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June 29, 2017

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Ex-president denies ever being member of communist party

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Former President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) recently denied that he was ever a member of a communist party, contrary to long-standing rumors, adding that communism is "deceptive."

The purpose of communist parties is not to overturn capitalism but to consolidate power by deceiving the average person, Lee said, adding that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is no exception.

The former president also said that Japan's de facto approval of its right to collective self-defense is reassuring to the United States, adding that he also has doubts as to whether the U.S. will come to Taiwan's aid in the event of mainland Chinese aggression.

Lee made the comments during an interview with BBC's Chinese-language online outlet.

The former president said that he'd studied "Das Kapital" when he was a young man but that he later found communism to be deceptive.

Lee did not, however, deny that during his time at National Taiwan University, he was a part of a group in which a member's brother was a communist party member. Lee said that the group was later "absorbed" by a communist party and that he left the group shortly afterward.

US, Japan, China

During the Taiwan Strait missile crisis in 1996, the U.S. dispatched two aircraft carriers to the region, Lee said, adding, however, that if Taiwan were to come under serious threat today, he can't be certain as to what approach the U.S. would take.

Lee said that the U.S. lacks funds and that the country owes China a substantial amount of debt.

The U.S. no longer comments on a lot of China-related problems, and if there were to be trouble for Taiwan, the U.S. wouldn't dare lift a finger, Lee said.

Lee reiterated his belief that the Diaoyutai Islands are Japanese territory, arguing that international law recognizes the Diaoyutais as belonging to Japan.

Japan's reinterpretation of its constitution to lift the ban on collective self-defense is reassuring to the U.S., because it is integral to the execution of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan (美日安保條約), the ex-president said.

Speaking about CCP General Secretary Xi Jinpin (習近平), Lee said that the mainland Chinese leader is seeking a return to the Mao Zedong (毛澤東) era in an attempt to consolidate his power.

Regarding the proposed meeting between President Ma Ying-jeou and Xi, Lee said that he does not see any necessity for such an event to take place.

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