TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The White House offered condolences for late President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) Friday (July 31), emphasizing his role in guiding Taiwan through the transition from authoritarianism to democracy.
Lee died Thursday (July 30) at the age of 97. He was Taiwan’s first native-born and directly elected president, serving from 1988 to 2000.
In a statement by its Office of the Press Secretary, the White House said Lee was: “The architect of Taiwan’s modern democratic system, which today serves as a shining example of citizen-centric governance for the region and the world.”
The message emphasized that Lee stepped down in 2000 “in adherence to term limits” and concluded that he would “always be remembered for his strong commitment to democratic principles and human dignity,” the Liberty Times reported.
In a separate tweet, the National Security Council also offered its condolences to the Taiwanese people and to the late president’s loved ones. Lee “was a champion for freedom and the architect of Taiwan’s free and open society,” the NSC said.