Sunday, September 30, 2007

Academics debate implication of Taiwan's U.N. bid, U.S. position

Taipei, Sept. 29 (CNA) Views on the implication of Taiwan's U.N. membership bid and the U.S. position on President Chen Shui-bian's determination to hold a referendum on the issue were shared by pro-independence law and politics professors in a forum Saturday.

The participants claimed that the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has not done enough in terms of constitution-making and changing the country's name since 2000, when it first won the presidency.

They supported the U.N. and referendum but had differing views on the implications of the U.N. bid and Taiwan's response to U.S. opposition.

"Responding in an emotional way and using emotional rhetoric to the U.S. opposition did no good for Taiwan at all. Prudence is preferred, " said Chen Yi-shen, a research fellow at Academia Sinica.

"As a superpower, the U.S. fails to understand what the people of Taiwan want. Its ultimate concern is U.S. interests, not the values of democracy. Taiwan should seek direct dialogue with the American people, who have always been more courageous and who hold higher moral ground than the U.S. government, " according to Lo Chih-cheng, a politics professor at Soochow University.

The most important thing for Taiwan's U.N. bid is to break away from the "one China principle, " which is recognized by most countries in the world, Lo said.

"The referendum is, in fact, the first step of declaring Taiwan independence, " said Huang Chu-cheng, a law professor at National Tsing Hua University, explicitly contradicting the president and bolstering the reason for the U.S. objections.

"Contrary to what most people think and say, the objective of this bid and the referendum is to change the status quo, which is jeopardizing Taiwan's national security because of the strategic and military imbalance between Taiwan and China, " he claimed.

"The failure in applying for U.N. membership under the name Taiwan basically means that Taiwan is ready to be a part of China, " according to Lee Ming-juinn, deputy secretary-general of the Taiwanese Society of International Law (TSIL).

The forum was organized by the TSIL and a number of other pro-independence groups.

Ethnographic film festival to feature indigenous culture, diversity

Taipei, Sept. 28 (CNA) A biennial ethnographic film festival will feature indigenous cultures and diversity from all over the world with 42 films to be screened from Sept. 28-Oct. 2 in Taipei, festival organizers said Friday.

With the theme of "indigenous voices," the festival will present films from different cultures, ethnicities and identities from all over the world to highlight the importance of diversity and differences, said Lin Wen-ling, festival director of the 2007 Taiwan International Ethnographic Film Festival (TIEFF).

Indigenous directors Victor Masayesva, a North American Hopi tribe member, and Mayaw Biho, from Taiwan's Pangcah tribe, will be featured in a "Director in Focus" program with their opening films "Water Land Life -- Hopi Run to Mexico" and "Children in Heaven."

"Dead Birds, " a classic directed by American director Robert Gardner in 1964, and a 19-minute documentary film "Pas-taai - The Saisiyat Ceremony in 1936, " which was shot by Japanese Professor Nobuto Miyamoto in Taiwan during Japanese occupation, will be featured in the "Retrospective" program, Lin said.

Filmgoers will be able to appreciate stories from different places as well, Lin said, such as "Chichester's Choice." In this film, Brazilian-born Canadian director Simonee Chichester embarked upon a journey of identity in Brazil to look for her father.

TIEFF is the first biennial film festival in Asia that promotes outstanding documentary films made about cultures and ethnography. It is organized by the Taiwan Association of Visual Ethnography, a non-profit organization that introduces ethnography to the public.

Indigenous basic law in line with U.N. declaration: official

Taipei, Sept. 28 (CNA) Taiwan's Indigenous People's Basic Law is in line with a declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples adopted by the United Nations earlier this month, and Taiwan has a great opportunity to make substantial progress in indigenous rights, an official said Friday.

A thorough examination of the U.N. declaration and the Indigenous Basic Law found that Taiwan's development of the rights of indigenous peoples is almost fully in line with the U.N. declaration, said Icyang Parod, minister of the Council of Indigenous Peoples (CIP).

The U.N. General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Sept. 13 with an overwhelming vote of 143 to 4. Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the United States were the only countries to vote against the declaration.

The declaration and the local law, which were passed in 2005, both focused on same issues such as rights of self-determination, culture, language, employment, land and resources, education, and finance, Parod said.

The CIP will, based on the spirit of the U.N. declaration, keep pushing for some necessary amendments of the basic law, he said.

The ministry will also hold seminar in the future to discuss the implementation of the basic law and compare the law and the U.N. declaration, he said.

Children picture book tells ancient Formosa story

Taipei, Sept. 27 (CNA) A children picture book launched Thursday told the 16th century story of Cheng Cheng-kung's attack on Taiwan during the Dutch occupation era, when Taiwan was known as Formosa, and tried to review well-known story in a foreign perspective.

The picture book, titled "Farewell Formosa: History of Taiwan and Holland at the Age of Exploration, " was a translation of the 2002 original work of a Swedish illustrator Anita Steiner, who had visited Tainan, Taiwan, where the story took place more than three hundred years ago, for a seven-week stay to study the history.

Steiner became interested in the story after learning that the last Dutch Governor of Taiwan Frederik Coyett was actually Swedish, said Henrik Bystrom, Representative of Swedish Trade Council's Exportradet Taipei in the book-launching ceremony.

The book became the most popular guide for Swedish children to understand the links between Sweden and Taiwan, he added.

"This is the story of what happened here on the island. It's only natural that it is finally published here, " Bystrom said, adding that the English, Japanese and Simplified Chinese versions were published before the Traditional Chinese version.

The picture book was published with the help of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). MOFA Vice Minister Yang Tzu-pao said that the ministry was involved in the effort after learning of the book and the fascinating story of Bystrom during the Swedish National Day celebration June 6 this year.

Publishing the book has in itself been a unique story linking three countries of Taiwan, Sweden and the Netherlands, Yang said, because it told the story of Cheng Cheng-kung, who was called Koxinga by the Dutch, and Dutch-occupied Formosa (Taiwan) but the illustrator and the last Dutch Governor were Swedish.

"Hopefully it [the picture book] can contribute to the understanding between people of Sweden and Taiwan, " said Bystrom, who estimated there are currently 200 Swedish nationals living in Taiwan.

Taipei learns 'destination marketing' from other cities

Taipei, Sept. 27 (CNA) Taipei City is eager to brand itself as a global city but has much to learn from others, which was why Deputy Mayor Lin Chung-yih was in the audience of a panel discussion Thursday on "destination marketing."

