Taiwan ex-President Lee Teng-hui prepares library
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2013-02-20 05:27 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Former President Lee Teng-hui was looking for at least 6,600 square meters of land to build a memorial library, reports said Wednesday.

Because of the size of the project, the Lee Teng-Hui Foundation has had to drop some suggestions for a site in Danshui, New Taipei City, the Chinese-language United Evening News reported Wednesday.

The foundation reportedly asked the Presbyterian Church to look out for a suitable site. The religious group came up with suggestions for plots in the vicinity of Mackay Memorial Hospital, Aletheia University and Danshui Middle School, but most of those were too small, the paper wrote.

The memorial library will reportedly not only include books, but also an exhibition area for memorabilia from Lee’s life and career as well as rooms for seminars and courses in education about Taiwan, reports said, bringing the necessary area to at least 2,000 ping or 6,610 square meters.

Last year, the former president began recording documentaries and oral history material which would find a place at the library, the paper said. The materials could play a role in educating the public how Taiwan evolved from an authoritarian state to a democracy in the late 20th century, while Taiwanese cultural groups would also be able to loan materials from the library for wider educational usage, according to the paper.

At present, most historical documents from previous presidents and vice presidents are being kept by the National History Institute, while not a single former head-of-state founded a memorial library on the American model. The Taipei City Government is reportedly planning a President Chiang Ching-Kuo Seven Seas Cultural Park which still needs three to five years before reaching completion, the paper wrote.

Lee’s memorial library would be an entirely private project but a timetable for its completion had not yet been issued, reports said.

Lee was president and chairman of the Kuomintang from 1988, when he succeeded Chiang, until 2000, after the election of opposition Democratic Progressive Party candidate Chen Shui-bian. Lee won Taiwan’s first-ever direct presidential election in March 1996 with more than 50 percent of the vote.

He was reportedly planning to start up a new round of visits to the countryside beginning next April, the United Evening News reported. Foundation officials said he was likely to visit areas in the North, including Taipei City, New Taipei City, Taoyuan and Hualien. Last year, he traveled to South and Central Taiwan, Hsinchu and Miaoli.

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