Wed, Sep 21, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Premier touts democracy for UN bid

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

Premier Lin Chuan (林全) yesterday touted the nation’s democracy in response to questions by New Power Party Legislator Freddy Lim (林昶佐) regarding the government’s plans for UN membership.

During a question-and-answer session at the Legislative Yuan’s general assembly, Lim asked whether a UN bid would make Taiwan a new member of the international body or reinstate the seat occupied by the former regime of Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石).

“Are we to return to the UN as the legacy of Chiang’s authoritarian regime, or join the UN as a democracy with 23 million people?” Lim asked.

“The Republic of China [ROC] has elections according to a democratic system. Local autonomy laws are also in place. The nation has a system in line with modern democratic nations. I believe the ROC is a democratic country,” Lin said.

Lim said the nation has to participate in international organizations with the mandate of the 23 million Taiwanese.

The government should no longer rehash narratives inherited from Chiang’s regime, such as the so-called “U-shaped line” — also known as the “11-dash line” — or the nation would trap itself within Chiang’s legacy, Lim said.

According to UN Resolution 2758, it was “the representatives of Chiang Kai-shek” who were expelled from the UN, not the ROC or Taiwan, he said.

Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee (李大維) said Lim spoke for the majority of Taiwanese and that the ROC is a sovereign nation, whose statehood is unambiguous from Taiwan’s perspective.

“However, amid current international circumstances, cross-strait relations and domestic concerns, we had better participate in [international organizations] in a pragmatic manner,” Lee said.

Meanwhile, Lim also urged the government to commemorate Taiwanese killed during World War II, as the nation does not have a monument or state-level memorial service for Taiwanese who served in the Imperial Japanese Army.

Taiwan Tower, a monument dedicated to Taiwanese who fought for Japan, was unveiled in Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture in June, but it was constructed without Taipei’s support, Lim said.

The nation has to preserve its history so it can explain it to the world, he said, adding that the nation should engage in “cultural diplomacy” in international politics.

The government should also consider the development of the cultural industry as a strategic goal, as Taiwan lags behind other nations in the region, Lim said.

While Japan’s manga and gaming industry accounts for 10 percent of its GDP and South Korea’s cultural industry had an average annual growth rate of 21.6 percent from 2005 to 2011, the Executive Yuan has only a 100-word policy report on the development of the cultural industry.

Lin said the Executive Yuan has formed a ministerial task force to expedite cultural policy implementation, while Lim said only the Ministry of Culture is actively involved in the task force, while other ministries do not consider cultural affairs a priority.

Minister of Culture Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) said the nation does not have a comprehensive plan regarding commemorations, adding that the ministry would make improvements.

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