Lin, a civil engineer who spent half of his career in public and private construction projects before becoming a Deputy Mayor in February this year, carefully listened to the experiences of cities in Germany, Malaysia and Singapore -- which branded themselves as attractions to foreign businessmen and tourists -- during one of the panel discussions in the 2007 Asian MICE Leaders Forum (AMLF).

"For an engineer, doing your job is enough. That's not enough for a deputy mayor because you also have to sell your product, which is your city, " said Lin.

Hosting trade fairs and major sports events is important for any city, discussants said. For Germany, trade fairs have long been important because "they bring people to you who can do something for local governments, " said UFI President Jochen Witt. UFI (Global Association of the Exhibition Industry) is the world's leading exhibition industry association, representing 442 member organizations.

Seoul was able to stand out after hosting the 1988 Summer Olympics and co-hosting the 2002 World Cup soccer with Japan, said Seoul Convention and Visitors Bureau President Chung Chai-kwan, who added that Seoul combined sports, cultural and convention marketing to develop its reputation.

Singapore, which does not enjoy the rich traditions and histories of Germany and South Korea, had to take a different approach, said Aloysius Alando, Assistant Chief Executive of Business Travel and MICE (meeting, incentive, convention and exhibition) of Singapore Tourism Board.

Singapore basically had to start from zero and create man-made attractions, which required a lot of experimentation, Alando said.

"Destination marketing touches on different sectors and needs to connect with the state of the city, which is always changing, " he added.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Asian forum on convention, exhibition industry held in Taipei

Taipei, Sept. 26 (CNA) A one-and-a-half-day forum on developing Taiwan's Meeting, Incentive, Convention, and Exhibition (MICE) industry opened in Taipei Wednesday as international delegates shared their experiences with local experts from government, industry and academia.

More than 800 participants attended the Asian MICE Leaders Forum (AMLF) , which is intended to serve as a platform for participants from 11 countries and regions to exchange their ideas, said Y.C. Chao, President and CEO of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), the event's organizer.

The forum started Wednesday with a panel discussion on "international exhibition branding and joint ventures", the first of four panel discussions of the forum. Topics of "destination marketing, " "IT application" and "cross-Taiwan Strait exhibition/venue cooperation and development" will be discussed Thursday.

The structures of these industries have been transformed gradually over the years, said Minister of Economic Affairs (MOEA) Chen Ruey-long in his opening remarks.

To enhance the competitiveness of Taiwan's MICE industry in Asia, the Executive Yuan included MICE as one of twelve vital service businesses to be actively developed, with the objective of upgrading Taiwan's position in the international MICE industry and further expanding its global market, Chen said.

UFI President Jochen Witt delivered a keynote speech titled "Today's Global Trade Fair Industry" to kick off the forum. UFI (Global Association of the Exhibition Industry) is the world's leading exhibition industry association, representing 442 member organizations.

NSC to feature new technology at international invention show

Taipei, Sept. 26 (CNA) More than 360 examples of new technology will be displayed at the annual Taipei International Invention Show and Technomart, which will run Sept. 27-30, the National Science Council (NSC) announced Wednesday.

In Taiwan's largest exhibition of inventions and technology, a total of 364 new kinds of technology developed by NSC-sponsored programs spread over 40 institutions will be displayed in 51 booths, said NSC Minister Chen Chien-jen.

Optoelectronics, communication, biotechnology and medicine dominates the field, accounting for over 60 percent of the research, Chen said, adding that green technology and environmental protection research will also be featured at the NSC pavilion.

A number of these new types of technology are breakthroughs and could be highly profitable if commercialized and further developed by corporations, Chen said.

Feng Chia University has developed a system that integrates a global positioning system (GPS), geographic information system (GIS) and handheld mobile devices, said Chou Tien-ying, a professor at the university.

The system can be used for real-time inspections in disaster areas and to collect geographic information, Chou said. It can also be used in various sectors such as house brokerage, insurance and the automotive industry.

A patented technology of monoclonal antibody-based quantitative and qualitative analysis of any polyethylene-glycol derived molecules has been also developed by the National Research Program for Genomic Medicine.

It has accumulated 159 technology transfers from companies all over the world for over NT$31.5 million and is expected to create a market worth over US$12 billion in the next five years, said lead researcher Cheng Tien-lu, a professor at Kaohsiung Medical University.

Peace to top agenda in China: former adviser to president

Taipei, Sept. 22 (CNA) Koo Kuan-min, former senior adviser to the president and a Taiwan independence advocate, said Saturday he envisions a policy shift on the Taiwan issue in China because peace will be at the top of China's national agenda over the next 15-20 years.

Koo, 81, also talked about Taiwan's relations with Japan and the United States in a speech delivered here, during which he talked about the characteristics of past and current political leaders in Taiwan.

China owes its current economic development to Taiwanese businessmen, who were the first ones to invest in China following the Tiananmen Square incident in 1989, Koo said. If China wants to transform itself into a superpower, it will need peace over the next 15-20 years to maintain its current economic boom, he added.

Koo claimed that any Chinese military action against Taiwan would scare away foreign investors which China desperately needs to maintain its economic growth. That is why China should not and will not attack Taiwan, he said.

He also said that the United States should actively make military deployments in Taiwan because of the island's strategic importance, pointing out that there are 100,000 U.S. troops deployed in various Asian countries, including Japan and South Korea.

Koo further said that communicating with the United States over the years has left him frustrated because the U.S. government refuses to abandon its "outdated" one-China policy. That is why he said he decided to appeal directly to the American people by placing advertisements explaining Taiwan's U.N. membership bid in the New York Times and the Washington Post earlier this month.

"The United States should display its determination in defending Taiwan's strategic importance, otherwise, the Taiwan Relations Act is just a piece of paper, " he stressed.

Koo, who lived in Japan from 1947-1972 as a political dissident, said Japan needs to recognize that the Taiwan issue is a part of its national security. "If Taiwan unifies with China or goes to war with it, this will definitely impact Japan's security interests in the East Asia," he said.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Taiwan women badminton pair advance to Taipei Open semifinal

Taipei, Sept. 21 (CNA) Chien Yu-chin and Cheng Wen-hsing became Taiwan's only medal hope in the 2007 Yonex Taipei Badminton Open after a quarterfinal win, beating South Korea's Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min-jung 21-16, 21-13 to advance to the women's doubles semifinals Friday.

