A well-known anecdote tells of a scientist who announces that he has invented a solvent capable of dissolving any existing material. A suspicious person then asks the scientist what he uses to store the substance.
\nIn Taiwan, there is an institution that is just as mighty as that solvent. It can pass laws that would destroy the nation's legal foundations -- the Constitution, constitutional politics and human rights -- and there is no mechanism with which to restrict it. It is the legislature. In the past, on the instruction of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), this all-powerful institution froze the Constitution by passing the Temporary Provisions Effective During the Period of Communist Rebellion (動員戡亂時期臨時條款), which became the most potent instrument of Chiang's authoritarian rule.
\nAlthough Taiwan is now a democracy, the spirit of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) remains the same. The blue camp, holding a legislative majority, recently helped pass the March 19 Shooting Truth Investigation Special Committee Statute (三一九槍擊事件真相調查特別委員會條例) on the instruction of KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰). Transcending the Constitution and human rights, this statute undermines the principle separating the government into five branches as specified in the Constitution and also tramples on human rights. The law is not meant to pave the way for new authoritarian rule under the KMT, but rather to avenge Lien's defeat in the presidential election.
\nThe statute stipulates that the funds required by the truth committee will come from the Cabinet's budget, and the Cabinet does not have the right to refuse. This is in clear violation of the powers bestowed on the Cabinet in the Budget Law (預算法), including budget allocation, review and execution rights.
\nThe statute also stipulates that truth committee members will be appointed proportionally according to party representation in the legislature -- effectively usurping the authority of the Judicial Yuan. In addition, there are no laws restricting or regulating the committee, which is not required to produce subpoenas, search warrants or other documents required in any legitimate judicial procedure, and thus it all but overturns the Code of Criminal Procedure (刑事訴訟法).
\nFurthermore, according to this statute, investigations by the committee need not follow normal legal procedures, and individuals, organizations and even government bodies cannot refuse to be investigated, unless they are willing to face fines up to NT$1 million, possible prison sentences and denial of their right to leave the country. This is a gross violation of human rights, pure and simple.
\nUnder the Constitution, the Control Yuan has the right to launch investigations and impeachment proceedings. In response to calls for an investigation into the March 19 shooting, President Chen Shui-bian (
French firm DCI-DESCO in April won a bid to upgrade Taiwan’s Lafayette frigates, which has strained ties between China and France. In 1991, France sold Taiwan six Lafayette frigates and in 1992 sold it 60 Mirage 2000 fighter jets. To prevent arms sales between the nations, China negotiated an agreement with France and in 1994 in a joint statement, France promised that there would be no future arms sales to Taiwan. From China’s point of view, the DCI-DESCO deal constitutes a breach of the agreement, but the French stance is that it is not selling Taiwan new weapons, but instead providing a
Chung Yuan ChristiaN University is clearly in bed with the People’s Republic of China. This can be the only explanation why the school’s authorities have done their utmost to shield a student, who lodged a complaint against an associate professor, and then used thuggish tactics to compel the teacher to issue two separate apologies to China. The original complaint, filed by an unnamed Chinese student, was for remarks by associate professor Chao Ming-wei (招名威) during a class on the origin of COVID-19. A second complaint was filed by the same student after Chao, during an apology, stated that he was a
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in her inaugural address on May 20 firmly said: “We will not accept the Beijing authorities’ use of ‘one country, two systems’ to downgrade Taiwan and undermine the cross-strait status quo.” The Chinese government was not too happy, and later that day, an opinion piece on the Web site of China’s state broadcaster China Central Television said: “While Tsai’s first inaugural address four years ago was read by Beijing as an ‘unfinished answer sheet,’ the one she presented this time was even more below-par.” Speaking to the China Review News Agency, Shanghai Institutes for International Studies vice president
During my twenty-two years in the US Senate, I became a student of Taiwan and its history. I was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific and International Cybersecurity Policy, and have made at least 25 trips to Taiwan and have been invited as an observer to two of the nation’s presidential elections. Taiwan’s continuous economic miracle has seen the nation transition from a mixed agricultural-industrial society at the end of Japan’s 50 years of jurisdiction to today’s economic powerhouse, unmatched by most nations of the world. Just as outstanding has been Taiwan’s decades of resistance and