Taiwan model proves democracy is a universal idea



Prosecutors in Taiwan say they have detained 10 people, including a former staff member of the China-friendly opposition party, and are investigating them on suspicion of falsifying documents to bring thousands of mainland Chinese to Taiwan, possibly including some who spied on the self-ruled island claimed by Beijing,  

Taiwan should enact a refugee law to help the people of Hong Kong, the main opposition candidate to be Taiwan’s next president said on Thursday, a move that could complicate his stated desire to improve strained relations with Beijing, Reuters adds.

Writing on his Facebook page Han Kuo-yu, the presidential candidate for the Kuomintang party that favors closer ties with China, said he “fully supported” the passing of a refugee law amid the protests in Hong Kong and that there could be “no discounts on human rights”.

Taiwan can teach struggling countries about its success in building a democracy, said Carl Gershman, president of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

“Taiwan was an authoritarian country, and it made a remarkably interesting and important transition to democracy in the 1980s and the 1990s, and it continues,” he told the CNA news agency:

Gershman noted that Taiwan was part of the “Third Wave” of countries that transformed to democracies, including the Philippines, Hungary, Poland, Thailand, and Nicaragua, decades ago. Unlike some countries that have seen a decline in the quality of their democracy, Taiwan has not regressed, he said. Taiwan can now offer the world lessons on how to respond to and defend against cross-border cyberattacks and how to use social media to strengthen citizen participation.

Taiwan is a model that shows democracy is a universal idea and not just a western idea as China tends to argue, Gershman said after receiving the Order of Brilliant Star with Grand Cordon from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen.

“China will say, ‘well China’s different because it is a Confucian civilization and you can’t have democracy in a hierarchical Confucian country.’ Well, Taiwan shows that you can,” he added.

“And what do the people in Hong Kong want?” he said “They are not westerners, they are Chinese people, and they want freedom and democracy.” RTWT

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