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Obituaries

For Lee Teng-hui, it was 'better not to be involved in politics'

Taiwan's president confronted Kuomintang, driving out influential mainlanders

Lee Teng-hui, left, toasts his victory in Taiwan's first direct presidential election in 1996.    © Reuters

TOKYO -- Lee Teng-hui, Taiwan's former president who died Thursday at the age of 97, once called the island's long-ruling Kuomintang, or the Chinese Nationalist Party government a non-native administration, lamenting the "woe of those born as Taiwanese." After losing a civil war with the Chinese Communist Party, the Kuomintang fled to Taiwan and installed a dictatorship. Key positions in the party, military and media were occupied by those from the mainland. The native Taiwanese, who accounted for more than 80% of the population, were shut out of power.

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