Upsets highlighted the day in the men's singles as top two seeds were knocked out in the quarterfinals. China's top seed Chen Hong lost to Hidayat Taufik of Indonesia and No.2 seed Lee Chong Wei also lost to Indonesia's Santoso Simon.

Sony Dwi Kuncoro became the third Indonesian to make the semifinals after a win over Wang Choong Hann of Malaysia. South Korea's Lee Hyun-li, who previously upset Danish No. 3 seed Peter Gade, beat Japan's Shoji Sato for a semifinal place.

Former Chinese players who represnted various countries dominated the women's singles. Hong Kong's top seed Wang Chen and No.2 seed Pi Hongyan of France advanced to the semifinals along with Yao Jie, who played for the Netherlands, and Yip Pui-yin of Hong Kong.

More than 300 players from 24 countries are competing in the Taipei Open, which has a purse of US$170,000. The competition is taking place in Xinzhuang, Taipei County from Sept. 18-23.

Civic groups call for ethnic harmony on International Day of Peace

Taipei, Sept. 21 (CNA) More than 20 civic groups and non-government organizations called Friday -- the U.N. International Day of Peace -- for ethnic harmony in Taiwan and respect and acceptance of new immigrants.

Sept. 21 is a special day for the people of Taiwan because of the massive earthquake that shook the island and took more than 2,000 lives on that day in 1999. It is also important because it is an International Day of Peace, according to Chien Hsi-chieh, chief executive officer of the Peacetime Foundation of Taiwan.

The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the U.N. and calls for "a 24-hour cessation of hostilities" on Sept. 21 and for a minute of silence to be observed around the world at noon.

Representatives from various organizations focused specifically on discrimination against new immigrants and migrant workers, listing 13 common forms of verbal abuse that are groundless accusations and misconceptions, said Kathy Ke, executive officer of the Pearl S. Buck Foundation.

Foreign spouses from Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam, China, the Philippines and Indonesia, have become the fifth ethnic group of Taiwan and have changed Taiwan's population landscape, Chien said, urging the people of Taiwan to accept them.

Citizens of Taiwan and the government should stop stigmatizing new immigrants, Ke said. For example, she said, the NT$410,000 financial certification required to obtain Taiwanese citizenship has kept many foreign spouses from receiving it, showing that discrimination is still rife in Taiwan.

The term "melting pot" is not a good word to describe an immigrant society like Taiwan, he said, adding that Taiwan is more like a "salad bowl" which allows every ethnic group to preserve its "true colors and flavor."

The civic groups also urged local politicians to stop mobilizing voters with ethnic issues and hatred.

AIT organizes series of events to honor American Natives

Taipei, Sept. 20 (CNA) The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) is organizing a photo exhibit and an American Indians Film Series to honor the legacy of North American natives.

"The Sacred Legacy" American Indian photo exhibit opened in Taipei on Sept. 19 and will run through Oct. 21 at the National Taiwan Museum. The photographic exhibition features 60 photographs celebrating the history and culture of Native Americans at the beginning of the 20th century.

The exhibit pays tribute to the famed photographer and ethnographer Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952) and will travel to museums in Taichung, Taitung and Kaohsiung from October to January 2008.

AIT's American Culture Center will hold an American Indian Film Series featuring four American movies on Native American themes, including "The Last of the Mohicans, " "Thunderheart, " "Pocahontas," and "Windtalkers".

The film series is open to the general public and will take place every Friday night at 6:30 p.m. at the American Culture Center Sept. 28 through Oct. 19.

Taiwan youths to leave for Guatemalan international program

Taipei, Sept. 20 (CNA) Six university and graduate school students, winners of a blogging competition organized by the Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF), will leave for Guatemala for a week-long tour to experience first-hand Taiwan's international cooperation program, ICDF announced Thursday.

Two groups of three students each will visit Guatemala from Sept. 22-30 to participate in Taiwan's cooperative programs -- which includes, among other things, growing papayas -- and write about their daily experience in their blogs, said Chou Yen-shih, ICDF's Director of Policy and Planning Department.

"Taiwan was aided by other countries during the 1950s to 1960s, and now is the time for Taiwan to make a contribution to the international community, especially to developing countries, " said Hsu Jen-he, a political major at National Chung Cheng University.

Hsu said he and his mates will go to Guatemala with "L.O.V.E." in mind -- learning, organization, volunteering and education. They will try to watch, learn and absorb every detail of an international cooperative program and help promote Taiwan's image.

The week-long program, which is being held for the first time, aims at promoting Taiwanese citizens' understanding of international cooperation and development, and encouraging the participation of the younger generation, Chou said.

The Taiwan ICDF's purpose is to strengthen international cooperation and enhance foreign relations by promoting economic development, social progress and the welfare of the people of partner nations around the world. It is now the principal body overseeing Taiwan's cooperative overseas development programs.

Rapidly developing economic ties serve Czech, Taiwan well: official

Taipei, Sept. 19 (CNA) The Czech Republic has been one of the few European countries to successfully attract large direct investments from Taiwanese businesses, and the fast developing relations have been beneficial to both sides, a Czech official said Wednesday.

Taiwanese businesses, especially those from the ICT (information and communication technology) sector, have made their mark in Czech, which has become their gateway to the European Union (EU) market, said Jaroslav Dolecek, top representative of Czech Economic and Cultural Office in Taiwan.

Taiwan's direct investment to the EU market has been decreasing since 2001 to 1 billion Euros in 2004, representing only 0.06 percent of the total foreign direct investment in the EU, according to a statistics released by the European Economic and Trade Office (EETO) in Taiwan.

Taiwan is the third largest Asian investor to the Czech Republic, behind Japan and South Korea, and the total cumulative amount of foreign investment is about US$250 million to date, Dolecek said.

Fortunately, Czech was among three major countries, including Vietnam and India, that Taiwan government has been seriously working to prevent foreign investment from focusing on China, he said.

Almost every major player in Taiwan's ICT industry has invested in Czech, including Foxconn Electronics, Acer Group and Asus, making Czech Republic the major producer of computers in Europe that accounts over 40 percent of the total EU production capacity.

Foxconn Electronics has been doing especially well, Dolecek said, as the company is currently the eighth largest company in the country and its second largest exporter.

