DPP touts starting
regional alliance to boost democracy
By Chris Wang / Staff reporter
Academics and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday advocated the
establishment of a democratic alliance, based on participants¡¦ firm belief in
democracy, to advance human rights and freedom, and to combat the global
phenomenon of a retreating democratic movement.
DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (Ä¬s©÷), who initiated the campaign on a visit to
Japan in February, told a forum organized by the DPP at its headquarters in
Taipei yesterday that the value-based alliance would seek to consolidate East
Asian democratic countries in particular.
The alliance would not be a forum for military cooperation, but a platform of
governments, political parties and societies, DPP Policy Research Committee
executive director Joseph Wu (§d°xÀè) said.
Democracies, including Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Australia, India and the US,
which share the same democratic values should be able to build a strong
partnership on regional issues, Wu said, adding that the alliance would
prioritize cooperation over competition.
The initiative is a new form of diplomacy that emphasizes core values ¡X the soul
of a nation ¡X over short-term strategic interests, former deputy foreign
minister Michael Kao (°ª^Z) said.
Academia Sinica political scientist Hsu Szu-chien (®}´µ»ü) defended criticism of
the alliance over its ¡§potential to bring back a Cold War structure.¡¨
¡§It does not advocate a new Cold War structure in East Asia and it should not
either,¡¨ Hsu said, adding that civil societies, including non-governmental
organizations, should be the primary players in the alliance, which encourages
transparency, mutual trust and peace.
The democratic system and its values, and the process of its development, is
Taiwan¡¦s most precious non-transferable asset, said Michael Hsiao (¿½·s·×),
chairman of the Academia Sinica¡¦s Institute of Sociology.