CAUTIOUS WITH KMT APPEASEMENT…...1  NEW LEADERSHIP TEAM AT THE DPP…....2  CHINESE-TAIPEI’S THREAT TO TAIWAN….

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DPP WELCOMES SEF-ARATS TALK, O 

JUNE 2008

SOUND OF HOPE.................................4-5 TSAI OUTLINES DPP REFORM PLANS....... 6 WHO NEEDS THE WHO………………..... 7 

Democracy &

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

Progress

DPP Welcomes Resumption of SEF-ARATS Talks, Cautious with KMT Appeasement
The DPP welcomes the resumed negotiations this month between Taiwan and China through the semi-official Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS). The SEF is funded by the government and reports to the Executive Yuan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC). On June 12, SEF Chairman Chiang Pin-kung headed a 19-member delegation on a four-day trip to China. MAC authorized the SEF to negotiate with ARATS on three topics: chartered passenger flights, chartered cargo flights, and opening Taiwan to more Chinese tourists. During the negotiations, the issue of chartered cargo flights, the key issue that would be most beneficial for Taiwan disappeared from the agenda. Additionally, the SEF and ARATS agreed to establish liaison offices respectively in Taiwan and China, and also discussed the topic of joint exploration of oil resources. These latter two issues came as a complete surprise because they were initially not on the official agenda. Questions have arisen as to whether the SEF was adhering within the bounds of its authority in discussing the extra matters. It is lamentable that the SEF-ARATS talks failed to negotiate direct cargo flights, as they are what Taiwan would have really profited from. Taiwan’s high-tech industries and its companies located in China would have benefited significantly from such a negotiation. The DPP’s position in regards to the SEF-ARATS talks remains the “two yeses and two noes”. The “two yeses” are: the importance of protecting Taiwan’s sovereignty and dignity, and the upholding of Taiwan’s collective interests in all negotiations. The “two noes” refer to not favoring special interests and not becoming involved in political topics or commitments.

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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

Chairwoman Tsai Recruits New Leadership Team, Reform Task Force Created
Chairwoman Ing-wen Tsai has assembled a new leadership team to assist her in the rebuilding process as part of her mission to reform the party. Additionally, a special party reform task force was created for the purpose of examining and re-evaluating ways to improve and reform the DPP. The new leadership team is as below: Wang Tuoh (王拓) as secretary-general Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) as the principal deputy secretary-general Hung Yao-fu (洪耀福) as the deputy secretary-general and concurrently as the director of the Department of Organizational Development Dr. Jen-to Yao (姚人多) as special assistant to the chairwoman Bi-khim Hsiao (蕭美琴) as special assistant to the chairwoman Ker Chien-ming 柯建銘) head of the Finance Management Committee ( as Kao Shing-shue (高辛雪) as the director of the DPP Secretariat Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) as the director of the Department of Culture and Information Chuan Suo-hang (莊碩漢) as the director of the Policy Research Committee Former Legislator Shen Fa-hui ( 沈 發 惠 )as the director of Social Development Chao Tien-lin (趙天麟) as the director of the Department of Youth

Director: Lin Chen-wei Deputy Director: Chiu Chui-cheng Editor-In-Chief: Roger Lee Huang

Staff Writers: Minna Hsu Daphne Ling Peggy Wu

Development Peng Tianfu (彭添富) as the director of the Department of Ethnic Affairs Chen Chun-lin (陳俊麟) as the director of the Public Opinion Survey Center Lan Shih-tsung (藍世聰) as the director of the Taiwan Institute of Democracy Lin Chen-wei (林成蔚) as the director of Department of International Affairs The party reform task force was created for the purpose of making internal assessments on how to improve and reform the DPP. The nine-person team has been delegated with the three main tasks including examining possibilities to: revise the party platform, improve internal party discipline, and reform the party’s evaluation and the nomination processes. The task force has already submitted their reform package proposal, which will be debated at the National Party Congress in July.

