Lien questions motives of new political group

The China Post staff and CNA

Opposition Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan yesterday asked “those” who intend to form a new political group to tell the public clearly of its purpose and direction.

Those pushing for the new political group owe the public a clear explanation why they are forming this group and what are they going to do, said Lien, the island’s former vice president.

“These few people should not use the divisions existing in the issues of ethnicity, region, economic interests and national status to serve their own political interests,” Lien said.

Further, Lien said he can’t imagine the implications on the nation formed by 23 million people if it is “torn apart” by only a few people who only have their own interest in mind.

Lien made the remarks in Tainan County when he called on local KMT county magistrate and legislative candidates for the year-end elections.

Lien pointed out that although former President Lee Teng-hui had denied organizing the so-called Lee Grouping, “some” have insisted that the group will be formed.

“Please do not create ethnic hostility for the sake of Taiwan’s stability,” Lien said.

Lee was said to be one of the advocates to form the new group, but later denied any intention to do so during his U.S. trip.

Lien also said that his idea to form a “confederation” with the mainland in fact corresponds with the KMT’s “middle road” policy.

He stressed, however, that the scope of such a confederation between Taiwan and mainland China should be negotiated by the two sides. Meanwhile, former Interior Minister Huang Chu-wen, widely regarded as the driving force behind the new grouping, rebutted Lien’s remarks, saying that organizing a political party or group is a normal thing to do in a democratic nation and pointing out that if the KMT were capable, there would be no need to establish a new political group. He further said that the new group will be formally set up in August. Huang, who used to have very close ties to Lee, denied that he was using the ethnic factor to organize the political group and instead accused the KMT of being the main fementer of ethnic confrontation in Taiwan.