Former Taiwan president Lee Teng-hui yesterday inaugurated a new think-tank that could provide a forum for Kuomintang members to break rank with the party and join forces with the Government. Speaking at an inauguration party last night, Mr Lee told about 100 guests that his new group, Taiwan Advocates, was formed to tackle the island's economic problems and 'China's ambition to swallow Taiwan'. President Chen Shui-bian, who attended the inauguration party, echoed Mr Lee's comments. He called for 'inter-party co-operation' and appealed to opposition forces to stop bickering after the Saturday elections. 'There is only one Taiwan and we all share the same fate. Only if we are united can we create a bright future,' he said. Mr Chen's Democratic Progressive Party won 87 seats in the elections and became the biggest party in the legislature. Mr Lee, 78, a former Kuomintang chairman and Taiwan president for 12 years, broke ranks with the KMT four months ago to endorse the pro-independence Taiwan Solidarity Union and form a united front with Mr Chen's DPP Government after the elections. The Solidarity Union and the DPP now control 100 seats in the legislature but still need 13 more seats before they can command majority control in the 225-seat legislature. A spokesman for the Taiwan Advocates said the group intended to recruit businessmen and academics in addition to lawmakers. Analysts said the think-tank could pose a threat to KMT chairman Lien Chan, who is struggling to prevent a split in his party after it lost its parliamentary majority. Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng and former premier Vincent Siew Wan-chang - both KMT vice-chairmen - yesterday attended the inauguration party, raising speculation that they would defect from the KMT. Mr Wang had earlier pledged allegiance to Mr Lien, who has refused to join the national stability alliance proposed by Mr Chen. But analysts said Mr Wang's intention to seek re-election as Speaker could mean he had changed his mind. Senior KMT members have so far rallied behind Mr Lien, although pressure for a leadership change appears to be building among the rank and file. Mr Chen put forward the alliance proposal last month. It is aimed at 'reaching consensus on national identity, a breakthrough in cross-strait relations, promoting democratic reforms, boosting economic development and ending ethnic divisions'. A leading Taiwan scholar yesterday said Mr Lee would work with Mr Chen, and together they would undermine the opposition camp. But he predicted that the present spirit of co-operation might not last. 'In the long run, Chen could exclude Lee's role in order to consolidate his power, it is only that this [competition] is not happening now,' said Ming Chu-cheng, chairman of the political science department at National Taiwan University in Taipei.