Fri, Jan 08, 2010 - Page 8 News List

A GIO response to Richard Kagan

By Su Jun-pin 蘇俊賓

The mantra that democracy in Taiwan is less robust than before utterly conflicts with reality. Domestic political debate in Taiwan is as spirited and vigorous as ever. The local media scrutinize every action of this administration closely, and public demonstrations on political issues of every kind are commonplace. Any concerns that Taiwan is reverting to one-party rule were surely dispelled by the results of local elections held last month. KMT [Chinese Nationalist Party] candidates for mayor and county magistrate posts received 47.88 percent of the nationwide vote, while DPP [Democratic Progressive Party] candidates garnered 45.32 percent. There is no clearer proof that the people of Taiwan have the absolute power to choose their government.

The people of Taiwan have every reason to be proud of the democracy and freedom they have achieved. Taiwan continues to shape the debate on whether democracy is attainable in the Chinese-speaking world, even as cross-strait ties improve. We remain resolutely confident that the undeniable fact of democratic attainment in Taiwan will ultimately prove just as, or even more, powerful to spur positive developments on the opposite side of the Taiwan Strait. That can only be to the benefit of the people of Taiwan and those of the mainland, as well as the world in general.

Su Jun-pin is minister of the Government Information Office.

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