圖 新聞投稿
王院長英文演講稿-The Critical Power in Taiwan: The Role of Legislative Yuan in National Development

Dr. Anthony Saich, Director of the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation; Dr. Julian Chang, Executive Director of the Rajawali Foundation Institute for Asia; Dr. Steven M. Goldstein, Director of the Taiwan Studies Workshop; Professors and Researchers; Members of the Press; Ladies and Gentlemen:Good afternoon!

It is an honor and a pleasure to address Harvard’s internationally renowned John F. Kennedy School of Government, which has produced countless distinguished scholars since its establishment. Today I will be sharing with you Taiwan’s achievements in democratic development. I want to thank the Kennedy School for providing this opportunity, and all the distinguished guests for coming today.

Throughout history, the driving force behind the development of both the material and spiritual aspects of human civilization has been the pursuit of prosperity and progress. In order to improve their living standards, human beings have sought to improve every aspect of their lives, including their political, economic, social, educational and cultural systems. However, due to geographical and historical differences, human civilization has taken many paths based on the varieties of time and place. At one point in time, the human civilizations of different regions began to inspire one another with a wide variety of responses, including conflict, exchange, integration or cooperation. Interaction has produced a rich diversified range of results. I believe that the most significant development in the spiritual development of human civilization is the respect for democracy, freedom and human rights. Although countries have diverse values and political systems, these values have gained greater acceptance throughout the world. Humans have advanced from simply pursuinga full stomach to promoting human dignity and honorable ideals.

In the midst of the spread of democracy, freedom and human rights, the Republic of China (ROC) became the first democracy in the ethnic Chinese world, as well as the first democratic republic in East Asia. Embracing both the social values of the East and the democratic values of the West, the ROC will celebrate its centennial this year. My country has brought about an economic miracle and democratic achievements that have caught the attention of the entire world. Over the last century, Taiwan has undergone a number of struggles and transformations. The primary driving force behind Taiwan’s development and promotion of democracy, economic development, freedom and human rights is Taiwan’s Congress, the Legislative Yuan.

Taiwan’s legislative reform has achieved great success despite the many obstacles to its fruition

Over the past century, the Republic of China has encountered numerous challenges, including internal strife and external aggression, and the government has endeavored to realize the ideals and aims of constitutional democracy as prescribed by Dr. Sun Yat-sen. After the Kuomingtang (KMT) relocated the central government to Taiwan in 1949, Since the 1950s, my country promoted self-governance by holding local elections. Taiwan producedan “economic miracle” in the 1970s that received worldwide

In 1972, Taiwan held its first election to expand the Legislative Yuan and in July of 1987, martial law was lifted In September of the same year, the first opposition party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was founded, reflecting the vitality and passion of Taiwan’s pluralistic society.

In order to deepen democratization, Taiwan held its first direct and comprehensive legislative election in 1992. Through this democratic process, a large number of DPP members were elected to the Legislative Yuan, forming a counterbalance to the ruling KMT party. This election remains one of the most significant milestones in Taiwan’s pursuit of pluralistic democracy Elections allow citizens to experience democracy by choosing their choice of leaders. The role of the Legislative Yuan is to give the people a voice in government policy. The election of 1992 fulfilled the role of the Legislative Yuan and laid a solid foundation for Taiwan’s democratic development.

During the process of democratization, a wide array of difficulties and challenges had to be overcome. However, both the ruling and opposition parties faced these obstacles rationally in order to realize the goal of democracy as smoothly as possible Professor Samuel Huntington postulated that, in order for a country’s democratic conditions to be consolidated, power needs to change hands twice through peaceful elections. Compared to some of the other emerging democracies that have experienced bloodshed and major setbacks along the path of democratization, we have been fortunate, and the people of Taiwan take pride in their democratic achievements. The legislative elections of 1992 paved the way for Taiwan to hold the direct presidential election of 1996, and experience its first change in power in 2000, as well as its second one in 2008, all of which took place peacefully. Thus, Taiwan can now be considered a consolidated democracy.

