"Taiwan patient" Lee Teng-hui's unmistakable attempt to fish for support for "Taiwan independence" by exploiting humanitarian feelings should not be missed by the Japanese government.
Lee has long wanted to visit Japan, and his latest planned visit is just as political as all his previous planned ones, aimed as it is at interfering in the good relations between Japan and China.
After an operation in Taiwan last year to clear a clogged artery, Lee said he hoped to visit Japan for a medical check-up.
Apart from the doubtful necessity of such a check-up, merely by stressing that his trip had no political motives, Lee betrayed his real purpose under the guise of a "humanitarian" request.
As the chief backstage supporter of "Taiwan independence," Lee is still engaged in activities aimed at separating China.
By going to Japan, Lee intends to break Taiwan's diplomatic isolation and disrupt the Sino-Japanese relationship.
Unfortunately, his untenable "humanitarian" excuse has convinced some Japanese politicians who have urged the government to grant a visa to this "Taiwan patient."
Lee's planned visit can by no means be interpreted as the trip of "an ordinary citizen" conducted only for humanitarian reasons.
The Chinese government has made this clear to its Japanese counterpart.
It is in neither side's interests to allow the smooth development of bilateral relationship to be taken hostage by Lee's planned visit.
The Taiwan question is closely related to the political foundations of bilateral ties.
It is hoped that the Japanese government will properly deal with this issue in line with the principles of the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement and the Sino-Japanese Joint Declaration.
Lee's plot to visit Japan is not only the result of his notorious separatism, but has also been fanned by his Japanese supporters.
As a responsible government, the Japanese government should not shirk its obligation to hold such forces harmful to bilateral ties in check.
(China Daily 04/20/2001)