Taiwan’s former president Lee Teng-hui, dubbed “Mr. Democracy” for the part he played in the island’s transition away from authoritarian rule, has died at the age of 97, the official Central News Agency reported on Thursday.
Lee had been in hospital since February. He died on Thursday of septic shock and multiple organ failure, Taipei Veterans General Hospital vice president Hwang Shinn-Jang told reporters.
Lee became Taiwan’s first democratically elected president in 1996. He thrived on defying China’s drive to absorb the island it regards as a wayward province and hoped for Taiwan to be “a country of democracy, freedom, human rights and dignity.”