The booming trade and investment ties also stimulated tourism as a record 36,000 tourist visas had been issued to Taiwanese citizens last year. Czech has been exporting automotive and machinery products to Taiwan, he said.

Taiwanese probably feel more comfortable and familiar with Czech since both countries shared similar history and development in the past decades, Dolecek said. The Czech Republic ended its Communists regime in 1989 while Taiwan lifted its 38-year martial law in 1987.

EU welcomes more investment from Taiwan

Taipei, Sept. 19 (CNA) The European Union (EU) is confident in the strength of Taiwan's economy, a fact testified to by its presence as the largest foreign investor in Taiwan, and it welcomes further investment from Taiwanese businesses as well, said an EU official Wednesday.

While bilateral trade remains strong, Taiwan's investment in the EU pales in comparison with that of other Asian countries, squandering a great opportunity to access to a market of 500 million customers, said Guy Ledoux, Head of the European Economic and Trade Office (EETO) in Taiwan.

Taiwanese businesses should not hesitate to invest in the EU, a safe and secure market with clear rules, standards and transparency, Ledoux said, adding that the EU is also equipped with great infrastructure and connections between its 27 member states.

Ledoux stressed that the incorrect perception of EU's expensive work force should be corrected, because the EU has been working hard to tackle the issue and increase work hours. It also offers cheap land and tax breaks to foreign investors.

At one billion Euros, Taiwan's stock of investments in the EU is very small compared to that of Singapore or Hong Kong, both of which have invested around 14 billion Euros, while South Korea has committed 5 billion Euros.

The EU is a more attractive market than China, where the majority of Taiwan's FDI (foreign direct investment) has gone, Ledoux said. Between 2004 and 2006, the EU attracted an average FDI of US$72 billion a year while China attracted US$68 billion. Clearly the perception that the EU is a difficult market to invest is wrong, he claimed.

Trade volumes between Taiwan and the EU remain high, said Pit Kohler, Deputy Director-General of German Institute, but Taiwanese businessmen have been reluctant to invest in Europe.

To help Taiwanese businesses better understand Europe, the EETO has published a brochure titled "Invest in the EU," which can also be downloaded from the Internet. Sixteen of the EU's member states which have set up offices in Taipei sent representatives to attend the book-launch.

Taiwan-UK telecare conference held to share experience

Taipei, Sept. 18 (CNA) Experts from the public and private sectors of the U.K. and Taiwan shared experience and expertise on the telecare industry Tuesday during an international conference.

The conference, co-organized by the British Trade and Cultural Office (BTCO) , Industrial Industry Research Institute (ITRI) , and Telecare Industry Alliance Taiwan (TIAT), was organized to facilitate learning from the U.K. experience, and at the same time exploring potential partnerships for both sides.

With 20 percent of its population over the age of 65, the UK is one of the most advanced countries in the world on the development and application of telecare technologies. There are now 1.5 million people using telecare services in the UK, said BTCO Director Michael Reilly.

"We are not trying to pretend that we have all of the solutions [in dealing with aging population and developing telecare], but our experience can probably provide Taiwan with references," he said.

Taiwan has also been working on the development of the telecare industry, said ITRI Director and TIAT President Lee Johnsee, who estimated that Taiwan's domestic market for the industry could surpass NT$7 billion by 2010.

William Maton-Howarth, Chief Research Officer for Public Health of UK's Department of Health, gave a presentation on how the UK adopted new information and communications technology to develop public health and self care systems for those with long term conditions.

"In the next few years we will be working closely across government to develop a comprehensive service that 'supports as many people as possible to live as independently as possible', " he said.

Jeremy Brown, Service Development and Project Manager from Kent County Council, UK briefed the audience on how Kent County established an open-structured telecare technology platform for nursing homes and the elderly.

Statistics from 2006 provided by Taiwan's Department of Health showed that 2.29 million people, or 10 percent of the national population, are 65 years-old or older.

Taiwan keen on developing telecare services: officials

Taipei, Sept. 18 (CNA) Taiwan is keen on developing telecare services to cope with an aging population, and it has advantages to accomplish the feat given its strengths in information and communication technology (ICT) and medical care, officials said Tuesday.

"Telecare services combine social networks, telecommunications and health care. With Taiwan's well-trained medical workers, good medical centers and advanced ICT development, we have the strength to develop this industry, " said Lee Johnsee, Director of Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) and President of Telecare Industry Alliance Taiwan (TIAT) , in a Taiwan-U.K. conference on telecare.

The Executive Yuan has submitted a 10-year program for providing health care to the elderly, he said, and what Taiwan needs to do now is learn from other countries, such as U.K., for its infrastructure and expertise in developing the industry.

The number of citizens who are 65 years-old or older reached 10 percent of Taiwan's national population in 2006, Vice Health Minister Chen Tzay-jinn said. A figure about half of U.K.'s level, meaning Taiwan still has time to work on tackling the aging issue, he added.

Taiwan has some of the best mobile phone service, broadband internet connection, and health care insurance coverage in the world. Coupled with its advanced ICT development, Taiwan is in a wonderful position to develop telecare services for senior citizens, Chen said.

A pilot project has been trying to establish telecare infrastructure in three dimensions -- home care, community care and institution care, Chen said.

The project aims to provide an information-sharing platform and mechanism, develop a supportive mechanism for emergency and consultative services, especially in the rural mountainous and outlying island areas, Chen said.

However, there are limitations that Taiwan has to address, such as a lack of reliable financial support for Long Term Care (LTC) , insufficient telecare devices, and multilingual access barriers for migrant caregivers and the disabled, he pointed out.

Annual film festival focuses on global immigration

Taipei, Sept. 15 (CNA) An annual film festival featuring movies on peace-related subjects was launched Saturday in Taipei in the hope that the people of Taiwan can learn something about the global immigration phenomenon.

The 2007 Peace Film Festival will screen 20 movies in Taipei, Hsinchu and Taichung from Sept. 15-Oct. 19. The festival presents various viewpoints about immigration and conflicts among ethnic groups from different countries such as Taiwan, Israel, Turkey and Italy, said Chien Hsi-chieh, chief executive officer of the Peacetime Foundation of Taiwan, the festival organizer.

The closing film, The Nyonya's Taste of Life, directed by Wen Chih-yi, features the story of two female Indonesian caretakers and a Thai worker in Taiwan. Wen said she tried to tell the story from the perspective of migrant workers.

