President Lee Teng-hui stated today that the so-called "one country, two systems" proposed by Peking is very ambiguous in itself, because what it refers to is not clear. Furthermore, how can a sovereign state allow the practice of two totally different systems.
Committed to freedom and democracy, the Republic of China will by no means accept Peking's "one country, two systems," he said.
The President said that the "one country, two systems" is per se ambiguous, contradictory and undemocratic, and that it is completely contrary to this country's commitment to reunifying China under freedom, democracy and equitable distribution of wealth.
President Lee made the remarks during an exclusive interview this afternoon with Mr. Chris Patten, former Governor of Hong Kong and current host of "East and West," a TV documentary produced by the British Broadcasting Corporation.
President Lee asserted that the ROC on Taiwan has been dedicated not only to economic development but also to political reform. The existence of Taiwan is the hope for tomorrow's China, and freedom and democracy must be the path for China to follow in the future, he maintained.
On the ROC's relations with the United States, the President said he believes that Washington will not deal with Peking at the expense of Taiwan's interest, and that the free, democratic system of the ROC conforms with American values.
During the 90-minute interview at the Presidential Office, President Lee gave brief answers to Mr. Patten's questions. The interview covered issues on: cross-strait relations, ROC-U.S. relations, the economic prospects of mainland China, the ROC's role in the future political and economic development of mainland China, the ROC's countermeasures to the Asian financial crisis, Japan's role in Asian economic development, the concept of "Asian values," applicability of western democracy to Asia, the relationship between modernization and traditional values, and the Asia-Pacific region in the 21st century.
Adopting Mr. Patten's memoirs East and West as its blueprint, the BBC documentary "East and West" explores the relationship between the East and the West in the 21st century, as well as the challenges facing the Asia-Pacific region at present and in the future. The program is scheduled to be broadcast in three parts on the BBC's second TV channel this coming September. The interview with President Lee will appear in Part One and Part Three, the subjects of which will be: the relationship between East and West, particularly in view of Washington-Peking relations and Japan's role in the world and in the Asia-Pacific region; and future political and economic development of the Asia-Pacific region.