportive of Taiwan as Lee, who built the friendship between the two countries. Ma told journalists at Taoyuan Airport that Singapore is one of Taiwan's close trade partners, and Lee was a close friend of the country's late president Chiang Ching-kuo (???). Lee's deep concern about the island was borne out by the fact that he visited Taiwan 25 times, Ma said. In addition to leading Singapore to become one of the world's top countries, Lee went the extra mile to promote the peaceful development of ties between Taipei and Beijing, and helped realize the first meeting between Taiwan and China's unofficial negotiators Koo Cheng-fu and Wang Daohan in Singapore in 1993, Ma said. The meeting was a landmark in the history of Taiwan and China, and evidence of Lee's status as one of the great world leaders of our time, Ma said. Ma, as a friend of both the late prime minster and his son, Singapore's incumbent Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (???), flew to Singapore earlier in the day to pay his respects and show his gratitude to Singapore's founding father. Ma thanked Foreign Minister David Lin(???) and Taiwan's representative to Singapore Hsieh Fa-dah (???) for arranging his trip within 32 hours of Lee's death. Since the president has paid his respects to Lee in person, Taiwan will not send an envoy to Lee's funeral on March 29, but some local political figures, including former Vice President Vincent Siew (???), will attend that ceremony in a private capacity, according to sources. (By Yin Chun-chie and Maubo Chang)


Updated : 2021-09-21 14:05 GMT+08:00