9 August, 2005

lee teng-hui sounds off

The Taipei Times reports that former President Lee Teng-hui has spoken out about cross-strait relations, saying that it is "impossible" for China to attack Taiwan:

"Given the US nuclear submarines patrolling in the Pacific Ocean and all of their equipped nuclear warheads, China can’t move at all. It would take at least an army of ten divisions for China to attack Taiwan, which is an impossible mission," Lee told the members.

It is unclear how Lee arrived at his conclusion, given that the People’s Liberation Army is usually estimated to have at least 20 infantry divisions, 10 armor divisions, and five mechanized infantry divisions, not including its air, naval and special forces.

Lee said that Beijing was restrained by the US’ military deployments, so the best measure China could exert to influence the Taiwanese people was to arrange visits by opposition leaders, Lee said.

Lee also spoke against the proposed "Small Three Links" in the Penghu islands, and decried visits by KMT leadership to the mainland.

Lee’s pro-independence leanings are well-known, and he still remains active in Taiwanese politics.  Since he is no longer president, he is able to speak his own mind and say things that would be unacceptable coming from President Chen.  Indeed, President Chen has found that he has to be more tactful since coming to power in seeking to further his own agenda.

by @ 2:48 am. Filed under China, Taiwan, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia

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