Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday returned from a three-day visit to the Philippines, a trip he said had boosted the party’s international exposure and reaffirmed its shared democratic values with other Asian and European parties.
Su led a delegation that included 10 DPP legislators on the trip, the primary aim of which was attending the 20th anniversary and annual meeting of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats in Manila.
The council is an organization of liberal and democratic political parties and politicians in Asia.
The delegation also visited the party’s chapter in the Philippines, as well as the factory of a Manila-based Taiwanese businessperson.
In a speech delivered at the meeting on Saturday, Su highlighted the phenomenon of democracy deteriorating in several parts of the world — including Taiwan — as well as people’s wish to “relive the ‘good old days’ and support past regimes in exchange for a more secure economic environment” in the face of growing challenges brought on by globalization.
“In some countries, such as my own, the democratic formalities exist, but the substance is missing,” the DPP chairman said.
That is why young democracies have to work together rather than facing the challenges of democratization alone, he said, adding that Myanmar was a perfect example of this, since the initiation of its political transition came as a result of an effort that enjoyed strong international support.
Su then reiterated a proposal he made during an visit to Tokyo earlier this year to establish a democratic alliance among Asian democracies to safeguard shared values and common interests.
“The DPP advocates a peaceful resolution through diplomatic consultation to the disputes in the East and South China seas,” he said.