HSIEH CONCEDES DEFEAT, THANKS SUPPORTERS……………………………1 O  HSIEH TO COMLPETE TERM UNTIL NEW  CHAIRPERSON IS ELECTED....................

2 CHINESE VIOLENCE IN TIBET CONDEMNED........................................3 STATEMENT REGARDING SITUTATION IN TIBET....................................................4 MORE THAN A MILLION RALLIES TO REVERSE THE TIDE……………….......... 5 THE DPP CELEBRATES WOMEN’S DAY…..6  

MARCH 2008

democracy &

A MONTHLY NEWSLETTER PUBLISHED BY THE DPP’S DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

progress

Hsieh concedes defeat and vows to continue defending Taiwan’s interests and democracy
Frank C.T. Hsieh conceded on election night his defeat in the presidential election, promising he would continue to defend Taiwan’s interests and work for Taiwan’s democracy. “The people of Taiwan have used their ballots to make a choice,” said Hsieh, after he and running mate Su Tseng-chang took the stage with campaign staff and deeply bowed to supporters. “I accept the results of this election and congratulate Mr. Ma Ying-jeou and Mr. Vincent Siew.” He expressed his deepest gratitude to supporters and his sincere regret at the DPP’s failure to meet people’s expectations, stressing that “I should and am willing to assume the greatest responsibility.” He said that in the spirit of “love and trust,” it was now time to repair the divisions and heal the wounds in society that had been generated by the election. Even more important, Hsieh stressed, was to keep alive “the flames of democracy that our predecessors have left for us.” He promised he would “continue to protect Taiwan and to protect Taiwan’s democracy.” “In no way does my defeat signify a regression of Taiwan’s core identity,” emphasized Hsieh. “I have lost, but democracy has not lost.” Hsieh thanked all staff and volunteers, and said he would not forget the encouragement and warmth he received from supporters on March 16, referring to the nationwide marches and rallies that the DPP held throughout Taiwan to protect Taiwan’s democracy. He expressed his deep “love of Taiwan, the land, and the nation.” In closing, Hsieh stressed once again that although he had lost the election, “Taiwan did not lose,” and deeply bowed again to the supporters.

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DEMOCRACY & PROGRESS

DEMOCRACY & PROGRESS
Department of International Affairs
Democratic Progressive Party 8F, No. 30, Pei-Ping East Rd. Taipei, Taiwan t. 886-2-23929989 ext. 306 f. 886-2-23214527 e-mail: foreign@dpp.org.tw web: http://www.dpp.org.tw

Central Executive Committee persuades Frank Hsieh to complete term as Chairperson, serious reforms urged
Frank Hsieh resigned his position as party Chairperson on March 26th at the first Central Standing Committee meeting after the presidential election. However at an ad hoc Central Executive Committee meeting the following day, committee members convinced Hsieh to complete his term as acting chairperson. Hsieh's term will officially end on May 25th, after the election of a new DPP chairperson. In his speech to the members of the Committee, Chairman Hsieh made the four following points, calling for serious reforms in the DPP.

Director: Bi-Khim Hsiao Principal Deputy Director: Dr. I-Chung Lai Editor:-In-Chief: Roger Lee Huang Editor: Mike Fonte

1. The party must re-evaluate its position, and must reform in order to win the trust of the people. Since the DPP will soon become an opposition party with ‘nothing’, we must truly reform and compete with other opposition parties. 2. The youth of Taiwan continue to hold high ideals- thus it is vital for the DPP to truly take on the path of reform in order to attract youth support. We need to further recruit the younger generation to become part of the DPP. It is important to allow the young members to fully participate in the reform of the DPP and help shape the DPP’s future. 3. The party needs to hold an ad hoc National Party Congress meeting to allow delegates to fully voice their opinions and work collectively to determine the party’s future direction; and amendments need to be made in the DPP charter and electoral rules so new members can participate in the Chairperson election in May, thus producing a new leadership which will truly represent a new revitalized DPP. 4. The party must take the role of loyal opposition, to serve as a check on the power of the ruling KMT, but also help push for good policies for the betterment of Taiwan. We must work together and also seek to further truly complete transitional justice in Taiwan. Hsieh added that he hopes the incoming DPP Chairperson will be a true DPP reformist, and not a mere product of factional infighting.

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Chairman Hsieh’s Statement on the situation in Tibet, rebukes Chinese Premier
1. We believe that human rights are universal and thus we strongly condemn China’s suppression of Tibet. When the Tibetan people are oppressed, our hearts go out to them, and the Taiwanese people are willing to stretch out both hands in support of the Tibetan people’s quest for freedom. Together with all the democratic nations of the world, we support Tibet, support the Dalai Lama, and support the Tibetan people’s right to self-determination and their fight for freedom. We believe the people of Tibet should be like the people of Taiwan – they should have the same freedoms and human rights, and the right to determine their own future. 2. China’s armed suppression of Tibet and its missile threats toward Taiwan are solid proof of Chinese hegemony. The tragedy of suppression that Tibet faces today is an inevitable result of the One-China Principle. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s insistence of the One-China Principle and opposition to Taiwan’s referendum for United Nations membership fundamentally denies Taiwan’s sovereign status. It also goes against the fact that Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China are both independent countries which are not subordinate to one another. Thus, we issue our most severe condemnation. Taiwan is a sovereign and independent country, and the future of Taiwan should be decided by the 23 million people of Taiwan. This is the fundamental position of Taiwan’s presidential candidate, who must be clear and forceful on this position as the nation’s leader. 3. Mr. Ma Ying-jeou advocates “ultimate unification,” that “the future of Taiwan should be decided by people on both sides of the strait,” and “peace negotiations under the precondition of a one-China principle.” His position is exactly the same as Premier Wen Jiabao’s stance. This will send the wrong message to the international community and distort the Taiwan people’s voice. Consequently, the Chinese government will make more demands and Taiwan’s interests will be sacrificed even more. We believe that such a position will bring disaster to Taiwan because it is totally contrary to Taiwan’s interests. We call on Ma Ying-jeou to publicly renounce ultimate unification and renounce the one-China common market, instead of boycotting the Beijing Olympics. We further declare that we oppose China’s oppression of Tibet, oppose China’s aggression toward Taiwan, and oppose Ma Ying-jeou’s ultimate unification.