Nyonya is a Southeast Asian cuisine that mixes Taiwanese and Malaysian food ingredients, which symbolizes the co-existence of Taiwanese and new immigrants in Taiwan, Wen said.

Golden Door, the opening film, also addresses the struggle and experience of an Italian immigrant family in the United States.

"The world is experiencing the same immigration and conflicts of ethnic groups and Taiwan has a lot to learn. We have to learn how to treat new immigrants with respect and respect their basic human rights, " said well-known director Hou Hsiao-hsien.

"If Taiwan could develop a complete system or mechanism that takes care of all the new immigrants and migrant workers, it would be the best diplomacy for our government, " Hou said.

"You don't assimilate different ethnic groups or merge them into your own. You try to understand and accept different people, " Chien said.

Chien said the festival also used the theme of ethnic groups in 2002. Organizers decided to use the theme again this year because the conflicts between different ethnic groups have been heating up as the 2008 presidential election approaches.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

EU support for Taiwan's U.N. bid unlikely: academic

Taipei, Sept. 14 (CNA) The European Union has a "one China but not now" policy and Taiwan's attempt to gain EU support for its U.N. membership bid is unlikely to be successful because the EU still places its emphasis with Taiwan on economic ties, said a visiting scholar from Europe Friday.

"The EU counts on good relations with the People's Republic of China and the United States, " Jonathan Holslag, a researcher at Brussels Institute of Contemporary China Study, said at an international conference held in Taipei.

The EU is an economic giant, a diplomatic dwarf and a military worm, Holslag claimed in the conference organized by the Taiwan Society of International Law and the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy to discuss Taiwan's U.N. membership bid.

Neither EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Javier Solana -- who publicly denounced Taiwan's proposal of holding a referendum -- nor the EU, nor the European Commission support Taiwan's bid, he said.

"The European Parliament also takes a skeptic posture," he added.

One of the hot issues is the definition of the status quo in the Taiwan Strait, Holslag said.

In Europe, China is much more able to promote its opinion than Taiwan, even though the Taiwanese mission is one of the most active Asian representations, he said.

The EU embraces the opportunity to do business with a country like Taiwan that excels in advanced technology, but is loath to get its hands dirty with delicate diplomatic issues like cross-strait relations and requires Taipei to keep its head cool and to avoid stepping on Beijing's toes, " he said.

"Don't expect much from Europe, " said Holslag, who also encouraged Taiwan to resort to a "two-track policy" in aiming for as much international presence as possible while fostering close substantive ties with major countries around the world.

New thinking needed for Taiwan's U.N. bid: U.S. academic

Taipei, Sept. 14 (CNA) As Taiwan's new strategy in its bid for U.N. membership will inevitably be opposed by China and the United States, new thinking is required to create a mutually beneficial situation for Taiwan, China and the U.S., an academic said in a conference Friday.

"If Washington elects to adopt some new thinking, while simultaneously drawing upon past U.N. actions, it might be able to cobble together a `win-win-win' situation for all parties involved in this dispute... one or more other countries (excluding the U.S.) should introduce a resolution to support Taipei's participation as an `observer' under the innocuous name `Chinese Taipei', " said Dennis Hickey, a professor at Missouri State University.

Chinese Taipei is the same name Taiwan now employs to participate in international affairs, Hickey said in the Taipei conference concerning Taiwan's application for U.N. membership.

By so doing, Hickey said, President Chen Shui-bian would be able to claim that he succeeded where others failed. The opposition Kuomintang (KMT) would be able to brag that its "flexible" approach had succeeded. China would win by demonstrating its new approach to world politics and Washington could express pleasant surprise at the innovative resolution and support it.

In 1954, the U.S. persuaded New Zealand to introduce a resolution into the U.N. that would effectively neutralize the Taiwan Strait in order to resolve an escalating crisis. The U.S. eventually abandoned the idea but the approach was innovative, Hickey said.

Jordan Paust, a political professor at the University of Houston, noted that both human rights and the related precept of self-determination of peoples are enshrined in the U.N. Charter.

Taiwan's U.N. bid might ultimately be subject to a Chinese veto in the Security Council. However, China cannot lawfully act to directly deny self-determination and human rights of the Taiwanese people, Paust said.

Youngsters bring different look to Taiwan's UN bid

Taipei, Sept. 13 (CNA) Long gone are the days when almost nine out of 10 supporters of Taiwan's UN bid were senior citizens, thanks to the Taiwan United Nations Alliance's (TAIUNA's) efforts to reach out to the younger generation and energize the campaign, the TAIUNA Youth Corps leader said.

"The response from the youth has been overwhelming so far. Actually, it's even a little bit surprising," Yen Sheng-kuan, captain of the Youth Corps who also serves as a Taipei City councilor, said on the sideline of a press conference announcing a civic delegation's departure to New York City for promoting the Taiwan U.N. bid.

A number of Youth Corps members are taking part in the 80-member delegation.

The TAIUNA Youth Corps was established in March this year in hopes of promoting awareness and gaining support among the young generation about Taiwan's U.N. bid, Yen said, adding that the group now has over 100 members: mostly university and graduate school students.

The youngsters have been trying to energize the predominantly "old" organization and the its U.N. bid rally with creative ideas and initiatives, such as blogs, self-made video clips and images, and various events, she said.

"Given the situation that Taiwan is in, Taiwanese youngsters have no right to be pessimistic. We need to step up and act now, " said Chang Chih-hao, who was recently named the first "Mr. UN for Taiwan" and will represent the corps to promote the bid in New York City. A Miss UN for Taiwan was selected as well.

The corps also set up a booth last week urging young people to sign U.N. bid petitions in Ximending where a lot of young people hang out during the weekend. Yen said the response was very impressive.

"There were many young people signing the petition, asking for stickers and promotional materials and vocally showed their support in Taiwan's U.N. bid. Contrary to what the traditional wisdom tells us, the younger generation does pay attention to politics and national affairs, " Yen said.

"But they do need a channel to voice their opinions and participate in public interest-related events like this, " she said.

Civic group leaves for New York to rally for Taiwan's U.N. bid

Taipei, Sept. 13 (CNA) A delegation of more than 80 people was scheduled to leave for New York City late Thursday to help promote Taiwan's bid for U.N. membership and voice Taiwan's opinion prior to the opening of the annual U.N. General Assembly session next Tuesday.

