高雄市長陳菊於美國CSIS演說|「台灣價值就是新亞洲價值」(附華文‧英文全文)

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陳菊於美東時間20日下午4時受邀至美國「戰略暨國際研究中心」(CSIS)發表「我的4000天與40年:台灣的民主之路」演說。pic via 民報

陳俊廷/高雄報導

高雄市長陳菊於美東時間20日下午4時受邀至美國「戰略暨國際研究中心」(CSIS)發表演說,以「我的4000天與40年:台灣的民主之路」為題,透過個人40年政治生涯及12年的高雄執政經驗,向國際分享台灣爭取民主的歷程與對人權價值的實現,在這個英國首相文翠珊、美國前總統夫人希拉蕊以及蔡英文總統都發表過演說的國際舞台,陳菊表示:「台灣價值,是新的亞洲價值。台灣雖小,卻可以在亞洲扮演很大的角色。」她期待台灣成為亞洲的安定力量,更呼籲美台攜手合作,共同以自由民主理念捍衛印太地區及全球的和平,現場座無虛席,反應熱烈。

陳菊從19歲的生命經歷描述台灣戒嚴下的政治肅殺,到1979年的「高雄事件」讓包括她在內的黨外政治領導者被以叛亂罪起訴,遭受死刑的威脅,但也在國際關切和台灣人自覺下,台灣的自由民主開始澎湃發展,40年來三次中央政權輪替、女性在公共事務上的大量掘起、人權理念落實在施政改革上等議題,民主自由是台灣人掙來的成就,也是對國際的貢獻。

陳菊同時細數高雄12年執政,從生態、交通、城市安全到港區再造,高雄由重工業城市翻變為多元宜居城市,她在這個城市革命,也在這個城市完成改革。對於民進黨的二度執政,陳市長相信蔡英文總統會以溫和堅持的方式完成改革與轉型正義,並肯定蔡總統以穩健風格維護台灣主權,同時對中國釋出和平交往善意的兩岸政策。

陳菊的演說透過網路即時實況轉播,吸引華盛頓中英媒體近20家媒體到場採訪,並接受現場聽眾提問,在被問到對台美關係期待,陳市長表示台灣尋求合作,也要在經濟和國防自衛能力上自我加強,她強調「民主不是天上掉下來的禮物,是台灣很多代人努力的成果,期待有共同民主價值的美國和國際給台灣更多空間和合作。」

另外,對於與會來賓提問有關台灣發展新南向政策,陳市長認為台灣以目前有的優勢面向,例如醫療、農業等創造與新南向國家更多交流符合彼此利益,尤其有很多來自新南向國家的女性成為高雄媳婦,高雄的教育制度鼓勵她們的孩子學習母語,這些都是擴大與新南向國家交流的基礎。也有中國留學生問起台灣的民主改革創造了像陳菊市長這樣進入體制改革,與中國六四的民運人士命運截然不同,陳菊表示台灣的民主運動是台灣前輩基於不恐懼不受壓迫、信仰人權民主所做一代又一代的努力,她祝福所有追求民主自由普世價值的努力。

​「美國戰略暨國際研究中心」(CSIS)去年6月先來函邀請陳菊市長前往發表演說,8月再由該中心資深顧問葛來儀(Bonnie Glaser)率領年輕政治學者訪問團來訪、面邀,陳菊接受邀請並期待透過這個世界性的舞台,讓國際更加認識台灣以及台灣對人權、民主等普世價值的努力和貢獻。

陳菊市長個人演說後,陳市長也與CSIS資深顧問葛來儀女士進行對談,並回覆現場觀眾提問,透過不同的對話模式與提問主題,陳菊市長生動以個人生命故事標記台灣民主發展的歷程,從看禁書、評論政治都可能在台灣成為政治犯,到現今台灣人有各種選舉,進而選出女總統、女市長、女議長與四成國會議員都是女性,說明台灣社會現今完全的言論自由,她再以香港、中國以及東南亞各國年輕人都嚮往台灣的民主自由為例,陳菊市長透過CSIS智庫演說告訴國際,自由民主是台灣最珍貴的資產,更是連結亞洲、獻給國際最強大的價值。

