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China Daily / 2020-08 / 01 / Page004

Leaving behind a legacy of deception

China Daily | Updated: 2020-08-01 00:00

The mixed response to Lee Teng-hui's death on Thursday speaks volumes of how controversial a figure was the former Taiwan leader, whose political career was characterized by subterfuge, stratagem and sabotage.

Even those eulogizing him as "the father of Taiwan democracy" cannot deny the maleficent legacy he leaves behind, and the tensions he created across the Taiwan Straits, for instance, by pursuing separatism after becoming the leader of the island in 1996.By adopting separatist policies in the four years that followed, Lee poisoned cross-Straits relations.

Exhibiting the vision and foresight required of a person in his position was never part of his playbook, for he was determined to manipulate Taiwan compatriots' views by selling them secessionism in the garb of "democracy". It was during his tenure that the legal, political and institutional foundations of secessionism were laid on the island.

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