The main event of the delegation, which has been organized by the Taiwan United Nations Alliance (TAIUNA), will be a rally outside U.N. headquarters Sept. 15 coinciding with a similar rally in the southern port city of Kaohsiung.

The rallies will symbolize the "collective will of the people of Taiwan" for U.N. membership under the name Taiwan, TAIUNA President Chen Lung-chu claimed, adding that the New York rally is expecting 2,000 participants, while a crowd of 500,000 is expected at the Kaohsiung rally.

Public opinion polls show that more than half the respondents support the U.N. bid under the name Taiwan, said Rev. William Lo, who serves as TAIUNA secretary-general.

The delegation has a diverse cross-section, Lo said, as it includes students, newlyweds, senior citizens and professors, all of whom volunteered for the trip. In New York, the members will distribute flyers promoting the U.N. bid and will try to make Americans understand Taiwan's situation and position with direct conversation on the streets.

The delegation is scheduled to return to Taiwan Sept. 22.

Seven golds for Taiwan on World Wheelchair, Amputee Games opening day

Taipei, Sept. 12 (CNA) Home team Taiwan got off to a strong start Wednesdady, winning seven gold medals, four silvers, and five bronzes on the opening day of the 2007 World Wheelchair and Amputee Games, which are being held in Taiwan for the first time Sept. 9-19.

The host did surprisingly well in table tennis and shooting, the only categories held Wednesday. In table tennis, Taiwan swept three golds, three silvers and four bronzes, taking all the medals in women's wheelchair and standing events.

Hsu Chih-shan, a poliomyelitis patient since he was three, pulled off the biggest upset of the day, defeating his teammate Chu Jen-te 3-2 in men's standing event final after trailing 2-0 early. Hsu, who ranked 15th in the world, said he hoped that the gold medal can earn him enough points to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.

The eight events in the competition are archery, athletics, fencing, powerlifting, shooting, swimming, badminton and table tennis. Apart from powerlifting, the events are qualifiers for the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.

The organizers of the event include the Chinese Taipei Sports Federation for the Disabled (CTSFD) and the Chinese Taipei Paralympics Committee.

Taiwan won 11 gold medals, 16 silvers and six bronzes in the inaugural biennial competition held in Brazil in 2005.

Ex-Japanese official calls for launch of East Asia Security Forum

Taipei, Sept. 11 (CNA) A visiting, formerly high-ranking, Japanese official called for the establishment of an East Asian Security Forum to tackle various security issues in the region in a speech delivered in Taipei Tuesday.

He also encouraged Taiwan to pursue in a substantial, instead of an identity-based way, its goal of integrating itself into the East Asian community of nations.

Taiwan is a substantial entity in the East Asia region and should, step by step, pursue integration into the East Asian security network, said Hitoshi Tanaka, Japan's former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, now a senior fellow at Japan's Center for International Exchange (JCIE).

Tanaka, a senior diplomat with a 37-years experience who recently retired, discussed a wide range of topics, including North Korea, China and the future architecture of security in East Asia, in a panel discussion organized by Taiwan Thinktank.

China presents huge opportunity and considerable uncertainty, Tanaka said, given that it needs strong domestic economic growth to maintain the substantial development. He would like to see China make the most of that opportunity, act responsibly, and learn to "socialize" with the international community -- for instance by abiding by safety and industrial standards and other international rules.

East Asia is rapidly changing in many ways, which is why it is in need of a new regional body capable of taking proactive steps on security issues such as human and drug trafficking, infectious disease, resource scarcity, maritime piracy, and WMD proliferation, all of which continue to pose threats to regional stability, Tanaka said.

The East Asian community is envisioned as supplying multilateral, multi-layer processes and mechanisms. It will not be a single institution or organization, he said.

Taiwanese, Canadian companies share information on `functional' food

Taipei, Sept. 11 (CNA) Taiwanese and Canadian biotechnology companies exchanged information of "functional food and nutraceuticals" and looked for potential partners in the rapidly growing sector in a video conference Tuesday.

Almost 80 representatives from Taiwanese companies attended the conference titled "Canada-Taiwan Functional Food and Nutraceuticals Video Conference," which was organized by the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei (CTOT).

Seven seven Canadian companies made presentations in the videoconference in the hope of finding partners in Taiwan.

Canada enjoys a leading position in the "functional food and nutraceuticals" industry, which has more than 300 companies and a domestic market of C$6.6 billion (US$6.24 billion) annually, said CTOT Deputy Director Hugh Moeser.

With an estimated annual overall market of NT$25.6 billion and an increasing interest in nutrition, Taiwan has great potential for Canadian companies, said Wu Chao-hsiung, Managing Director of the Taiwanese company Sentosa Co. Ltd. in a presentation.

In fact, Taiwan is already Canada's fourth-largest trading partner in the industry, Wu noted.

According to a survey of more than 3,000 Taiwanese white-collar workers, more than 86 percent of respondents have bought dietary supplements in the last 12 months, Wu said, adding that vitamins, chicken essence and grape seeds are among the most popular of these products in Taiwan.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Taiwan media encouraged to make investment, value ethics

Taipei, Sept. 8 (CNA) Taiwan media were encouraged to value journalism ethics, make investment and know what themselves and the public want to be responsible media, a visiting American journalism professor said Saturday.

While the issues of commercialism and journalism ethics are global phonomenon, it takes patience and insistency for a young democracy like Taiwan to shake off its "media chaos" and achieve responsible journalism, which has taken the U.S. more than 200 years to do so, said Doreen Weisenhaus, Director of Journalism and Media Study Center in Hong Kong University.

Weisenhaus, who worked for the New York Times prior to joining Hong Kong University, shared her thoughts with more than 200 participants in a forum titled "Responsible media in democracy? ", which was hosted by Lung Ying-tai Cultural Foundation.

The New York Times, one of the most influential newspapers in the world, was a tabloid reporting sensational news before it finally decided to make a change and came up with its famous motto -- "Good quality is good business, " she said.

The owner of the newspaper invest its profit back to the management and operation of the company for the following 25 years and, little by little, reversed its once tarnished image and credibility, she said, adding that Taiwan media can learn from the experience.

Media in Hong Kong experienced the same growing pain of their Taiwanese counterparts, she said, but certain events, such as the Article 23 of the Basic Law and the SARS outbreak in 2003, prompted the media to start making a change.

