President Lee received a Schumpeter Academic honorary membership in Britian

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Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui leaves for Britain for 6-day visit

Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui and his wife left for Britain on Tuesday for a six-day private visit. President Lee's journey is a major political breakthrough and a symbolic milestone for Taiwan. President Lee's entourage included Lin Pi-chao, a deputy secretary-general to the President, and 10-plus security personnel and President Lee's close aides. Sources said Lin's British friends and the Taiwan government have assisted in arranging Lee's overseas trip

During his visit, President Lee will be granted honorary membership of the Schumpeter Joseph A academic forum in Manchester in northwestern England and will deliver a speech there on June 29 on Taiwan's political and economic development after World War II. Receiving the Schumpeter membership is one of the most important items on Lee's itinerary. The Schumpeter chair was established in commemoration of the economist Joseph Schumpeter. Schumpeter, who lived from 1883-1950, was renowned for his theories on the evolution of capitalism and economic cycles. An Austrian finance minister, he was highly influential in the field of economics.

President Lee and his wife will also attend their granddaughter's commencement from a British senior high school. In addition, Lee will meet Taiwanese community leaders, visit prestigious British think tanks and tour cultural relics and tourist attractions.

China spares no effort to block his overseas visit as part of its diplomatic embargo against Taiwan. Against this background, President Lee adopted a low-profile approach toward his Britain visit to avoid bringing troubles to the British government.

Lee is scheduled to return to Taipei on July 2. It remains unclear whether Lee will travel to other countries after his Britain visit.

During his 12-year stint as the Taiwan President, President Lee pushed for Taiwan's democratization and endeavored to upgrade Taiwan's international profile.

President Lee visited many countries during his presidential tenure, including several countries which recognize Beijing. His landmark visit to the United States in 1995 angered Beijing as mainland leaders viewed the trip as a veiled move to promote Taiwan independence.

Beijing then launched saber-rattling against Taiwan. It even lobbed missiles and conducted live-fire war games at Taiwan's doorsteps in the run-up to Taiwan's first-ever direct presidential election in 1996 with an aim to sway Taiwan voters from President Lee. Undaunted by Beijing's intimidation, Lee won a landslide in the vote.

Tension in the Taiwan Strait escalated again after Lee defined relations across the Taiwan Strait as a "special state-to-state relationship" July 1999. In retaliation, Beijing announced indefinite postponement of its top negotiator with Taiwan Wang Daohan's planned visit to Taiwan, originally scheduled for last autumn, and suspended cross-strait dialogue.

Lee stepped down from the chairmanship of the Kuomintang , which marked an end to the KMT's 55-year grip on power in Taiwan.

Taiwan President Lee met with former British prime minister Magret Thatcher

President Lee Teng-hui returned to Taiwan Sunday evening from a trip to Britain.

He left for Britain on June 27 to attend his granddaughter's high school graduation. He was accompanied during the trip by his wife Tseng Wen-hui.

While in Britain, he met with former British prime minister Magret Thatcher, Lee arrived at the Thatcher Foundation at around 10 a.m., and had a cordial meeting with Thatcher. The two discussed current world affairs, a foundation spokesman Mark Worthington said. President Lee Teng-hui received an honorary membership of the Schumpeter Academic Forum in Manchester, and toured the British Museum and some other tourist attractions. At noon, Lee arrived at the Houses of Parliament and was given a guided tour by Tom Cox and Nicholas Winterton, co-chairmen of the parliament's cross-party Anglo-Taiwan Group.Afterwards, several members of the group entertained Lee with a banquet in his honor in a parliamentary clubroom.

Because of communist China's protest, he did not deliver a speech at an annual meeting of the forum. Instead, Lin Bih-jaw, a deputy secretary to the President, read the text of Lee's speech at the meeting.

Lee and his wife were greeted at the airport by Foreign Minister Wu Tzu-dan, and other officials.

One small step for Lee, one big step for Taiwan

It's official now; former President Lee Teng-hui is making his first overseas trip since leaving office and his first trip to a country that does not recognize Taiwan since the controversial 1995 visit to his alma mater, Cornell University.

China's protests have rung out in their accustomed fashion, but this time the pressure tactics seem to have faltered. Amid feverish speculation about Lee's possible future overseas itineraries, Beijing has spared no effort to try to prevent any foreign visits, leading some commentators to describe his situation as "house arrest." Naturally such commentators are crowing now, calling the UK trip a major breakthrough for Taiwan.

It is and it isn't. On the one hand, the symbolism is certainly rich. During his presidency, Lee gained a level of international celebrity unmatched by any other Taiwanese, earning the appellation "Mr Democracy" in the international media. Conversely, the Chinese propaganda machine targeted Lee personally in a manner unusual for both its harshness and its scale; in volumes of criticisms issued over the years, Lee has been subjected to many epithets. So the fact that he is able to go to Britain and give a public speech, especially in the face of Chinese condemnation, resonate strongly with the Taiwanese people.

