Taiwan Demonstrations Continue: Western Media Forgets

As the Sunflower Movement stated upon leaving Taiwan‘s legislative chamber, they would return. The movement never had “tunnel vision”, but was focused on a long list of grievances. The secret “black box” trade negotiation between China and US Military ally Taiwan was only the one straw on the camel’s back.

In this recent round of government v peaceful assembly, the topic is the island’s controversial fourth nuclear power plant. Especially after Fukushima in 2011, the earthquake-plagued people of Taiwan want nothing to do with nuclear energy. So it seems, the government doesn’t care.

Nuclear power objections in Taiwan have been rising and were frequently address during the three weeks that the legislature was occupied. Much of the street art protested nuclear power. Shortly after the students left the chamber, Lin I-hsiung (林義雄) began an “indefinite” hunger strike over the nuclear issue. A crowd quickly surrounded him, attracting many of the peaceful demonstrators from the trade agreement protests.  · · · →

‘Sunflower’ Students Change History

Read an eBook about the last 21 hours of the Sunflower Movement occupancy.

The Sunflower movement made history this month. As Taiwan’s government was deviating from the will of its people, unarmed students disrupted the legislature by occupying it for three weeks. An unplanned, flash-mob protest met outside the legislature on March 18. Both the students and the legislature’s Speaker, Wang Jin-pyng, took peaceful action and the situation resolved without violence. Wang promised to require transparency for any future trade agreements and the students promised to leave peacefully. After three weeks, the students kept their promise, leaving only a sign translated “Congress of the People” at the front of the chamber and, on the Speaker’s desk, a widely used academic book from the late 19th century with collection of stories on political corruption.

Now, non-violent protesters who highlight “Constitutional compliance”, “individual liberty”, and “national sovereignty” have proven that they can remain non-violent, if the police do not use force to remove them.  · · · →

Puppet Democracies Are for Children: Washington “Adults” don’t Understand

Taiwan’s government does not have a robust system of checks and balances as the US does. Instead, has the near identical system of making laws as China’s government: new law doesn’t come from Congress or the President, but from the “Premiere”, a non-elected bureaucrat who heads the Executive branch comprised of other non-elected bureaucrats—in Taiwan the Executive Yuan, in China the State Council. The “puppet” nature of Taiwan’s democracy sheds some light on Taiwanese’s overall frustration with their government. It is reflected in the KMT’s recent proud remarks—that excessive power remains in the hands of the Executive branch, unlike Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution—read yesterday’s Taipei Times report for the inside baseball.

According to the Taipei Times article, if the Legislature does not approve the law proposed by the executive bureaucrats, then they have the authority to pass the motion into law as if it had been voted on.  · · · →

Sunflower Students to Leave Taiwan’s Legislature Thursday

先立法,再審查

先立法,再審查 (Photo credit: tomscy2000)

Taiwan legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) announced this morning that he would conduct no further discussions in the legislature concerning trade with China until a new law was passed providing oversight affecting all international trade agreements.

This type of legislation, supporting the DPP (民進黨) and Sunflower movement’s request for transparency, would be a significant change in Taiwan’s legislative process. The Executive branch, led entirely by non-elected appointees spare the President, has historically conducted all trade agreements in secret.

 Sunflower student leaders Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆) and Chen Wei-ting (陳為廷) followed Wang’s announcement with a joint statement to the press, that, in light of their request for trade transparency being promised by the legislature’s speaker, the students would leave the legislature’s chamber this Thursday.

President Ma and Wang, both members if the ruling members of the KMT (國民黨) party, have a history of conflict. Other KMT legislators quickly denounced Wang as having supposedly “sold them out” in his announcement that the legislature should provide oversight and transparency in trade agreements, particularly with China.  · · · →

Debunking Myths: Was CIA involved with Taiwan’s demonstrations?

While I’m sure some of our friends at CIA would be insulted if I said that they weren’t involved in everything that happens in the world, I suspect that Intelligence participation in the Taipei protests are minimal at most. This comes from a basic understanding of exactly how much Ma, Taiwan’s President, has isolated himself and exactly how much support the island has for the student demonstrators.

30,000 people have camped out in Taiwan’s capital square and their friends of friends encompass nearly everyone on the island. The movement is indisputably student-led. Massive support for the students is beyond manipulation.

One bureaucrat at the Executive Yuan complained that occupying students ate his sunflower and pineapple cakes—which really are delicious. In a nose-thumbing response, several bakeries swarmed his home with cases upon cases of sunflower and pineapple cakes. It is doubtful that CIA had to do much convincing in order for Asians to seize the opportunity to insult a government official by “feeding their enemies”.  · · · →