"Sometimes it takes external events like those to make the media change," she said.

Commercialism is not necessarily bad, said Weisenhaus who's visiting Taiwan for the first time since 2000. But media are also responsible to the society because the public placed their trust on the media, and in the U.S., media is the only private sector that is protected by the Constitution.

Opposition to referendum does not mean U.S. anti-democratic: official

Taipei, Sept. 8 (CNA) The United States' opposition to Democratic Progressive Party's drive to hold a referendum on Taiwan's U.N. bid does not mean that the United States is anti-democratic, a former U.S. national security official said Saturday.

James Steinberg, who served as the Deputy National Security Advisor to former U.S. President Bill Clinton from 1996-2000, noted that the U.S. government has been supporting the development of Taiwan's democracy, adding that its opposition to the U.N. bid referendum should not be interpreted as an anti-democratic move.

He also described the Taiwan people's perception that the Democratic Party is leaning toward China as "baffling, " when answering a question from the audience after delivering a speech, titled "The National Security of Taiwan, Japan and the United States -- How Best to Achieve It, " at the World Taiwanese Congress held in Taipei.

The Democratic Party has been always critical of China's human rights record and currency policy, Steinberg said. He noted that Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, has long been a Taiwan supporter and that it was then President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, who sent an aircraft carrier group to patrol the Taiwan Strait in 1996 during the Taiwan Strait Crisis, he pointed out.

"It's difficult to understand where that perception came from, " he said, adding that "whether Taiwan-U.S. relations have been going well during the last seven years, I'll leave that for your own judgment."

Asked about the possible U.S. reaction if China attacks Taiwan, Steinberg said the United States has historically "had a pretty good record when things really matter."

Regarding Taiwan's participation in international organizations, Steinberg said he understands how Taiwan must feel being excluded, adding that "there is no reason to go through those contortions of names" and that "substance -- namely participation -- is far more important."

Steinberg is currently the director of the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. He served in various positions in the Clinton administration from 1993-2000 before working for the Brookings Institution from 2001-2005.

Conference encourages stronger Taiwan-India economic ties

Taipei, Sept. 4 (CNA) Taiwan businesses are encouraged to take advantage of India's talent and investment environment so that both sides can foster already robust economic ties, Indian delegates said in a conference Tuesday.

The future looks optimistic, said India-Taipei Association (ITA) Director-General T.P. Seetharam, as during his first seven months in office, the number of Taiwanese companies attending trade conferences has grown from 80 to 150. The ITA is India's official representative office in Taiwan.

"It's not a problem of whether Taiwanese companies will invest in India but how and when they will do so. Taiwanese businesses are currently exploring India in every aspect, " Seetharam said.

More than 2,000 Indian engineers and professionals working in Taiwan have made great contributions to Taiwan's high-tech industry, said Yu Shyi-kun, chairman of the Taiwan-India Cooperation Council (TICC).

While most Taiwanese corporations still consider China as their primary investment destination, Yu said India present great opportunities for Taiwan businesses trying to expand their global reach.

Economic relations between Taiwan and India have been growing fast since the Taiwan government initiated an action plan in 2006 to boost bilateral economic ties, said Economic Vice Minister Hsieh Fadah.

Up to January this year, bilateral trade compared to the same period of the previous year had risen 112 percent, Hsieh said.

"We're at the beginning of a very exciting story. India and Taiwan are now more closely intertwined, " said Ajay Shankar, secretary of India's Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.

Indian CEO provides investment strategies for Taiwanese businesses

Taipei, Sept. 4 (CNA) Key sectors such as ICT (information and communication technology) , LCD (liquid crystal display) and semiconductors should lead the way for Taiwanese businesses that want to make their footprints in India, the chief executive of an Indian enterprise said Tuesday in a Taipei conference.

Gopal Srinivasan, director of TVS Electronics and chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industries, Tamil Nadu, briefed more than 100 Taiwanese companies on appropriate strategies for investing in India at the conference on the advantages and prospects for Taiwan-India economic, trade and industrial collaboration that was organized by the Taiwan-India Cooperation Council (TICC).

Key sectors in Taiwan, which include ICT, LCD and semicionductors, textiles and apparel, and leather and footwear, should lead the way so others have the confidence to follow, he said.

The investment value of the Taiwanese ICT sector in India has surpassed US$600 million while the investment of the leather and footwear sector has exceeded US$127 million.

Taiwanese companies were also encouraged to make India an integral part of their knowledge strategy, as India has a large pool of talent. The focus for Taiwanese corporations should be on addressing domestic demand, since India is a large market, he added.

Investing in India makes sense for Taiwanese companies, he went on. According to a survey, he said, over 69 percent of respondents reported a higher profitability average in India than they did globally.

French street art development serves as example for Taiwan

Taipei, Sept. 3 (CNA) The development of French street art is the result of a 30-year process of cultivation. While the French experience serves as a good example for Taiwan, it will also take Taiwan a long time before street art blossoms, said a French cultural worker Monday.

Street art in France, which originated in the 1970s in the wake of the 1968 university students' social movement, provides an example for Taiwan to follow, but that experience can neither be duplicated nor copied because it takes time for any art form or culture to grow, said Elodie Presles, a producer at France's national street art center in Marseilles.

The French government has been playing an important role in the development of street art, supporting artists and cultural events with funds from national budgets, Presles said, adding that the government recognizes that art and culture are invaluable national assets, and compensates unemployed artists to encourage them to pursue their artistic careers.

In France there are hundreds of art festivals held in various cities every year, but "Rome wasn't built in a day. Most of them started out as an event of two to three groups and gradually expanded to 100 - 300 groups today," she said.

The national street art center in Marseilles would like to invite Taiwanese artists to perform in France in the future as the center aimed at establishing an European and a global network of street art, Presles said.

Traditionally, city streets have been considered "second-rate" performance spaces in Taiwan, said Su Yao-hua, chief executive of Taipei Artists Village (TAV).

It was the same in France in the 1970s, when street performers were not considered "real artists, " Presles said. Things changed in the 1980s though, she said, when graffiti, hip-hop, and street acrobatics were accepted by the public as genuine art forms.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

U.S. urged to respect Taiwan democracy, people

Taipei, Sept. 1 (CNA) The U.S. helped make Taiwan a democratic country and it is now time for the U.S. to respect Taiwan's democracy and the will of its people, academics said in a seminar Saturday.

