The second is that holding a pessimistic, perhaps even slightly suspicious, attitude toward the future development of democracy in China has an impact on a preparedness to support the development of civil society there.
Hopefully, Chen’s visit to Taiwan will serve to initiate a new debate within Taiwan about the role of civil society. Has a civil society already emerged in China? If so, where do the strengths of China’s civil society lie? And how are we to proceed if we want to seek interaction between the civil societies of these countries?
Wang Dan is a visiting associate professor at National Tsing Hua University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Translated by Paul Cooper