《陳菊。CSIS 講稿》2018.03.20

《我的4000天與40年:台灣的民主之路》全文:

感謝主持人的介紹。今天非常榮幸能夠來這裡分享台灣以及高雄的轉型經驗。在剛剛的影片中,大家看到高雄,那是一個文化多元,人民熱情,美麗的港灣城市。歡迎大家來高雄玩。

但是,高雄並不是像天鵝那樣的天生麗質,她經歷過半世紀的重工業污染,曾經是隻醜小鴨。高雄有一條河流叫做「愛河」。美國在台協會(AIT)高雄分處的前任處長杜維浩先生(Bob Dewitt)常常說一個笑話,他說他年輕的時候來過高雄,當時的愛河很臭,他總是先聞到愛河,才看到愛河。但2014年他再度來高雄任職時,愛河已經變成漂亮的觀光景點。

我對高雄有很特別的感情。因為,高雄是台灣民主運動的聖地,我年輕的時候,在這裡發生過「高雄事件」,許多人因為反抗國民黨的威權統治而被逮捕。我也是其中之一,而且被認為是首謀者,面對可能判死刑的威脅。沒想到,後來我竟然成為這個城市的市長。

過去40年,台灣經歷過,從威權到民主的戲劇性改變。過去12年4000多天,高雄也經歷過,從重污染城市到宜居城市的巨大改變。

今天我很高興有機會來這裡,跟各位分享我的40年跟4000天,也就是台灣跟高雄的轉型故事。

《我的政治啟蒙》

1968年,我19歲,還是個學生,就開始擔任省議員郭雨新先生的助理,幫他整理文件。郭先生是當時還很微弱的民主運動的一員。

1949年國民黨來台灣後,就開始實施軍事戒嚴,禁止人民組織反對黨,國會議員都是在中國大陸選出來的,幾十年不必改選。任何人反對政府,即使只是讀一本禁書,講幾句抱怨的話,都可能成為政治犯,被判重罪,甚至死刑。郭雨新先生反對一黨專制,嚮往西方的自由民主。我在他的身邊,逐漸瞭解台灣的政治,也一步一步地捲入歷史的漩渦。

1971年台灣被排出聯合國,台灣人開始有危機感,擔心台灣的前途。「國會全面改選」逐漸變成民主運動的訴求。國民黨被迫開放了少數國會席次讓人民來選舉。當時禁止組織反對黨,我們就自稱「黨外」,就是「國民黨之外」的意思。那時候,每次選舉都變成黨外運動的舞台,得到民眾熱烈的支持。

為了救援政治犯,我在幾位外國朋友協助下,將政治犯名單送到國際特赦協會,結果觸怒了國民黨政府。1978年的某一天,警察突然搜索我的公寓,我躲到彰化郭佳信神父的天主堂裡,但沒有幾天就被發現了。郭神父被驅逐出境回來美國,他三年前過世,願他在天堂安息。這是我第一次被逮捕。據說當時美國政府有對國民黨施壓,我只被關了13天就被釋放。

《高雄事件》

1978年年底,美國跟台灣斷交,跟中國建交。國民黨馬上停止已經進行一半的國會選舉,整個台灣陷入巨大的不安。黨外人士為了自救,發行了美麗島雜誌,宣傳民主的理念。

1979年12月10日是世界人權日,那天晚上美麗島雜誌社在高雄舉辦遊行,沒想到國民黨藉機大逮捕,這就是影響台灣民主發展最關鍵的「高雄事件」。一百多人被逮捕,其中八位被以唯一死刑的叛亂罪起訴。這八位中有兩位女性,呂秀蓮跟我。呂秀蓮後來擔任過副總統。

我常常被問到台灣女性的公共參與。請看,八名政治犯中,女性佔了四分之一,成績似乎不錯吧?黨外運動有很多傑出的女性,她們的貢獻贏得了民眾的尊敬。有的後來從事社會運動,推動社會改革,有的當選立法委員或者縣市長,現在的立法委員中,女性佔了38%。