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The return of Chinese Taipei, a long-term threat to Taiwan’s sovereignty
Ever since Ma Ying-jeou was inaugurated as President, his position on putting Taiwan’s interests, democracy, and people ‘first’ has been entirely upturned. His initial campaign slogan of ‘long live Taiwan’s democracy’ has been abandoned and the Ma administration has returned to using the primordial concept of ‘Chinese nation in the Republic of China’, or even worse the adoption of the term of Chinese Taipei. Just a month into his first term, Ma has moved towards the active ‘de-Taiwanization’ of the country’s public spheres, including the revival of several former KMT authoritarian symbols. For example, the Taiwan Postal Service will soon be reverted back to the ‘Republic of China Postal Service.’ The grave of the late dictator Chiang Kai-shek at the Tzuhu Mausoleum has already been re-opened to the public, a blatant disregard to the victims under Chiang’s regime. More disturbingly, President Ma adopted the outdated term ‘zhonghua mingzhu’(中華民族)or ‘Chinese nation’ during his inaugural speech, playing along with the archaic concept of ethnicity as related to blood-ties. This choice also undoubtedly contributed to Ma’s justification for reviving the usage of ‘Chinese Taipei’ rather than ‘Taiwan’ in international settings. Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Chairwoman Lai Hsin-yuan has already ceded to China when asked to clarify how ‘Chinese Taipei’ could be translated in Chinese. Her response was that it can be translated in different ways to appease different people. In actuality Chinese-Taipei is always translated as Zhong-guo Taipei (中國台北) for China, and Zhong-hua Taipei(中華台北)for Taiwan. Agreeing to the name of ‘Chinese Taipei’ innately sends the wrong signal to the international community. The official Chinese translation of Chinese-Taipei as Zhong-guo Taipei (中國台北), further implies a Chinese sovereignty and jurisdiction of Taipei, making it an appeasement that would only hurt Taiwan’s sovereignty in the long-run. Additionally, the argument that yielding to China’s demands of using Chinese Taipei will encourage China to allow Taiwan to join international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) is completely misguided. For example, the 2005 alleged promises of good-will during then-KMT chairman Lien Chan’s visit to China resulted in a secret memorandum of understanding signed between the WHO Secretariat and China, which directly prevented Taiwan’s bid for WHO membership. Conceding to the use of Chinese Taipei could also be a slippery slope, as agreeing to the changing of Taiwan’s name in the international arena can be an indication that Taiwan is ready to take a step toward unification with China. This is clearly not the case. Other nations could start to believe that Taiwan is ready to become a part of China, regardless of the actual public opinion. The Ma administration should proceed with caution and heed the wishes of the Taiwanese people before agreeing to apply for membership to any international organizations under the name of Chinese Taipei and cease to further implement his outdated concept of a ‘Chinese nation.’

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The Sound of Hope, Chairwoman Tsai meets with new DPP members
On the first weekend of June, the DPP’s Department of Youth Development hosted “The Sound of Hope,” an event that provided the first meeting between Chairwoman Ing-wen Tsai and young DPP members. Those who attended the event were introduced to the new chairwoman, who encouraged the crowd to engage in informal communication with her throughout the afternoon. Chairwoman Tsai’s relaxed attitude helped create an upbeat, positive atmosphere as she started off the afternoon joking around with the enthusiastic attendees. She continued on to explain the purpose of the event, which was to open up the gates of communication between DPP and its younger members in order to understand their thoughts and opinions. Chairwoman Tsai believes that the younger generation, especially those who joined after the DPP’s loss in the March presidential election, is a group of talented people with fresh ideas, dreams, high hopes, and aspirations. Chairwoman Tsai stated that in order to get the younger generation to take an interest in politics and pay attention to its current events, it might be necessary to transform politics into a trendy concept that is appealing. However, participation in politics is a very different concept than what is commonly considered trendy and popular. Today’s younger generation, especially those who joined the DPP after its defeat in the election, must think long and hard about the reason behind joining the DPP and participating in politics. Is participation in politics merely a popular trend?

Frank Hsieh, former DPP Chairman, addresses the audience with words of encouragement.

Chairwoman Tsai hopes that the youth’s decision to participate in politics is not due to fleeting trends, but careful considerations. The young generation represents hope: it carries the hopes and expectations of the generation before them, and passes them on as dreams onto the next generation. After participating in the event, an attendee commented “I am optimistic with the DPP and its future, but I think it is important to realize that the future of the DPP will be dependent on the younger generation.”

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DPP’s former Chairman, Frank Hsieh, was also present to encourage the young attendees of the event just before the event came to a close. He compared the DPP’s current vulnerable situation to a wound susceptible to infection. Before long, however, this wound will start to heal.
Chairwoman Tsai chats with attendees after the event

Even though reform is difficult, Hsieh stresses that the DPP possesses the strength to reform. And because youth possesses enormous strength and energy, he actively recruits them to join the DPP in hopes that they will be the future leaders of the party. Tsai’s decision to run for Chairperson of the DPP enabled him to see the future of the DPP. He hopes for the youth to be able to carry out the DPP’s spirit for change and reform to every corner of Taiwan. In the future, it is not he who will lead the youth, but the youth who will lead him in reform. Certain risks may come with reforming the party, but he has faith in the younger generation and believes that they will be the force behind the DPP and its rebirth.
The crowd focuses on the Chairwoman, who encouraged questions and comments.