Lee has a golden opportunity to enhance the understanding and sympathy of the rest of the world for Taiwan. His speech will gather extensive international media coverage. Since he is likely to focus on his own contributions and achievements, he should be able to increase positive perceptions of Taiwan's new democracy.

We certainly hope that Lee will follow this visit with similar trips to other countries. He might even make something of a new career out of it, travelling the world as a kind of goodwill ambassador for Taiwan.

Lee's trip is a first for Taiwan. Never before has Taiwan had an ex-president at all, let alone one who travelled abroad. The simple fact that we have one today is itself well worth cheering as one more milestone in the evolution of our democracy.

英國開門 李登輝前進歐洲

李登輝總統訪問英國 李登輝會晤柴契爾夫人(06/29)











李登輝受贈熊彼得講座榮譽會員 儀式將不公開(06/29)






李登輝伉儷 今飛英訪問一週(06/28)

〔記者鄒景雯╱台北報導〕據了解,總統李登輝伉儷在卸任一個多月後,將在今日(六月二十八日)搭機前往英國進行私人訪問,訪英期間他將在曼徹斯特接受熊彼得(Schumpeter Joseph A)學術講座頒贈榮譽會員身分,這是我國重要政治領袖順利走出去的一大突破,具有試金石的象徵意義。









英國開門 李登輝前進歐洲(06/28)








李登輝伉儷英國行 會晤前英國首相柴契爾夫人



 李登輝先生今天上午留在下榻旅館休息,夫人和其他女眷則一早前往市區小遊。 在取消了原訂的牛津、邱吉爾故居等行程之後,李登輝先生在倫敦停留的最後一天顯得更為輕鬆。 中午過後,他準備搭車前往倫敦市區牛津街的一家日本餐廳之前,在旅館遇到守候的媒體, 一度似乎頗有準備說話的樣子,但旋即在隨行人員陪同下繼續前行。 李登輝先生用完午餐後曾往附近名店街小遊。 李登輝先生擁有金卡,但據隨行人員表示, 他從來還未刷過。

 趁著這次機會他不免試刷金卡,購買英國有名的男裝, 在代表著上流階層服飾標竿的「西米洛」街,快意逛街採購。 整個訪英行程裡,李登輝先生保持了極大程度的配合。他每次似乎要有感而發時便又欲語還止, 使得這次學術文化之旅,除了一如英國政府所形容的私人身分的旅人旅行,也因夫人、 媳婦和在英國讀書的孫女李坤儀的隨行,而洋溢著一種家人團聚的愉悅。

 但是整個行程裡,隱隱仍可感到來自中共的強大壓力。他所到之處, 中共人員幾乎亦步亦趨,每站必都奉陪,或者照相,或打電話,可說做到了「密切關注」的地步, 尤其在曼徹斯特接受熊彼得學會終身榮譽會員證時,中共人員更是不敢放鬆, 一副如臨大敵的樣子。中共在李登輝先生訪英的第一天曾經大肆叫囂抗議, 此後雖然未再升高公開的動作,但其私下行動卻是一貫的外鬆內緊。

 相關人員表示,為了細水長流,為往後更多的機會鋪路, 李登輝先生此行極為配合,已經在極大的程度內回應了英方的善意。

〔記者田世昊╱台北報導〕總統李登輝伉儷一行,預計今晚八點四十五分返抵國門, 結束六天的英國學術文化之旅。 李總統此次是他卸任總統後首度出國訪問,他與前英國首相柴契爾夫人會晤, 也接受國際熊彼得學會頒發終身榮譽會員證書。

 李登輝伉儷搭乘長榮BR○六八班機,經由曼谷, 預計今晚八點四十五分抵達桃園機場。 李登輝、夫人曾文惠女士、媳婦張月雲,在前總統府副秘書長林碧炤等人陪同下, 於六月二十七日搭乘長榮班機,經由曼谷飛往英國,在英國當地時間六月二十七日晚間抵達英國倫敦。

 李登輝此次出訪,引發中國的強烈抗議,並向英國政府施加強大的壓力, 企圖繼續壓縮我國際空間。 訪問期間,李登輝曾與英國前首相柴契爾夫人會晤,兩人認為, 中國如在民主政治與自由經濟的進程上加快腳步,將是厲害角色,但兩人同嘆中國民主化的腳步太慢。 李登輝在英國時間六月三十日中午,獲頒國際熊彼得學會終身榮譽會員證書,他在贈證儀式中, 積極推銷台灣經濟的成功發展經驗。

 他也在受證後,跟與會的十六位經濟學者,就熊彼得理論進行專題討論。 李總統伉儷並利用此行機會探望孫女李坤儀,祖孫三代一同乘船遊河,徜徉在浪漫的康河。 首度與孫女一同在國外度假,李登輝總統在英國留下家人團聚的難得畫面。