Taiwan New Constitution Foundation founder Koo Kwang-ming (辜寬敏) is to resign as presidential adviser, dissatisfied with President Tsai Ing-wen’s reluctance to draft a new constitution, despite being in power for five years.
Koo said that the majority of Taiwanese support the normalization of the nation, and that drafting a new constitution would be an important step, compared to simply amending the Constitution, which is only good for winning elections.
Koo said that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) had done nothing toward the normalization of Taiwan; for this reason he felt obliged to resign.
One suspects that many Taiwanese share Koo’s frustration. For more than 50 years, Taiwan has been a sovereign, independent and free country, with its own defined territory, population, laws, currency and taxation, economic and financial systems under the state’s jurisdiction. If that does not constitute a country, what does?
The Republic of China (ROC) Constitution was written in China, when the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) governed that country, and is a historical relic unable to escape from China’s shadow. To draft a constitution that solely belongs to Taiwan is not only reasonable and fair, it is perfectly legal.
If drafting a new constitution presents problems and the government feels that it can only amend the existing one, it should explain why, and then lay out a roadmap for writing a new one.
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has over the past few months continued to escalate its hegemonic rhetoric and increase its incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone. The US, in turn, has finally realized how its “strategic ambiguity” is increasingly wearing thin. Similarly, any hopes the US had that the PRC would be a responsible stakeholder and economic player have diminished, if not been abandoned. Taiwan, of course, remains as the same de facto independent, democratic nation that the PRC covets. As a result, the US needs to reconsider not only the amount, but also the type of arms
Taking advantage of my Taipei Times editors’ forbearance, I thought I would go with a change of pace by offering a few observations on an interesting nature topic, the many varieties of snakes in Taiwan. I will be drawing on my experiences living in Taiwan five times, from my teenage years in Kaohsiung back in the early sixties, to my last assignment as American Institute in Taiwan Director in 2006-9. Taiwan, with its semitropical climate, is a perfect setting for serpents. Indeed, one might say serpents are an integral part of the island’s ecosystem. Taiwan is warm, humid, with lots of
China constantly seeks out ways to complain about perceived slights and provocations as pretexts for its own aggressive behavior. It is both victimization paranoia and a form of information warfare that keeps the West on the defensive. True to form, China objected even to the innocuous reference to Taiwan at April 16’s summit meeting between US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. Neither leader’s prepared remarks even mentioned Taiwan, out of deference to the Japanese side. Biden’s opening statement was modest: “Prime Minister Suga and I affirmed our ironclad support for US-Japanese alliance and for our shared security.
Determined to keep a permanent grip on power, Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) has abandoned former paramount leader Deng Xiaoping’s (鄧小平) dogma of “hiding our capacities and biding our time” along with the “peaceful development” line that prevailed under former Chinese presidents Jiang Zemin (江澤民) and Hu Jintao (胡錦濤). Instead, he is treading a “wolf warrior” path of diplomacy that resorts to coercion, debt entrapment and hostage-taking. Externally, Xi’s China has claimed that it would never seek hegemony, yet it challenges the free, rules-based international order wherever it can. While insisting that it will not export its ideology, it has