Former President of the Republic of China (Taiwan), Lee Teng-hui, who served three terms of office from 1988 to 2000, passed away on the evening of July 30. Secretary-General to the President Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) stated that President Tsai Ing-wen was greatly saddened by the news of the former president's passing, and conveyed condolences to his family. President Tsai said that former President Lee made irreplaceable contributions to Taiwan's democratization, and his passing is an enormous loss for the nation. President Tsai also pointed out that the Office of the President and other government agencies will do everything possible to assist the former president's family in making arrangements to ensure that the funeral is conducted with the proper decorum and solemnity.
Secretary-General Su also said that after former President Lee took over as mid-term presidential successor in 1988, he terminated the Period of National Mobilization for Suppression of the Communist Rebellion, abolished the Temporary Provisions Effective During the Period of National Mobilization for Suppression of the Communist Rebellion, launched amendments to the Constitution, held re-elections for all members of the Legislative Yuan, instituted direct presidential elections, and rationalized our system of government. He then became the country's first popularly-elected president in 1996. During his time as president, Taiwan saw the end of its authoritarian era, made the transition to democracy, and laid the foundation for today's democratic system. Taiwan thus now stands proudly as a model of Asian democracy, and former President Lee has been dubbed "Mr. Democracy" by international media.
Secretary-General Su then stated that as president, Lee strove to promote and strengthen Taiwan's status as a sovereign nation, and made historic contributions to developing Taiwanese identity and consolidating a national consensus.
We thank former President Lee, said the secretary-general, for choosing democracy and choosing Taiwan at a critical point in history, and persevering to lead the nation out of the darkness of authoritarianism and into the Taiwan-centric light that puts The People first. We will always remember him affectionately as "Uncle A-hui," and the people of Taiwan will never forget his contributions.