那次國際人權日遊行,我們的訴求不過是:解除戒嚴,實施民主政治,讓人民可以組織反對黨,可以選舉自己的國會,卻以叛亂罪被起訴。

過去的政治案件都是秘密審判。但因為高雄事件引起了全世界的關心,國民黨被迫同意公開審判。我們在法庭上為自己以及為民主辯護,媒體幾乎逐字報導,變成很成功的民主教育。民眾發現,這些所謂的叛國者,原來才是真正的愛國者,更多人同情我們,支持我們。

被逮捕後,我們完全被隔離,不知道外界發生了什麼事。一直到了法庭上,才知道發生了「林宅血案」。同案的林義雄先生的家被歹徒侵入,媽媽以及兩個七歲大的雙胞胎女兒都被殺死,九歲的長女奐均(Judy)受重傷。法庭上大家都哭了。我知道參加民主運動必須付出代價,沒想到竟然是這麼殘酷的代價。林家24小時都被秘密警察監視,會發生這種事,顯然是要殺雞儆猴,在警告我們。林義雄的媽媽和女兒跟我都很親近,這件事情在我心中留下了無法磨滅的傷痕。好在奐均後來被救活了,她被送來美國,成為一位鋼琴家。我很高興,奐均後來結婚了,先生是牧師,美國人,他們現在住在台灣,有五個小孩。

林宅血案發生後,國際上的壓力更大,國民黨不得不放棄判我們死刑,我被判了12年。美麗島大逮捕本來是想消滅民主運動,沒想到反而刺激民主運動發展得更快。後來每一次選舉,黨外的席次都大幅增加。

1986年初,被關了六年半之後,我突然被釋放。我很快就加入一個秘密小組,計畫組織反對黨。那年9月,民進黨成立。出乎我們意料之外,國民黨並沒有出手逮捕。因為民主運動在台灣已經成為潮流,民眾的支持讓他們有所忌憚。第二年,台灣終於解除戒嚴。民主的曙光出現。

解除戒嚴後,民主運動與社會運動蓬勃發展。1992年底,立法委員全面改選,人民終於可以選出自己的國會。在美國這是理所當然的事,在台灣卻是有史以來的第一次。

兩年後,陳水扁先生當選台北市長,邀請我擔任社會局長。我從體制外的反對者,變成了政府官員。

《政黨輪替》

從威權轉變到民主,關鍵不只在能否公平投票、贏得政權,而是選輸的執政黨會不會交出政權?真正的考驗就發生在2000年,陳水扁當選總統的時刻。

我們以前連做夢都不敢想的,竟然實現了。那時很多人擔心,執政50年的國民黨會不會拒絕交出政權,甚至擔心會發生軍事政變。2004年陳水扁當選連任時,國民黨候選人拒絕承認選舉的結果,號召他的支持者佔領了總統府前的廣場好幾個月。好在,這些考驗台灣都順利通過了。

民主制度對台灣造成多大的改變?我來跟各位分享兩個實例。

陳水扁第一次當選總統時,我擔任勞動部長,當時叫作勞委會主委,開始了一系列的勞動法令改革:每週工時從48小時降為42小時,週六可以休息。建立就業保險制度,讓失業勞工可以領失業給付。改革勞工退休金制度,讓每個勞工年老時都領得到退休金。我們也立法保障兩性在職場上的平等權。

這些改革過去談了一、二十年都無法實現,為什麼民進黨上台馬上就作得到?這就是民主政治的好處。威權時代的政府高高在上,根本不必聽人民的聲音。民主時代的政府,才會在乎人民的幸福。

第二個例子是台灣的年輕世代。政黨輪替之後,民主的聲音開始進入校園,對後來產生了很大的影響。2014年發生了「太陽花學運」,參與者大多是在解嚴之後出生,心中沒有威權的陰影,在正常教育下長大的年輕人。他們不管來自「外省」家庭還是「本省」家庭,都自認為是台灣人。就好像美國移民家庭的下一代都認同美國一樣。這群年輕人認為,國民黨政府的經濟政策過度依賴中國,已經危害到國家安全,因此他們佔領國會23天以表示抗議。他們的行動震撼了全台灣,甚至鼓舞了香港的年輕人。半年之後香港的雨傘運動,很顯然從太陽花學運得到許多靈感和鼓勵。

