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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Is it a question of law, or of judges?

The legislature last week confirmed the new Control Yuan nominees, one of whom, Chen Shih-meng (陳師孟), during the nomination process pledged to “launch probes against those in the judiciary who selectively take up prosecution against pan-green camp politicians and government officials.”

Whether Chen has already demonstrated that he is unable to carry out his role as a member of the Control Yuan in a sufficiently objective and neutral manner will depend on the decisions and actions he takes in the coming months and years. He will certainly be scrutinized very closely.

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Control Yuan could help repair trust

All 11 new Control Yuan members are to report for duty by the end of the month after the Presidential Office in a notice on Wednesday last week announced their terms, which are to last until July 31, 2020.

Of the new Control Yuan members, Chen Shih-meng (陳師孟) has sparked the most discussion following his comments at the nomination hearings at the legislature on Monday last week. When fielding questions from lawmakers, Chen, who served as Presidential Office secretary-general under former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), said he believes that Chen Shui-bian is a victim of judicial persecution and he would take action against judges who were “biased against members of the pan-green camp and lenient on members of the pan-blue camp.”

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KMT is still a danger to democracy

The Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) opinion poll results are not looking very good, but those for the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), which is the party with the biggest chance to replace the DPP, are even more disappointing.

While the descendants of Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) have all retreated behind the veil of history, the KMT is still trying to stay afloat by clinging on to Chiang and his son Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國), presenting a stark contrast to the ongoing transitional justice process.

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Germany’s truth committee talks historical justice


Federal Foundation for the Study of Dictatorship in East Germany chairman Rainer Eppelmann, second left, talks about his nation’s experiences in dealing with the Socialist Unity Party of Germany and its ill-gotten assets at a forum held by the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee at Taipei’s Yue Yue Bookstore yesterday.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

Leaders of a German government-funded foundation tasked with assessing the legacy of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) yesterday stressed the importance of dialogue, education and preservation of memories when dealing with a country’s authoritarian past, after the legislature last month passed the Act on Promoting Transitional Justice (促進轉型正義條例).

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Government should stop firms selling out Taiwan

According to news reports, multinational hotel chain Marriott International Inc listed Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau and Tibet as “separate countries” in an online customer questionnaire and this triggered the Chinese government to order that Marriott shut down its Chinese Web site and mobile application for a week as punishment. The hotel giant has by now issued three apologies for its mistake.

The US’ Delta Air Lines was also called out by the Chinese government for listing Taiwan and Tibet as separate countries. However, after its executives were summoned, the airline continued to list Taiwan, Thailand and Japan as separate countries in the Asia-Pacific region on its official Web site.

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World conflict, peace and Taiwan

In what direction is the geopolitical world headed and what place does Taiwan have in it? What conflicts might be on the horizon? To understand this and related issues one has to step back a couple of decades and look at paradigmatic framing and development.

When political scientist Samuel Huntington published The Clash of Civilizations — as an article in 1992 and book in 1996 — he was responding to changes economic and otherwise. The Berlin Wall had fallen; the Cold War was over; and political scientist Francis Fukuyama was talking of the end of “ideological history.”

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Newsflash

After weeks of relatively tame university exchanges, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson and presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday answered cross-strait challenges posed by Chinese students in a lively debate.

Members of a 300-student audience at Shih Hsin University, about two-fifths of them from China on a study-abroad program, asked her respectful but skeptical questions about her party’s opposition to a broader opening to Chinese students.

“I support letting students learn in different places and having access to different experiences and cultures ... but there are practical considerations,” Tsai said when explaining why she favored limited student exchanges with China.