China’s president, Xi Jinping, may be even more ambitious than the country’s late founder Mao Zedong when it comes to challenging the United States for global leadership, Taiwan’s first directly elected president said Thursday.
“Do you really believe Xi wants to democratize?” Lee Teng-hui asked rhetorically in response to a student from Soochow University in Taipei who asked whether Taiwan would consider unification with the mainland if Beijing underwent political reforms.
What Xi wants is more power and influence over world affairs, Lee said, and aims to replace the US dollar with the renminbi as the global trade settlement currency.
On economic matters, the people of Taiwan are wrong if they believe China is the only place where they can invest, he added.
Asked about his understanding of the mainland, Lee said Taiwan wants to help China advance in terms of freedom, democratization and freedom of religion. In that respect, he gave a passing grade to James Soong, chairman of Taiwan’s minor People First Party, who met with Xi in Beijing on Wednesday. Soong did “okay” at the meeting, he said.
Full article: Xi Jinping may be more ambitious than Mao: Lee Teng-hui (Want China Times)