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Tamkang High School Alumni and Their Experiences during the 228 Incident: Lee Teng-hui

Lee Teng-hui was born in Sanzhi, Tamsui in 1923. During his middle school years, Lee Teng-hui initially studied at the Private Taipei Middle School (today’s Taipei Municipal Datong High School) and after a year, he transferred to Tamsui Middle School.

During his time at Tamsui Middle School, Lee Teng-Hui voluntarily undertook various chores that other students would avoid as opportunities for physical and mental training, such as cleaning restrooms and the kitchen. Meanwhile, he started to engage in school activities and even became a student leader. Tamsui Middle School at the time put an emphasis on military training. In contrast, Lee Teng-hui dedicated himself to the study of Zen, Japanese literature and Western philosophy, absorbing a wide range of ideologies and faiths.

After graduating from Tamsui Middle School, Lee Teng-Hui gained admission to Taihoku High School. Later, he went to Japan to study at Kyoto Imperial University, majoring in Agricultural and Forestry Economics. In 1944, he joined the army as an apprentice soldier. Following the end of the Second World War, he returned to Taiwan and resumed his studies at the Department of Agricultural Economics at National Taiwan University. During this period, Lee Teng-hui witnessed the 228 Incident, which caused him to refrain from engaging in political activities for several years after his return to Taiwan.

In 1952, Lee Teng-hui went to the United States to study agricultural economics at Iowa State University. He returned to the United States again in 1965 to pursue his Ph.D. degree at Cornell University. During his time abroad, he not only experienced democracy and freedom but also interacted with many “blacklisted” individuals.

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