Leading Taiwan to Democratic Consolidation
Flush with his initial successes in democratic reforms and the island’s thriving economy, Lee Teng-hui assumed the posture of leader of a New Taiwan when he launched an aggressive diplomacy in 1994 to raise Taiwan’s international visibility. Early in February, Lee began what he characterized as an “ice-breaking” journey to Southeast Asia, where Taiwan had no formal diplomatic relations but substantial investments. More than 4,000 Taiwanese manufacturers had invested there since the 1980s. Intending to break the diplomatic ice with money and to take advantage of the natural resources and cheap labor of the region, Lee brought along Taiwan’s three top financiers—KMT treasury czar Liu Tai-ying, Minister of Economic Reconstruction Council Vincent Siew, and the CEO of the China Trust Bank Koo Lien-sung ( Jeffrey).
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