A major coalition to campaign for a Taiwanese independence referendum was formed yesterday in what was the highest-level gathering of pro-independence advocates since the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration took office, with former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) calling for a new constitution and name for the nation.
The Island of Joy and Happiness Coalition (喜樂島聯盟), launched by Formosa TV chairman Kuo Bei-hung (郭倍宏), was joined by Lee, former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) and former presidential adviser Peng Ming-min (彭明敏), as well as the New Power Party, the Taiwan Solidarity Union, the Social Democratic Party and the Taiwan Radical Wings.
At a news conference in Taipei packed with hundreds of independence supporters, coalition representatives announced plans to formally launch on April 7, the anniversary of late democracy activist Deng Nan-jungs (鄭南榕) self-immolation in 1989.
It said it would campaign for one year for a referendum, which it wants to hold on April 6 next year.
Taiwans sovereignty and political legitimacy come from the authorization of its 23 million people via direct elections and have nothing to do with China, Lee said.
Although the relationship between Taiwan and China is in a very special state, it is undoubtedly a state-to-state relationship, Lee said.
This special state is due to a misguided national identity shaped by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) within the Republic of China (ROC) framework, he said, adding that it would require name rectification and a new constitution to formalize Taiwans statehood.
Lee said he had proposed the ROC in Taiwan framework and completed a series of constitutional amendments during his terms as president as a pragmatic approach to rebuild national identity and make progress on the goal of name rectification and promulgating a new constitution.
With the Sunflower movement [in 2014] and the KMTs defeats in 2014 and 2016, I think it is time to take action, Lee said.
Taiwanese must vote in a democratic referendum to decide Taiwans future and make the nation a member of the UN under the name Taiwan, he added.
The coalition asked the DPP government to again revise the Referendum Act (公民投票法) to allow the referendum.
The latest amendment, which went into effect on Jan. 3, barred referendums on constitutional changes that would involve redefining the nations territory or changing its official title.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has influenced many DPP lawmakers to ensure that she and the 113 legislators have a tight grip on the right to decide Taiwans future and the nations destiny, the coalition said in a statement. The Island of Joy and Happiness Coalition believes that [Tsais] methods are no different than the belief held by some Chinese that they have the right to decide Taiwans future and it also constitutes the severest infringement on 23.5 million Taiwaneses right to self-determination.
Posted 01 March 2018 - 0033 AM
Posted 01 March 2018 - 0715 AM
does this sound as cheesy in chinese as it does in english?
to the issue at hand, well it would be acknowledging reality that ROC will never rule over all of china and the PRC not over the island of Formosa aka Taiwan (as long as they have USA backing them). But the political elites on both sides have dug in their heels on the issue. So I do not see any movement and the referendum is going to be stillborn.
Posted 01 March 2018 - 0746 AM
Posted 05 March 2018 - 0821 AM
BEIJING, March 5 (Xinhua) -- Premier Li Keqiang vowed no tolerance of any separatist scheme or activity for "Taiwan independence" in a government work report to the national legislature.
"We will remain firm in safeguarding China's sovereignty and territorial integrity," Li said when delivering the report to the opening meeting of the first session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) Monday morning.
Upholding the one-China principle, the Chinese mainland will continue to promote peaceful development of cross-Strait relations on the basis of the 1992 Consensus, and advance China's peaceful reunification, he said.
Li promised that the mainland will expand cross-Strait economic and cultural exchanges and cooperation, and ensure that over time, people from Taiwan come to enjoy the same treatment as mainlanders when they pursue study, do business, work or live on the mainland.
"As fellow Chinese living on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, we share a bond of kinship. As long as we go with the tide of history and work together for our nation's greater good, we will together create the future -- a beautiful future of national rejuvenation," he said.
Posted 20 March 2018 - 1031 AM
President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) approval rating remains at 33.5 percent, but Premier William Lai (賴清德) has regained his popularity following controversial labor law amendments, with an approval rating of more than 50 percent, according to the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation’s latest poll.