太陽花世代沒有族群矛盾,他們坦白、勇敢,是一種全新的台灣人,他們將捍衛未來台灣的自由和民主,我對他們有很高的期待。

陳水扁執政八年後,國民黨再度上台。又過了八年,蔡英文成為台灣第一位女總統。歷經三次政黨輪替,和平轉移政權已經台灣政治的常態。我認為,這是台灣最大的成就。

《高雄市長》

在台灣轉變的同時,我發現,我們這些曾經為民主奮鬥的人也必須隨著改變。二十幾歲時,我跟我的同伴,都是要推翻獨裁政權的革命者。國民黨政府認為我們是叛徒。當時黨外的四個女性,包括呂秀蓮和我,甚至被稱為「四大女寇」,意思是四個女土匪。

2000年的政黨輪替是一個新時代的開始。國民黨下台,輪到我們來建設國家。由革命者轉變成改革者之後,我們發現,改革比革命更困難。以前我們在體制外可以不顧一切地激情抗爭,現在則必須在體制內小心翼翼地推動改革。

我擔任勞委會主委時就已體認到這個事實。2006年底我當選高雄市長後,這樣的體會就更加深刻。

高雄是台灣南部最大的都會,高雄港是全世界第13大的港口。從日本時代開始,高雄就是一個工業城市。二次戰後又在這裡興建了煉油廠、煉鋼廠、造船廠,成為重工業中心。我擔任市長最大的挑戰就是要解決過去幾十年留下的污染,並協助產業的轉型。

我們開闢了許多公園、綠地、和濕地,逐漸恢復長期被破壞的環境生態。河川經過整治,水質大幅改善,愛河就是一個例子。

過去高雄很多地方會淹水,甚至淹到半層樓高。我們挖了15個大滯洪池,平常是公園,四週有斜坡以及慢跑的步道,暴雨來的時候就可以滯洪。現在那些地方都不再淹水了。

高雄有280萬人口,市民大多騎摩托車或者開車上下班,造成嚴重的空氣污染。我們目前已經有兩條捷運,正在興建一條環狀輕軌,加上新的捷運路線,我們馬上就會有完整的大眾運輸路網。全市38區,每區都有公共汽車,還有5千輛公共腳踏車。高雄的交通將越來越方便,也越來越乾淨。

高雄的貨櫃港現在已經移到南部的新港,舊港有許多廢棄倉庫,改造成藝術家工作室、博物館、小商店,形成了「駁二藝術特區」。高雄有很多東南亞新移民,為了推動多元文化,學校提供了課程讓新移民的小孩可以學習母語。高雄逐漸從重工業城市轉變成有多元產業與多元文化的現代都市。

我的團隊有很清楚的方向:恢復被重工業破壞的環境生態,營造一個不會淹水,交通方便,有多樣化的工作機會與多元文化的宜居城市。高雄的轉型還在進行中,但大家都已經在說「高雄變漂亮了,高雄跟以前不一樣了」。

《台灣的新挑戰》

在威權時代,我作的事情像是在搞革命,希望建立一個各種言論可以百花齊放的社會。在民主時代,我作的是推動改革,努力營造一個人類與自然可以共存共榮的城市。不同時代需要不同的領導者。我們的總統蔡英文就跟我很不一樣。

三年前她也曾經在這裡演講過。她並不是「女土匪」型的人物,她很穩健,也很專業,但她堅持改革的決心,跟我一樣堅定。

蔡總統上台後,啟動了年金改革、並且開始追討不當黨產。這些都是不改不行,但又是最困難的改革。

譬如年金改革。台灣軍公教退休金遠比勞工退休金優厚,有的將退休金存入銀行時甚至享有18%的優惠利息,非常不合理。蔡英文發動的年金改革,得到大多數人的支持,但少數的反對者卻激烈地抗爭。

又譬如追討不當黨產。威權時代的國民黨將許多國家資產變成黨產,總數超過幾十億美金,使得國民黨變成全世界最富有的政黨,也造成選舉時的不公平競爭。追討不當黨產也得到大多數人民的支持。