Throughout our democratization, the United States has been a role model, exerting a profound influence on our democratic evolution. Many Taiwanese have received higher education in the United States. After graduating, many have returned to Taiwan to work or teach, bringing with them not only strong academic credentials, but also American culture, social norms and democratic ideals. It was natural for them to convey the democratic values and political philosophy of the United States back in Taiwan. They have helped, and continue to help, foster cordial relations between our two countries. Likewise, they have had a strong impact on Taiwan’s younger generations. In this way democracy has taken root and has borne fruit in Taiwan. With a newly formed identity, the younger generations of Taiwan have not only put these ideals into practice, they have also helped consolidate them. This development serves as concrete proof that the United States and Taiwan share the values of freedom and democracy.

The Legislative Yuan’s role in the development of Taiwan’s economy and relations with mainland China.

The Legislative Yuan not only has earned a place in the history of Taiwan’s democratization, but also has played a role in the restructuring and stabilization of Taiwan’s economic development and its relations with mainland China. For example, the financial crisis of September 2008 had a negative impact on the entire world, and Taiwan was no exception. Accordingly, the Legislative Yuan rendered the government staunch support to help the people of Taiwan weather the storm. The legislators made their best efforts to boost Taiwan’s economy and stabilize the job market. In addition, the Legislative Yuan formulated,amended and passed legislation aimed at ensuring the welfare of the people, legislation such as the Statute for Industrial Innovation, the Special Statue for Distributing Consumption Vouchers to Revitalize the Economy, and the Special Statute for Expanding Investment in Public Works to Revitalize the Economy. These measures empowered the government to take even stronger measures to stimulate Taiwan’s economy.

As for cross-strait relations, the Legislative Yuan has fulfilled its obligation to oversee the government,conducting rounds of deliberations on the accords signed with mainland China, such as the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) of August 2010. The ECFA is a milestone in the economic and trade cooperation between Taiwan and mainland China. I am delighted to see the Joint Statement between the United States and mainland China issued after the talks between President Obama and Secretary General Hu Jintao on January 19 were completed. In the Joint Statement, President Obama expressed, “The Untied States applauded the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait…The United States supports the peaceful development of relations across the Taiwan Strait and looks forward to efforts by both sides to increase dialogues and interactions in economic, political and other fields, and to develop more positive and stable cross-Strait relations.” This statement testifies that the ECFA passed Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan is in line with the shared interests of both sides of the Taiwan Strait. It also makes concrete contributions to the development of long-term interaction among the United States, mainland China and Taiwan.

The Legislative Yuan serves as a channel for the people to express their opinions as well as an overseer of government policy. Therefore, the Legislative Yuan can use its influence to make the implementation of government policy more efficient. The Legislative Yuan, along with the trust and power of the people of Taiwan, has shown support for the government’s accords signed with mainland China, and has instructed the government to carry out various economic and trade cooperation projects. For example, the sixth round of negotiations with China held in December 2010 focused on healthcare, medicine and investment protection. All of these issues are of great concern to the people of Taiwan. Cross-strait accords cannot be completed exclusively by the Executive branch;suchagreements also require that the legislature gain an understanding of and respect for public opinion. In so doing, the Legislative Yuan can better implement government policies and cross-strait regulations, as well as complete the deliberations. From this example, one can see that the Legislative Yuan and the people are like two sides of a coin. On one hand, the Legislative Yuan echoes public opinion. On the other hand, it safeguards the rights of the people and protects their interests by watching over the government. In another example from 2008, I met Mr. Chen Yunlin, the Chairman of the Association of Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS). During our meeting, I explicitly expressed our hope that Beijing would dismantle itsmissiles targeting Taiwan, and stop hampering Taiwan’s participation in the international community. As the President of the Legislative Yuan and an upholder of public opinion, I am confident that these two aspirations are shared by all the people of Taiwan. Only if mainland China extends goodwill with respect to these two concerns can the people of Taiwan look at cross-strait cooperation and reciprocity in a positive light. This illustrates that, as the ultimate protector of democracy, the Legislative Yuan needs to fulfill its responsibilities and spare no effort to safeguard Taiwan’s security and democracy.

Taiwan’s foreign relations and cross-strait relations

In its pursuit of democracy, the Republic of China (Taiwan) strivesto strike a balance between domestic issues, cross-strait relations and external relations. Decisions must be based on the goal of promot ing the welfare of the people, social stability and national security. Taiwan’s political and economic stability and development have attracted a great amount of attention from the rest of the world, and