A group of young Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) politicians yesterday announced that they would submit a resolution to the party’s congress on Saturday to make human rights and democracy the foundation of cross-strait engagement.
The “Resolution on Human Rights Exchanges Across the Taiwan Strait” is aimed at shifting the direction of bilateral engagement from politics and economics to universal values and has earned the endorsement of 46 DPP members.
“The proposed resolution recommends that the universal values of human rights be established as the foundation of cross-strait relations, as well as a precondition for all future agreements between both sides. It also urges that Taiwan play an integral role in China’s democratization,” DPP Legislator Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) told a press conference in Taipei.
It is the second initiative to emphasize human rights as the foundation of cross-strait engagement that has been proposed in the past month. Civic group Taiwan Democracy Watch released a similar manifesto titled the “Declaration of Free Men” on April 22.
The latest initiative recommends the DPP establish a panel on cross-strait human rights exchanges, which would promote human rights values and collaboration with China’s civil society, and ensure that basic human rights are protected in all bilateral agreements.
All bilateral exchanges should protect the freedom of religion, speech, publishing, media, academia and Internet access for people across the Strait as well personal safety and due judicial rights for the people, the resolution states.
Cheng said that the resolution was aimed at ensuring the interests of people in China and Taiwan, given that there are currently about 1 million Taiwanese living in China. The proposal also comes amid growing concerns that bilateral exchanges are currently dominated by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and that several high-ranking KMT officials and their families are benefiting financially from the exchanges, Cheng added.
Former DPP lawmaker Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) described the resolution as providing an “indispensable dimension” to cross-strait engagement as well as representing a “democratic offensive” against China.
DPP Legislator Pasuya Yao (姚文智) said the KMT has virtually ignored human rights in its dealings with Beijing, even though it has always boasted about its achievements in relaxing cross-strait tensions. Yao said the intiative would be “an extension of Taiwan’s pursuit of democracy and freedom.”
“Hopefully, a consensus on human rights and democracy could eventually replace the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ and pave the way for long-term, stable bilateral relations,” DPP Legislator Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) said.
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
THE CHINA CONNECTION: As Beijing’s aggression increases, so does Taiwanese consciousness, making a new constitution imperative, Hsu Wei-chun said If the nation is to ratify a new constitution, it must first end any illusions about the current document’s relevance to Taiwan, an academic told a forum in Taipei yesterday. For the constitutional revisionist movement to succeed, it needs public enthusiasm, the right timing and a clear plan of action, Chung Yuan Christian University associate professor Hsu Wei-chun (徐偉群) told attendees at the event titled “Imagining a New Constitution for a New Era,” which was organized by the National Taiwan University Graduate Student Association. The Constitution exists under the “one China” framework and has little relevance to Taiwan, Hsu said, adding that
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up