Tsai has an approval rating of 33.5 percent, an increase of 1.8 percentage points from January, and a disapproval rating of 47.1 percent, an increase of 0.4 percentage points from January, the foundation said yesterday.
Her approval rating has lingered below 39 percent since November last year, while her disapproval rating has remained at about 46 percent since December last year, indicating a “second crisis” for her administration, foundation chairman You Ying-lung (游盈隆) said.
The first crisis was a 10-month period starting in November 2016, which saw Tsai’s popularity wane due to unpopular policies such as pension reform and labor law changes, You said, adding that it remains to be seen how the Tsai administration will revive its popularity.
The poll found that while 32.6 percent of the respondents approved of Tsai’s handling of cross-strait affairs, 57.3 percent were dissatisfied.
Lai has an approval rating of 53 percent, an increase of 5.9 percentage points from January, and a disapproval rating of 31.7 percent, an increase of 4.6 percentage points from January, You said.
He has an approval rating of more than 50 percent across all age groups, indicating that his popularity has revived since the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法) amendments passed in January, which had caused Lai to lose support among young voters, You said.
A Cabinet reshuffle announced last month, which saw the replacement of five ministers responsible for national defense, national security, foreign relations, cross-strait relations and labor affairs was viewed as helpful to improving government efficiency, according to 31.7 percent of the respondents, although 43.8 percent said the contrary.
Beijing’s 31 economic and employment incentives extended to Taiwanese were viewed as a “unification strategy that does no good to Taiwan,” according to 41.9 percent of the respondents, while 30.1 percent considered them to be a sign of Beijing’s “benevolence” that could help improve cross-strait relations.
Regarding national identity, 75.2 percent of the respondents said they were Taiwanese, 9.7 percent said they were Chinese, and 10.4 percent said they were both Taiwanese and Chinese.
While 38.3 percent of the respondents supported Taiwanese independence, 20.1 percent supported unification with China and 24.1 percent said that maintaining the “status quo” was preferable.
The percentage of Taiwanese independence supporters decreased from 51.2 percent in 2016 to 38.3 percent this month, according to the foundation’s surveys, indicating a “huge and unusual change” in how the public views its national identity, You said.
“It is huge because there are between 2 million and 3 million people who have shifted their support [for independence]. It is unusual because the phenomenon occurred during the Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] administration, which supports independence,” You said.
While 49.5 percent of the respondents supported the proposal of holding an independence referendum next year to seek UN membership, 37 percent opposed it.
Regarding party preference, the DPP scored 47.11 on the “feeling thermometer,” which is a gauge from zero to 100, indicating that the public has a slightly negative impression of the party. The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) scored 44.57.
The survey was conducted from Sunday to Tuesday last week and collected 1,072 valid samples with a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of 2.99 percentage points.
Posted 03 June 2018 - 2319 PM
Taiwan’s loss of two diplomatic allies in less than a month has sparked concern among the public and government officials over the nation’s future, its dire diplomatic situation and China’s intensifying efforts to squeeze Taiwan’s international space.
However, as former US president John F. Kennedy once said: “In the Chinese language, the word ‘crisis’ (危機) is composed of two characters, one representing danger and the other, opportunity,” and things are not as hopeless as they seem.
There is a silver lining to the series of diplomatic setbacks Taiwan has faced: Beijing has given Taiwan the opportunity to internationalize its situation and tell the world that the cross-strait dispute is not a matter of China’s “internal affairs.”
Thanks to Beijing’s poaching of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies and blocking it from taking part in international events, such as the World Health Assembly (WHA), more nations have become publicly involved and more active in matters concerning Taiwan.
Case in point one: For the first time ever, Canada and New Zealand voiced their support for Taiwan to be granted observer status at this year’s WHA. Representatives from Germany, Honduras and Japan made open calls during their speeches for Taiwan’s participation at the WHA, while the EU also voiced its support for Taiwan.