必須解決威權時代遺留下來的不公平制度,台灣才能正常化。轉型過程中雖會遇到阻力,但我相信,蔡英文總統會以她溫和而堅持的方式,獲得最後的成功。

兩岸問題也一樣。蔡總統以其穩健的風格堅持台灣的主權,但也對中國釋出和平交往的善意。她啟動國防改革,強化台灣的自我防衛能力,希望能與美國、日本及其他國家合作,共同維護亞洲的區域安全。

《台灣價值,是新的亞洲價值》

回顧我自己的一生,充滿著驚奇。

我因爲發生在高雄事件而坐牢,沒想到後來竟然成為高雄市的市長。

高雄事件中,黨外的領導者全部被抓。沒想到民主運動不但沒有被消滅,反而吸引更多人投入,終於結束了威權統治,讓台灣變成民主國家。

年輕時代的我,反對一黨專政,夢想台灣可以跟西方國家一樣有言論自由和民主制度。在當時那是跟天上星星一樣遙遠的夢。沒有想到,那個夢竟然實現了。

現在的台灣有完全的言論自由,可以民主地選出國會議員以及總統。現任總統是女性,高雄市長、高雄市議長、台北市議長都是女性,國會議員也有四成是女性。台灣是亞洲最自由、最民主的國家。

民主得來不易,鞏固民主也一樣困難。我們在改革威權時代殘留下來的不合理制度的同時,也必須面對國外來的威脅以及劇烈變動的亞洲局勢。

台灣的民主逐漸成熟,民進黨已經蛻變成為一個穩健的改革政黨。我相信,我們有能力面對當前的挑戰。

但是,台灣需要國際社會的支持。我年輕時候兩次被逮捕而能夠安全度過,以及台灣能夠脫離威權而有今天的自由民主,都必須感謝國際上正義力量的支持。今天的台灣,更需要國際社會的支持。

台灣的民主文化和自由風氣已經成為香港、中國、以及東南亞各國年輕人的嚮往。台灣價值,是新的亞洲價值。台灣雖小,卻可以在亞洲扮演很大的角色。

維持台灣的自由民主對整個亞洲非常重要,不但符合台灣與美國的共同利益,也是我們共同的責任。我希望美國與台灣能夠更緊密地合作,共同捍衛印太地區,乃至全世界的和平。

謝謝。

※《陳菊。CSIS 講稿》2018.03.20

4,000 Days, 40 Years:

My Part in Taiwan’s Transition to Democracy

Thank you for the kind introduction. Hello, everyone, I am very honored to be here today, to share my experience in the transformation of Taiwan and the city of Kaohsiung. In the video just played, you saw that Kaohsiung is a beautiful, culturally diverse port city with friendly people. I welcome you all to come for a visit.

Kaohsiung was not always the beautiful place it is today. Our story is a lot like the tale of The Ugly Duckling. In the past, we suffered through a half-century of pollution from heavy industry. There’s a river that runs through Kaohsiung called Love River. Bob Dewitt, the former Chief of the Kaohsiung Branch Office of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), used to joke that when he first came to Kaohsiung as a young man, the Love River stank so bad that he could always smell it before he saw it. But by the time he came back in 2014 to take up his position at the AIT Branch Office, the Love River had become a beautiful tourist attraction.

There is another reason why I take pride in Kaohsiung—it played a key role in Taiwan’s democracy movement. When I was young, the Kaohsiung Incident took place there. It resulted in the arrest of many people who had risen up in protest against the authoritarian rule of the Kuomintang (KMT). I was among those arrested, and was accused of being one of the ring leaders. I was charged with an offense that could have carried the death penalty. I certainly never dreamed that one day I would become the mayor of that same city.

Over the past 40 years, Taiwan has undergone a dramatic transformation from authoritarian rule to democracy. Kaohsiung, as well, has seen enormous changes over the past 12 years—or the past 4,000 days, as I often prefer to say. We’ve put our polluted past behind us and created an eminently livable city.