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DEMOCRACY & PROGRESS

Frank Hsieh condemns Chinese violence in Tibet
The DPP strongly condemns the Chinese government’s brutal crackdown on demonstrators in Tibet. At a March 15th press conference, Chairman Frank Hsieh expressed his shock and outrage over the violent oppression of the Tibetan people who were protesting for their basic human rights. Since the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1959, China’s oppressive rule over Tibet has generated tremendous discontent. “Human rights are universal values, and we must strongly condemn the use of state violence against the Tibetan people. Tibet is a test case for China’s application of the anti-secession law,” said Hsieh, on the third anniversary of the law’s passage. “As we look at Tibet, we must think about our own fate.” Hsieh explained that the Tibetan people are deeply religious, and “their faith preaches love.” However, “When love is not backed by empowerment, it turns into tragedy. Therefore we must stand up to defend ourselves, to act as guardians of this land.” Massive Chinese migration into Tibet has made the Tibetan people a minority in their homeland, depriving them of basic human rights and religious freedom. “We cannot help but worry that Ma’s ‘one China market’ policy will lead to a massive influx of Chinese people into Taiwan. If we do not sweat now to defend Taiwan, in a few years we will only be left with tears.” This is the “tragedy of the powerless,” Hsieh said. Frank Hsieh joined hundreds of peace activists and Tibetan exiles on March 17th in a candlelight vigil outside Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall. The vigil supported the Tibetans’ decades of struggle against an authoritarian Chinese rule, and called for the Chinese government to cease its violent crackdowns. The ‘Free Tibet’ demonstration which began in the city of Lhasa has now spread throughout China, including peaceful sit-downs by student activists in Beijing, as well as protests by Tibetan Diasporas all over the world. So far more than 140 deaths have been reported. However the Chinese government has acknowledged only 19 deaths, and has blamed the violence on the Dalai Lama, a world renowned peace-preaching monk.

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The DPP Celebrates International Women’s Day; Taiwan leads in gender equality in government
As part of the International Women’s Day 2008 celebration, more than 6000 women came out in support of Frank Hsieh’s Presidential Campaign, rejecting the ‘One China Common Market’ proposed by the KMT camp while citing China’s many societal problems which could easily transfer to Taiwan under the KMT’s proposal. At a press conference Hsieh said that when he was elected as the Mayor of Kaohsiung, women were underrepresented in local government. However by the time Hsieh had left office, 17 female staff occupied managerial positions within the municipal government. The Executive Yuan Commission on Women’s Right Promotion also marked the day with the formal opening of Taiwan’s Women Center. Speaking at its formal opening, Vice President Annette Lu praised the efforts of the DPP administration towards the promotion of gender equality. The DPP has always been a champion of women’s rights, leading in the successful promotion and implementation of gender mainstreaming policies in Taiwan. The DPP even designated 2006 as the year of Gender Mainstreaming, advocating equal participation of women at all levels and within all fields. Taiwan has repeatedly ranked as a country with one of the highest women’s participation in politics. Out of 27 DPP Legislators, 44% (12) are women, while overall 30% of legislators in Taiwan are women. Amy Barrow, Vice President of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) UK Section also recognized the DPP’s work in terms of elevating women’s status and increasing women’s access to politics. According to Barrow, “The DPP has made substantive efforts to empower women in political decision-making through equality initiatives including Gender Mainstreaming.”

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More than a million march against China’s Anti-secession Law
On March 16th, the DPP held a nationwide “316 March to Protect Taiwan’s Democracy.” Over 1.2 million supporters participated in the rallies held around Taiwan. The first event of the day was held in Taitung County, where Frank Hsieh, along with 3,000 supporters, greeted the day’s first rays of the sun. Hsieh then proceeded to Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taipei City and addressed large crowds before commencing to march. The purpose of the march was to address the three main threats to Taiwan’s democracy: KMT one-party dominance and the lack of government checks and balances such dominance would bring, Chinese hegemony and hostility towards Taiwan, and the KMT’s One China common market proposal. At precisely 3:14pm, Frank Hsieh and his supporters turned their hats backwards to “reverse the tide’s momentum and bring victory.” The starting time was a reference to the Chinese “Anti-Secession Law,” which was promulgated on March 14, 2005. The nation-wide rally held at 260 meeting points all across Taiwan and demonstrated the Taiwanese people’s collective voice against Chinese aggression, and the DPP’s commitment to uphold democracy and justice.