June 28, 2017
Photo Courtesy of Ludovic Lubeigt @Flickr
On 27 June 2017, a representative of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy presented its resolution to the UNPO General Assembly. Mr Szu-Chien Hsu underlined Taiwan's democratic nature, often under attack by China's growing assertiveness and relentless claims of soveriegnty over Taiwan, also condemning the abduction of human rights advocates such as Lee Ming-che. The UNPO General Assembly adopted the resolution, thus affirming its support to the Taiwanese people and the promotion of their fundamental rights.
Taiwan is a free and independent country with its own constitution and a functioning government with all three branches of power. At present, Taiwan is one of only a few Asian nations that enjoy full-fledged democracy, having undergone a remarkable transition from an authoritarian regime to an entity governed by the rule of law and democratic systems since late 1980s.
Taiwan’s democratization process has made it a beacon of democracy in Asia. Since 1996, Taiwan has seen regular free and fair elections of the president, parliament members and local government positions. Last year, the nation of 23 million people experienced its third peaceful transfer of presidential power and its first ever change of majority party in the parliament through democratic elections.
However, like many nations in Asia and elsewhere, Taiwan often falls victim to China’s growing assertiveness and suppression of human rights. Taiwan’s plight is particularly significant, given Beijing’s relentless claims of sovereignty over Taiwan has been nullified by our vibrant democracy.
Since early last year, Taiwan has witnessed its exclusion from events organized by UN-affiliated agencies such as WHO and ICAO. Several incidents of forced deportation to China of Taiwanese citizens suspected of committing telecom fraud also raised serious concerns among local and international media.
In addition to attempts to undermine Taiwan’s sovereignty, China has also targeted our civil society. Recently, Taiwan saw the forced disappearance of Taiwanese NGO worker and human rights advocate Lee Ming-che, who has been detained by the Chinese authority for more than 100 days since entering Guangdong in March. Beijing has yet to provide any information regarding his whereabouts, despite repeated calls from the Taiwanese government.
Hence, we, the UNPO General Assembly:
1-Alarms the international community about China’s blatant practice of using its growing clout in the global arena as a shield for its violation of human rights both within and beyond its borders.
2-Recognizes that the Chinese government’s suppression of human rights is in violation of the international law and poses a dire threat to the functions of both domestic and foreign civil society organizations, particularly after China’s so-called Foreign NGO Management Law took effect in January.
3-Strongly condemns the Chinese government’s abduction and forced disappearance of foreign citizens without due cause or process, most notably Taiwanese human rights advocate Lee Ming-che and Hong Kong book publishers.
4-Urges the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to pay attention to Lee Ming-che’s case and to exert pressure on China to ensure that Mr. Lee is treated in accordance with the international criteria for rule of law and his human rights protected.
5-Urges the international community to support Taiwan’s participation at international organizations, particularly those at which Taiwan’s absence could jeopardize the human rights of not only its own citizens, but also people residing in other parts of the world, such as the right to health and aviation safety.
6-Calls upon all UNPO members to cooperate and facilitate mutual learning by sharing experiences with one another, in a bid to prevent the expansion of China’s international practice of incursion of human rights and undermining of democracies.
To take a look at Taiwan's Member Resolution, please click here.