Human Rights Day on Dec. 10 has special meaning for Taiwan. The Kaohsiung Incident that took place on this day 25 years ago was an important watershed for the tangwai [outside the party] movement. The defense lawyers in that case are today's political leaders.
\nDue to the close relationship between Taiwan's political and democratic development and Human Rights Day, the latter has always been given a high political profile, as if political rights equal human rights. Articles 3 to 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which are related to a person's basic rights to life and political participation, are for the most part protected in Taiwan -- at least in name. Of course, some people may argue that Article 15, which states that "everyone has the right to a nationality," is ambiguous for the people of Taiwan.
\nBut more importantly, as technology continues to advance, such progress may easily violate our rights -- such as those stipulated in Article 12: "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence," or Article 19, which protects a person's freedom "to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."
\nIf those in power do not firmly uphold human rights, it is far too easy for them to interfere with the public's rights using technology. But they may also do so due to technological ignorance. Conflicts over proposed identification cards with electronic chips and a proposed database of the public's fingerprints underline this problem.
\nPerhaps Taiwan is weakest in the latter section of the declaration -- the protection of a person's economic, social, and cultural rights -- mainly stipulated in Articles 22 to 29. Although they are also basic universal human rights, they are more likely to be affected by changes in social and economic conditions than political rights. For example, Article 23 states that "everyone who works has the right to just and favorable remuneration." But this is actually decided by different social conditions. People's rights to leisure, education, medical care and cultural life also vary in different societies.
\nIn the lead-up to this memorable day, we saw merely activities on "cultural citizenship" held by the Council for Cultural Affairs (CCA). Other government agencies only care about political rights -- such as the right to participate in legislative elections -- and seldom hold activities to boost people's social, economic and cultural rights. We are witnessing new challenges to people's rights in Taiwan.
\nOther bad news was cause for uneasiness, such as poor students being unable to afford lunch, increased numbers of low-income households, poverty brought on by globalization and the violation of foreign spouses' working and cultural rights, and even the right to ethnic equality. We need new policies in the face of these human rights problems brought on by social changes.
\nRecently, Minister of the Interior Su Jia-chyuan (
Unless Hollywood movies like Greenland, Deep Impact, and Armageddon have predictive powers and a rogue space rock is heading our way, stopping Chinese Communist Party expansionism is likely to prove the single most challenging and dangerous problem of our lifetimes. How can the United States, Taiwan, and other liberal democracies prepare for and prevent attacks from China? How can Washington bolster Taipei’s confidence when it doesn’t recognize Taiwan as a real country and, so far, lacks the political will to make major adjustments to its ossified China policy and Taiwan policy? How can Taiwan make itself heard on the world stage when
The number of people emigrating from Hong Kong has been rapidly increasing, Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department data show, with the territory’s population dropping by 110,000 people from 2019 to this year. China’s imposition of a National Security Law has clearly triggered a massive population outflow. However, not only people but also foreign businesses are leaving Hong Kong. For example, Vanguard Group, the world’s second-largest asset management company, VF Corp and Sony Interactive Entertainment have moved their top regional management from Hong Kong to Singapore. LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s largest luxury goods company, has also relocated staff
Oppression is painful, and not being able to express it increases the pain 10-fold. This level of pain is something that Uighurs, Tibetans and Mongolians understand all too well. A question often posed to Uighurs in the international arena is: “You say you are facing genocide, but why don’t we see corpses, like in Rwanda and in Bosnia?” If you were a Uighur, what would you say? What if you replied: “The source of the problem is your lack of vision. It’s an indication of your weakness and China’s strength, and it is not a matter of our sincerity.” Such a harsh response would
Double Ten Day, Oct. 10 every year, is an important day for Taiwan, as it marks the Republic of China’s (ROC) National Day. Major holidays are usually a time for celebration and commemorative activities, but among all the clamor and excitement, Double Ten reflects one essential fact: that Taiwan is still not a normalized society. As usual, there was a large parade in front of the Presidential Office Building, displaying to the world Taiwan’s social diversity and its soft and hard power, and President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) gave an address, relaying her message to the nation and to the world, while the