Former Taiwanese president Lee Teng-hui started an island-wide campaign yesterday to push for the introduction of a new constitution, ignoring warnings from Washington and Beijing that such a move could spell war for the island. Mr Lee told a rally in Taipei, which launched the 'Action for A Taiwanese Constitution' campaign, that the Republic of China - Taiwan's official name - 'no longer exists in international society and no other countries recognise its existence'. 'This campaign is an important step for the people to build their own nation,' he said, adding that Taiwan needed a new constitution for it to become independent. More than 400 pro-independence activists attended the rally along with a dozen legislators from the Taiwan Solidarity Union, which sees Mr Lee as its spiritual leader. The presence of the legislators, who are seeking a second term in the year-end legislature elections, prompted speculation over Mr Lee's motives in launching the campaign. The TSU, which has 13 seats in the legislature, plans to field 25 members to run in the coming election. Meanwhile, President Chen Shui-bian told a group of foreign journalists that he would not seek independence during his term. He also vowed not to create a new constitution or change the official title and territory of Taiwan. He said he respected people's views about a new constitution, but would stick to the promises he made about limited reforms.