I’m really happy to have this opportunity to come here today and speak with you about how Taiwan has transformed during my 40 years in public life, and how Kaohsiung has done likewise in my 4,000 days as mayor.

My journey into politics

My journey into politics began in 1968. I was a 19-year-old student and worked part-time as an assistant to the provincial legislator Kuo Yu-hsin (郭雨新). Mr. Kuo was involved in the fledgling democracy movement.

Taiwan was ruled by the KMT, which had come to Taiwan in 1949 and immediately declared martial law. It was illegal to organize opposition parties. The national legislature had been elected in mainland China, and for decades afterward the members never had to stand for re-election. Anyone who opposed the government ran the risk of getting thrown in jail for years, or even being executed, for offenses as minor as reading a banned book or making a few complaints. Mr. Kuo opposed this one-party dictatorship, and longed for Western-style freedom and democracy. Working for him, I gradually came to understand Taiwanese politics. Little by little, I got caught up in the maelstrom of history.

After Taiwan was kicked out of the United Nations in 1971, the Taiwanese people felt alarmed and worried about the nation’s uncertain future. The democracy movement began to focus on a specific demand: re-election of all national legislators. The KMT was forced to open up a few legislative seats to popular elections. Since opposition parties were illegal, we called ourselves the dangwai, which meant “outside the KMT.” Every election provided an opportunity for dangwai activities, and our movement gained strong popular support.

To provide aid to political prisoners, some foreign friends helped me get a list of political prisoners delivered to Amnesty International. This angered the KMT government. One day in 1978, the police suddenly came and searched my apartment. I hid out at a Catholic church run by Father Ronald Boccieri in Changhua, but they found me within just a few days. Father Boccieri was expelled from Taiwan and returned to US. He just passed away 3 years ago. May he rest in peace. That was the first time I got arrested. I’m told that the US government put pressure on the KMT, and they released me after just 13 days.

Kaohsiung Incident

Near the end of 1978, the US broke diplomatic ties with Taiwan and switched recognition to China. The KMT immediately suspended elections for the national legislature, and Taiwan fell into a state of profound anxiety. People in the dangwai movement responded by launching the Formosa Magazine to promote the principles of democracy.

Then on December 10, 1979 – December 10 being Human Rights Day of course –Formosa Magazine marked the occasion by organizing a rally in Kaohsiung, and the KMT responded by making mass arrests. This was the Kaohsiung Incident, which played a pivotal role in Taiwan’s democracy movement. Over 100 people were arrested, and eight of us were charged with sedition, an offense that carried a mandatory death penalty. Two of those eight people were women—Annette Lu and myself. Annette Lu would one day become Taiwan’s vice president.

I am often asked about women’s public participation in Taiwan. Well, there you go, two of the eight political prisoners were women. Not bad, wouldn’t you say? There were a lot of outstanding women in the dangwai movement, and they are highly respected for their contributions. Some have since taken part in various social movements, and others have become national legislators, county magistrates, and city mayors. Women now account for 38% of all national legislators.

At our Human Rights Day rally in 1979, we were only calling for the lifting of martial law, establishment of democracy, permission to organize opposition parties, and the right to elect our own legislature. But for that we were charged with sedition.

In the past, politically charged cases were always tried in secrecy, but the Kaohsiung Incident attracted so much international attention that the KMT was forced to carry out the trial in public. During the trial we made the case for ourselves and for democracy, and the media reported it all almost verbatim. It turned out to be a very successful education in democracy. The public learned that we who had supposedly engaged in sedition were in fact true patriots. We gained a lot of sympathy and support.

After our arrests, we were held in complete isolation and had no idea what was happening in the outside world. We were in court when we first learned what had happened to our fellow defendant, Mr. Lin Yi-hsiung. Someone had broken into his home, murdered his mother and his seven-year-old twin daughters, and left his nine-year-old daughter Judy in grave condition. Everyone broke down and cried in court. I always knew that participating in the democracy movement would involve sacrifices, but I never imagined it could be so horrible. The Lin family home had been under 24-hour surveillance by the secret police, so the murders were clearly a warning to us all. Lin’s mother and daughters were very close to me, and what happened to them is a pain inside of me that will never go away. Fortunately the doctors were able to save little Judy’s life. She was later sent to California, and became a pianist. I am happy to tell you that Judy is married to an American pastor. They have 5 children, and they now live in Taiwan.