Case in point two: The US Congress has introduced bills aimed at enhancing bilateral exchanges with Taiwan, the latest of which — the “Taiwan defense assessment commission act” introduced by US Representative Donald Bacon — proposes strengthening the US’ commitment to boost Taiwan’s self-defense capability.
Beijing might not care whether the Taiwan issue is being internationalized, but given that more nations are openly supporting Taiwan’s international participation, Taipei should seize the opportunity to make its situation known internationally.
As President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has said, to which the US Department of State concurred, China is changing the cross-strait “status quo” by poaching Burkina Faso.
In an impromptu news conference called on Thursday evening after Burkina Faso announced that it was cutting diplomatic ties with Taiwan, Tsai departed from her practice of calling China “mainland China” and called it only “China.”
She also referred to Taiwan as “Taiwan” numerous times, rather than calling it the “Republic of China” (ROC).
That is a good start in Taiwan’s response to Beijing changing the cross-strait “status quo.”
To break through China’s obstruction and the title of the “ROC,” which has jeopardized Taiwan’s sovereign status and international standing, the government needs to be more proactive.
For example, it should do away with the Mainland Affairs Council and put it under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
It is time for the government to consider writing a new Constitution to rid Taiwan of the remnants of the ROC, which have caused confusion in the international community.
The ROC legacy, which includes Beijing’s “one China” principle, is a leftover from the Cold War era and from the bad blood between the Chinese Communists and Nationalists.
Taiwan’s status is still “undecided” according to the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty, which only states that “Japan renounces all right, title and claim to Formosa and the Pescadores.”
Now that China has changed the cross-strait “status quo,” Taiwan should seek ways to “normalize” the nation’s sovereign status and rid itself of the remnants of the ROC.
Posted 21 June 2018 - 1835 PM
US Representative Dana Rohrabacher on Wednesday submitted a resolution to the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs calling on the US government to resume diplomatic relations with Taiwan and abolish Washington’s long-held “one China” policy.
“The [US] president should abandon the fundamentally flawed ‘one China policy’ in favor of a more realistic ‘one China, one Taiwan policy’ that recognizes Taiwan as a sovereign and independent country, separate from the Communist regime in China,” Rohrabacher’s resolution said.
The resolution also urged the US president to begin the process of resuming normal diplomatic relations with Taiwan.
In addition, the US president, the US permanent representative to the UN and other relevant US officials should “aggressively support Taiwan’s full participation in the UN and any other international organization of which the US is a member, and for which statehood is a requirement for membership,” the resolution said.
Rohrabacher said in the resolution that China has been using the “one China” policy to block Taiwan’s membership and full participation in international organizations and events, but the policy is “effectively obsolete, and does not reflect the obvious reality that Taiwan has been an independent and sovereign country for over half a century.”
Rohrabacher is a founding joint chair of the US Congressional Taiwan Caucus, which was formed on April 9, 2002.
Similar resolutions were introduced in 2005 by then-US representative Tom Tancredo, in 2007 and in 2009 by then-US representative John Linder, and in 2012 and 2013 by US Representative Michael McCaul, the Washington-based Formosan Association for Public Affairs said.
“The resolution affirms that the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances form the cornerstone of US-Taiwan relations,” the association said in a statement.
“The Taiwanese people brought about their momentous transition to democracy some 30 years ago, but US policy did not adapt to that new reality,” association president Mike Kuo (郭正光) said in the statement. “By normalizing relations with Taiwan, the US would set a shining example for other countries to emulate.”
Asked to comment, Department of North American Affairs Deputy Director-Deneral Regine Chen (陳慧蓁) yesterday said that any friendly moves made by friends in the US are welcomed by the government.
“We will continue to work closely with our friends in the US Congress over the latest developments regarding the proposal,” she said.
Posted 11 August 2018 - 1452 PM
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