DPP’s new members gather around and pose for a group picture

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Chairwoman Ing-wen Tsai explains her vision to the TFCC
Chairwoman Ing-wen Tsai met with reporters of the Taiwan Foreign Correspondents' Club on June 26th to hold a question and answer session and discussed the future direction of the DPP. More than twenty reporters representing numerous overseas publications came to interview Chairwoman Tsai as she outlined her vision for the DPP's future and how to remedy issues that have plagued the party in recent times. The Chairwoman began by saying that the DPP is now an opposition party with governing experience. According to Tsai, it is thus vital to use that experience to ensure that the DPP continues to be a meaningful party. In this respect, Tsai said that the most important thing in order to rebuild the party is to ensure party unity. The Chairwoman cited party disunity as one of the critical elements that contributed to recent electoral defeats. The Chairwoman said that additionally, in order to win the trust of the people, it was important for the public to have a better perception of the party. In this respect, Tsai said even though the DPP will remain firm on issues of sovereignty and national security, it will however not be the focus during her tenure as head of the party. It is thus important for the DPP to return to its center-left roots and ideology, pushing for a fairer and more equal wealth distribution, social justice, and a comprehensive welfare system. Chairwoman Tsai also pointed out the practicality of the DPP, confirming the ability of the Chen administration to ensure market stability with respectable GDP growth, while keeping inflation in check for the past eight years. Because of this, the Chairwoman expressed concerns for the Ma administration, which has done a less than impressive job in the past month to alleviate concerns about the state of Taiwan's economy. The Chairwoman hopes that as the opposing party, the DPP will have more time and chances to directly work with the people and rebuild the party from the bottom up, by strengthening grassroots support. Furthermore, the Chairwoman states that although the DPP wants to return to power, the party is not in a hurry to obtain it. Tsai said that when the DPP returns as the ruling party, it will be a party ready and well-prepared to assume the position of power.

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Who Needs the WHO?
The country is in the midst of an outbreak of enterovirus 71 that is affecting young children. For 2008, figures have already shot past 30 cases for each of the summer months. There have been 260 cases so far, and the death toll now stands at 9. Ten years ago, there was widespread panic when many children started to develop skin rashes, with some of them dying quickly. It turned out to be the first outbreak of enterovirus 71, and the lag in knowing the causative agent was detrimental. Weeks went by before the US CDC arrived in Taiwan to help with prevention efforts and put pressure on the WHO to get involved. Unfortunately, Taiwan has had to rely on informal contacts with the WHO and US CDC since China took its UN seat in 1972. Efforts to become an official member of the WHO or even just an observer in the World Health Assembly (the decision-making body) have been blocked. The Chinese decide which Taiwanese members are invited to WHO meetings, and both sides must be present at all times. Despite all this, Taiwan has chosen to be a responsible member of the global community by voluntarily complying with the WHO’s International Health Regulations (IHR) that went into effect last year. In response to the Szechuan earthquake, Taiwan sent in a rescue team on its own. After the 9-21 earthquake that killed more than 2,000 people in central Taiwan, emergency rescue efforts were delayed because teams could not pass through Chinese airspace. Aside from engaging in petty political maneuvers, the Chinese government has proven that it has a hard time caring for the health of its own citizens. The SARS pandemic 5 years ago was the direct result of a delay in Beijing's disclosures about the disease. As the highest international health authority, one of the WHO’s role is to control outbreaks. With the ease of global travel, everyone needs to be part of the public health system. This becomes an even bigger issue now that Chinese tourists are expected to come to Taiwan in large numbers. Unfortunately, all too often Taiwan’s status has become a political question, not a legal or even professional one. In its reasoning for rejecting Taiwan’s application yet again, the WHA cited that China was responsible for the health of the 23 million Taiwanese citizens. If China was truly responsible for the health system of Taiwan, Taiwan would have become an observer at the WHA, if not a WHO member by now. Once again, China has allowed its politics to determine the lives and well-being of the Taiwanese people.
Daphne is a summer intern at the DPP's Department of International Affairs. She will start a PhD program at McGill University in the fall. She has a background in public health.

Democracy & Progress is a monthly electronic newsletter published by the Democratic Progressive Party’s Department of International Affairs. Please note that articles in this publication should not be used as direct quotation unless with the explicit permission from the editor.