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Former Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui slams China at Japan event

China is the most unstable element in a prosperous region: Lee

Ex-President Lee Teng-hui arriving in Okinawa on Friday.

Ex-President Lee Teng-hui arriving in Okinawa on Friday. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – At a speech on the Japanese island of Okinawa Saturday, former President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) slammed China for being the most unstable element in present-day Asia.

Lee was visiting the island to attend Sunday’s unveiling of a monument to Taiwanese soldiers who died in the 1945 Battle of Okinawa.

He was invited to speak at a dinner Saturday in Naha by the the Japan-Taiwan Peace Foundation and the Friends of Lee Teng-hui Association in Japan, the Central News Agency reported.

The former president started his speech by describing how East Asia had become an economic powerhouse with an ever growing influence, but he contrasted that with China’s failure to give up its authoritarian arrogance.

Over the past 30 years, China had never given up its ambitions, over the past 20 years, it had raised its defense budget by double figures, and over the past 10 years it had been strengthening its naval capabilities, CNA quoted Lee as saying.

Due to its naval and military expansion, China was creating tension all over the region, from Japan to the Indian Ocean, according to Lee.

He called on Taiwan and Japan to cooperate closely to protect the progress and prosperity of the region, and to face down the threat from a dictatorship.