The seminar, which was organized by the pro-independence Taiwan Thinktank, discusses Taiwan-U.S. relations following public statements from a number of U.S. high-ranking officials that the U.S. opposes a U.N. referendum and pointing out that the status of Taiwan, or the Republic of China, remains an undecided issue as far as the U.S. is concerned.

"It's interesting to me that the U.S. pressured the former Kuomintang government to make Taiwan a democratic country for decades and that is now seems it does not want Taiwan to be 'that' democratic, " said Lo Chih-cheng, a professor at Soochow University.

"The U.S., a full democracy itself, does not understand how a democratic country like Taiwan is run. It has claimed that the referendum is merely an `election tool' but it does not understand why over 70 percent of Taiwanese people support the referendum, " Lo claimed.

"It seems to me that the U.S. government still has the mentality that as long as it controls Taiwan's leader, everything will be fine. It does not realize that when it blasted President Chen Shui-bian, it criticized 70 percent of the people of Taiwan as well, " he claimed.

The U.S. overestimates China's intentions and plans to retaliate against Taiwan's U.N. referendum and underestimates Taiwan's determination to push for the referendum, said Lin Cheng-yi, a research fellow at Academia Sinica.

Chen was correct when he said that there would be no turning back with the referendum because it is what the majority of Taiwanese want and it is his obligation to carry out the people's will, Lin said.

A long-term strategy has been lacking in Washington's Taiwan policy, as the U.S. only seeks to secure its own interests and is willing to sacrifice Taiwan, said Yen Jiann-fa, chairman of the Research and Planning Committee under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"The U.S. said it opposes the referendum, but it has not offered a viable solution for improving Taiwan's international participation, "said Yen.

Scholars concerned about possible anti-U.S. sentiment

Taipei, Sept. 1 (CNA) A series of harsh criticism and strong opposition toward Taiwan's planned U.N. referendum from high-ranking U.S. officials recently could stir up even more anti-U.S. sentiment in Taiwan, academics said in a seminar Saturday.

"Recent public opinion polls show that U.S. popularity in Taiwan has been decreasing as it has been leaning toward China in handling the Taiwan Strait issue, " said Lo Chih-cheng, a political professor at Soochow University, in a seminar organized by the pro-independence Taiwan Thinktank.

"The Americans should pay close attention to this, " Lo said, because anti-U.S. sentiment has been almost non-existent during the past decades in Taiwan. If the sentiment develops into anti-Americanism, we will probably see a fundamental and structural change in Taiwan-U.S. relations in the future, he predicted.

East Asian Affairs Senior Director at the U. S. National Security Council Dennis Wilder pointed out Friday that Taiwan's statehood is considered by the U.S. to be an undecided issue. The comment came after U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte told a Chinese TV station in an Aug. 29 interview that the U.S. opposes a Taiwan referendum on U.N. membership.

Tung Li-wen, deputy executive of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, agreed that the current intensity of anti-U.S. sentiment is unprecedented, saying that it is because the U.S. is "actually helping China change the status quo and pressuring Taiwan to kowtow to China."

"The worst case scenario would be that Taiwan becomes not only an anti-communist country but also anti-U.S. at the same time, " Tung warned.

Most Taiwanese have the impression that the U.S. has been putting much more pressure on Taiwan rather than asking China to remove its missiles, improve it human rights situation and stop squeezing Taiwan's international space, Lo said.

People have the impression that Taiwan's vibrant and developing democracy, which the U.S. has called for since the end of World War II, has not been helpful in upgrading Taiwan's status in the international community, according to Chen Wen-hsien, a professor at National Chengchi University.

Vietnamese cultural festival to be held in Taipei

Taipei, Aug. 31 (CNA) A Vietnamese cultural festival will be held in Taipei Sunday, Vietnam's Independence Day, the Taipei city government's Department of Labor announced Friday.

The celebration, which will be held in 228 Memorial Park, is aimed at easing the homesickness of Vietnamese workers in Taipei City and to recognize their contributions to the city, said Department of Labor Commissioner Su Yin-kuei.

One of the most special events in the festival will be a "slow cycling" competition, Su said. The difference of this traditional Vietnamese competition to other cycling competitions is that the last cyclist to arrive at the finishing line is declared the winner.

"The unique event probably appropriately reflects the characteristics of the Vietnamese as they are always laid back and easy-going, " according to Su.

Three dance troupes -- Minh-hai, Datviet and Quoc Vuong -- that consist of Vietnamese workers will also perform.

Nguyen Ba Hai, head of the Vietnam Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei's Division of Labor Administration, encouraged all Vietnamese workers and families with Vietnamese spouses to take part in the event so that children from these families can better understand the culture of their mothers' home country, Nguyen said.

The event is a part of the 2007 Southeast Asian Cultural Activities series organized by the Migrant Workers' Cultural Center (MWCC) , an organization under the city government. In addition to Vietnam, the MWCC also organizes similar cultural events for workers from Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines every year.

Elections, media hinder transitional justice in Taiwan: academics

Taipei, Aug. 31 (CNA) Scholars discussing transitional justice agreed in a seminar Thursday that while transitional justice should have arisen out of a non-partisan campaign, electoral politics and the media have become necessary means of pursuing those ends.

"Transitional justice in Taiwan should have been built on a non-partisan consensus because justice is a universal value. But more often than not, it has became a partisan movement because the related bills failed to pass through the Legislative Yuan, " said Ku Chung-hwa, a professor at National Chengchi University (NCU).

Rather than operating along ideal lines, the movement has become "an electoral mobilization tool, " said Ku in a seminar titled "Complete Justice, Better Democracy" and organized by the pro-independence Taiwan Thinktank.

It is easy to understand why the main opposition Kuomintang (KMT) has done all it could to block bills and oppose the campaign, because the movement was directed to the KMT, said Hsu Yung-ming, a research fellow at Academia Sinica.

Transitional justice in Taiwan cannot be achieved without a legislative majority, which means the people of Taiwan have to voice their opinion in the elections, Hsu said.

Media bias is another of the major reasons that transitional justice has been so difficult to implement. What Taiwan needs, said Lilian Wang, a journalism professor at NCU, is a public forum and mass media outlets to publicize the truth so that people might understand their "real history."