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Ex-President Lee deems Soong-Xi meet 'acceptable'

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- People First Party Chairman James Soong's (宋楚瑜) performance in a meeting with Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping (習近平) was “acceptable,” said Former President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) yesterday.

Soong met with Xi at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on May 7, calling on the Chinese leader to “understand the wishes of the Taiwanese people,” to which Xi replied that he has been observant of events in Taiwan.

Soong had also stressed the changes Taiwan has been undergoing in recent years, saying that the changes were essential for Beijing to understand when negotiating and working with Taipei. Among these was a civic consciousness that was more autonomous than ever, said Soong.

In a book release event at Beijing University yesterday, Soong said that he had introduced the trends in the shaping of Taiwan's citizenry and stressed that Taiwan respects the voice of every person.

It is likely that Soong did not ask to meet Xi; sources have said that the Chinese leader invited Soong for the meeting.

“Soong wants Xi to understand what the Taiwanese citizens are thinking about; he (Soong) has firm thoughts on this issue,” said Lee, who also suggested that Soong relay the outcomes of his meeting and his motives to the people of Taiwan after he returns, “so that people will respect him more.”

“Taiwan's parliament system and the legislators have not been relaying the people's opinions thoroughly; the government has been doing what it wants, like a dictator ... many students stepping out in the student movement has stimulated a lot of things in Taiwan, this (the Soong-Xi meeting) is a good opportunity,” said Lee.

The Kuomintang has been restricting its lawmakers with party regulations and neglecting the people's needs, Lee stated. “Doing things by force has turned this into a party-governed (nation), as opposed to a democracy.”

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