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Ex-President Lee warns Taiwan against economic over-reliance on China

2018/06/20 22:57:34

Former President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝)/CNA file photo

Taipei, June 20 (CNA) Taiwan's economy has become over-reliant on China, which has been offering economic incentives as part of a policy to create addictive subsidies that serve its political agenda, former President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) said in an interview published in the New York Times Chinese-language website Wednesday.

Lee, who was president of the Republic of China (Taiwan) from 1988 to 2000, said China's agenda is to make Taiwan's economy less competitive.

However, he did not specify which of China's economic incentives were most likely to blunt Taiwan's competitive edge.

While people in Taiwan have political freedom, they would lose economic freedom and economic autonomy if Taiwan becomes more reliant on China, Lee said in the interview.

Taiwan cannot ignore the risks of losing its economic and political autonomy, otherwise it may become an economic colony of China, he said.

According to data from the Bureau of Foreign Trade, Taiwan's trade with China totaled US$181.77 billion in 2017 when its foreign trade amounted to US$576.51 billion.

(By Liao Han-yuan and William Yen)