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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Learning the lessons of Kaohsiung

On Dec. 10, 1979, the publishers of Formosa Magazine, a dissident monthly of which only four issues had been published, held a public meeting in Kaohsiung to mark Human Rights Day. The rally ended with clashes between the public and police and military personnel, in which dozens of people were injured. Two days later, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government arrested dissidents in a mass roundup.

Independent legislator and Formosa Magazine publisher Huang Hsin-chieh (黃信介) and others were tried for sedition, convicted and sentenced to long jail terms. This event came to be known as the Kaohsiung Incident. This month, 30 years after the incident, the Kaohsiung City Government and civic groups have been holding activities to commemorate this key event in the history of Taiwan’s democratic development.


Ma’s enduring ECFA delusion

For some time now, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has said the government will seek to sign free-trade agreements (FTA) with other countries in the Asia-Pacific region after it signs an economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) with China. The rationale is that somehow, after an ECFA is signed, Beijing will be more amenable to Taiwan signing FTAs with other countries.

It is inconceivable, Ma said recently, that in the entire region only Taiwan and North Korea — the two extremities of global integration — have yet to sign FTAs. True enough. Pyongyang, an isolationist and pseudo-communist regime, has done so by choice. By not providing any context to his statement, however, Ma is hinting that Taiwan is in the same situation for the same reasons, and implying his predecessors didn’t seek to sign FTAs with other countries.


Taiwan should display our Democracy to PRC

On the first day of the fourth meeting of "semi-official" envoys from Taiwan and the People's Republic of China in Taichung City, it is essential to recall the fundamental problems in the policy adopted toward the authoritarian PRC regime adopted by President Ma Ying-jeou and his Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) administration, namely transparency, Taiwan-centric policies and the need to form a domestic consensus to counter the Chinese Communist Party's divide and conquer strategy.

On the eve of the meeting between Taipei's Strait Exchange Foundation Chairman Chiang Ping-kun with Beijing's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait Chairman Chen Yunlin, ovr 100,000 Taiwan citizens marched and rallied peacefully to "protect our rice bowls and break the black box" of secretive talks between the KMT and the PRC's ruling Chinese Communist Party.


Politicians are trading our human rights away

Human Rights Day was Dec. 10 and this year it also marked the 30th anniversary of the 1979 Kaohsiung Incident.

Some media commentators lamented the fact that many Taiwanese fail to recognize the importance of this key event in the history of human rights in Taiwan, or have forgotten about it entirely. At the same time, while two international human rights covenants — the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights — have just come into effect in Taiwan, this significant event seems to have been overshadowed by clashes over the Jingmei Human Rights and Cultural Park. What role should the human rights that those in government are promising really play in today’s Taiwan?


People don’t buy Ma’s China policies

The fourth meeting between Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) and Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) begins today.

Even before Chiang and Chen meet, the government has mobilized a large number of police and soldiers and tried to persuade shops near the venue to close. The opposition is mobilizing support from around the nation to demonstrate their opposition to Chen and some have even said they would “capture him alive.”


Ma still ignoring public opinion

In the local government elections on Dec 5, voters taught the ruling Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) a lesson. A majority of the public and international media got the message voters wanted to express. Ma experienced the largest setback since taking office as his policies and governance were rejected by voters. Foreign news reports said Ma was the main loser in the elections. Ma, however, has completely ignored the message, continues to shirk his responsibility and is unwilling to accept defeat. He has blamed the “less than ideal” election results on the sluggish economy. This president, who does not accept losses or face up to his mistakes will be punished again in future elections, but what we should be concerned about is whether Ma in his remaining two years in office will continue to blindly and arrogantly persist in his errors, leading Taiwan on a course to destruction.

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Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential contender Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) released her first major policy initiative yesterday, saying she intended to phase out operations of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant.

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