SOAS University of London

Centre of Taiwan Studies

Screening of documentary Lee Teng-hui: The First Chinese Democracy with Q&A with Director Lin Leh-chyun

Lin Leh-chyun
Lin Leh-chyun

Date: 15 November 2013Time: 7:00 PM

Finishes: 15 November 2013Time: 9:30 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: Khalili Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Film

Director’s Biography

Leh-Chyun Lin is the Director of the International Department and Chief of Documentary Platform of the Public Television Service in Taiwan. After receiving his master’s degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia, School of Journalism, he began working as a print journalist in New York and Hong Kong. Over the past 20 years, he has worked as a producer, programme director, production director, news director, and contents director for commercial and public television, as well as in the Internet industry in Taiwan.

He has produced biographical documentaries on Madam Chiang Kai-shek (宋美齡), Sun Li-jen (孫立人) (one of the most celebrated Kuomintang generals of the Second World War), and Lee Teng-hui (李登輝). His production honours, amongst others, include George Foster Peabody Awards, CINE Golden Eagle Award, and Asian Television Awards.

Leh-Chyun Lin is also an Adjunct Professional Expert of the Graduate Institute of Journalism, National Taiwan University.

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Q and A with Producer Lin Leh-chyun

Lee Teng-hui - The First Chinese Democracy
Lee Teng-hui

The second instalment is a Public Television Service of Taiwan documentary that encompasses in-depth interviews from Taiwan, China, Japan and the United States. Through the unearthing of rare historical documents and film footage, the documentary presents a critical look of Taiwan's evolving national consciousness through its former president Lee Teng-hui; a central figure of the island's political transformation over the past two decades.


In 1996, Taiwan witnessed its first popularly elected president Lee Teng-hui. This was a momentous change in the history of Chinese politics; a realisation of the ideals that sovereignty lies in the hands of the people.

At the centre of this quest for democracy in Taiwan stands Lee Teng-hui.  As president of the Republic of China on Taiwan from 1988 to 2000, his legacy is seen as taking an authoritarian system in a Chinese society, and transforming it into a fully democratic system, over a relatively short period of time.

The peaceful political transformation of Taiwan from an authoritarian regime into a democracy is one of the great political sagas of the 20th century.

Lee Teng-hui's personal story is a mirror of modern Taiwanese society. He has been a man of many identities, and thus of many contradictions, considering himself first as being Japanese, then Chinese, and finally Taiwanese.

This documentary chronicles Taiwan's recent history and gives insight into present-day Taiwanese politics and its difficulties in its triangular relations with the U.S. and China. The documentary begins in the Japanese colonial period right up to Lee's election as president in 1996, ending with Lee as a leader of the Taiwan independence movement.

Organiser: Centre of Taiwan Studies

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Sponsor: The Understanding Taiwan through Film and Documentary Screening Series is supported by the Ministry of Culture’s Spotlight Taiwan Programme. Special Thanks to Dr. Samuel Yin for his generous support to the Spotlight Taiwan Programme.