Lee’s extreme rhetoric could push Taiwan to edge of cliff

By Shan Renping Source:Global Times Published: 2015-8-25 0:33:01

Former Taiwan leader Lee Teng-hui shocked both sides of the straits by his recent treacherous utterances. He tried every means to fawn on Japan, saying the Taiwanese should be grateful for Japan's colonial rule (1895-1945), the Diaoyu Islands belong to Japan, and that he was enrolled in the Japanese army and fought as a Japanese soldier. On a social event Saturday, Lee reiterated his pro-Japanese stance in front of quite a few senior leaders of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), whose chairperson Tsai Ing-wen didn't rebuke the statement.

Tsai urged people to show more understanding about Lee's remarks. Her tolerance has basically set the tone of the DPP's attitude toward Lee. The Taiwanese increasingly have less sense of identity as Chinese. People like Lee are becoming more radical and extreme.

The DPP, which advocates "Taiwan independence," is making every effort to seize back the leadership in next year's election. Once Tsai assumed office, Taiwan would be heading toward a cliff if the separatists and pro-Japanese forces gain momentum.

If Taiwan stands in opposition to the mainland and seriously violates the Anti-Secession Law, it will definitely pay a heavy price. The mainland will do whatever it can to safeguard the integrity and sovereignty of the nation.

The showdown will put Taiwan in a highly dangerous situation. The DPP had better draw a bottom line and stop fooling the Taiwanese for its own political interests.

If some Taiwanese believe they can brainwash the majority with the thinking of "Taiwan independence," they will only end up in vain. "Taiwan independence" is nothing but a dead end. Taiwan's future will be in jeopardy if it sinks deeper in the daydream.

Lee is over 90 years old, and it seems that he has lost his reason. The elder he grows, the more extreme he becomes. It is unbelievable that as a former leader who was in office for 12 years, he has uttered so many bizarre and impulsive words.

It is useless to argue with Lee any more. But we need to warn his supporters and pitiers: Stay away from him, and don't let his thought become the mainstream. Taiwan shouldn't be victimized.

As long as the mainland remains strong, "Taiwan independence" has basically no chance to win. It is more like a game. But playing the game is like playing with fire. One piece of advice: Taiwan, mind that you don't burn yourself.

The author is a commentator with the Chinese edition of the Global Times. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn

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