Apr 19, 2007

Taiwan: Focus on Racial Harmony

South African Nobel Prize Winner Desmond Tutu visits Taiwan this week, where he plans to share South Africa’s experience with racial reconciliation and promote racial harmony in Taiwan.

Below is an article published by EUX TV:

South African Nobel Laureate and Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu arrived in Taiwan Wednesday [18 April 2007] for a week-long visit to promote racial harmony among Taiwan's ethnic groups.

Tutu, will share South Africa's experience in racial reconciliation with Taiwan, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The outspoken veteran of the anti-apartheid struggle, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, was invited by the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy.

During his visit, Tutu will meet with President Chen Shui-bian and Vice President Annette Lu and give a speech at the Symposium on Transitional Justice and National Reconciliation.
Ethnic tension is the main problem for the Taiwan society which is made up by mostly Taiwan natives and some mainlanders and their descendants.

The Chinese Nationalists fled to Taiwan in 1949 after losing the Chinese Civil War to the Communists, and ruled Taiwan with an iron fist until 2000.

While many Taiwanese thank Chinese Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek for preventing China from recovering Taiwan, others denounce him as a dictator. Ethnic tension has split Taiwan and hindered the island's development.

Tutu is well-known in Taiwan for his role in efforts to end apartheid and black oppression in his home country and for promoting peace around the world.

As secretary-general of the South African Council of Churches from 1978 to 1985, he called for justice and reconciliation while speaking against apartheid.

In 1995, South Africa's first post apartheid president Nelson Mandela appointed Tutu as chairperson of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee, which supervised investigating human rights abuses during the apartheid era.