After the murders of the Lin family, international pressure increased, and the KMT had to give up on sentencing us to death. I was sentenced to 12 years in prison. The mass arrests after the Kaohsiung Incident were intended to quash the democracy movement, but on the contrary, they actually spurred the movement to grow even faster. After that, the number of seats won by dangwai candidates increased rapidly with each successive election.

In early 1986, I was suddenly released after six and a half years in prison. I soon joined a secret team that was organizing an opposition party, and in September of that same year, the Democratic Progressive Party was born. To our surprise, the KMT didn’t arrest anyone, because the democracy movement already enjoyed mainstream support in Taiwan by that time. The KMT was cowed by our strong public support. The next year, martial law was finally lifted, and the dawn of democracy was in sight.

After the lifting of martial law, the democracy movement and other social movements developed quite quickly. In late 1992, all the seats in the national legislature were put up for re-election. The people finally got the chance to elect their own national legislature. That would be no big deal in the United States, but in Taiwan it was a historic first.

Two years later, Mr. Chen Shui-bian was elected as mayor of our capital city Taipei, and he invited me to head the Department of Social Welfare. And so, after long opposing the system from the outside, I joined the government myself.

Turnovers of power

As we all know, a major test of any young democracy isn’t just the holding of free and fair elections; it’s whether the ruling party is willing to hand over power when it loses. That moment of truth for Taiwan came in 2000, when Chen Shui-bian won the presidency.

This was something that we dared not dream possible, and many were worried that the KMT might refuse to hand over power after ruling for five decades. There were even concerns about a possible military coup. And in fact, after President Chen’s re-election in 2004, the KMT candidate refused to concede defeat, and called on his followers to occupy the square across from the Presidential Office Building, which they did for several months. Luckily, however, Taiwan dealt successfully with all these challenges.

But what sort of changes would democracy actually bring to Taiwan? Let me share two examples with you.

During his first term as president, President Chen appointed me to head the Ministry of Labor, which in those days was called the Council of Labor Affairs, and we undertook a series of labor legislation amendments. We cut the work week from 48 to 42 hours so that people could take Saturdays off. We established an employment insurance system so that unemployed workers could receive benefits. We reformed the labor pension system to ensure that all retired workers could receive pensions. And we passed legislation to safeguard gender equality in the workplace.

People had talked for a decade or two about doing these things, but they never got it done. So how did the DPP manage to do it so quickly after coming to power? That’s the good thing about democracy. Back in the authoritarian period, the government was so high and mighty it didn’t need to pay any attention to the people. It’s only in a democracy that the government will care about the people’s well-being.

The second example is the younger generation of Taiwanese. After the handover of power in 2000, a democratic mindset began taking root in schools, and would one day have a huge impact. In saying that, I’m thinking in particular about the Sunflower Student Movement of 2014. Most of the participants were born after the lifting of martial law. They had never lived under the shadow of authoritarianism, and grew up with a normal education. They all identified themselves as Taiwanese, regardless whether their parents or grandparents were from Taiwan or the mainland. In that sense, they were just like the children of immigrants to the US, who identify themselves as Americans. These young people felt that the economic policy of the KMT government promoted too much reliance on China, and was undermining national security, so they stormed the national legislature and occupied it for 23 days. What they did sent shock waves through Taiwanese society, and even provided inspiration to the young people of Hong Kong, who just a half year later launched their own Umbrella Movement.

The youth of the Sunflower generation aren’t divided by ethnic tensions. They’re plain-spoken and courageous. In short, they’re different from the Taiwanese people of the past. They are the ones who will defend Taiwan’s freedom and democracy in the future. I have great expectations for them.

After Chen Shui-bian’s eight years as president, the KMT returned to power in 2008. But eight years later Tsai Ing-wen was elected as Taiwan’s first female president ever. Now that power has changed hands between the KMT and DPP three times, a peaceful handover process has become the established norm. I am very proud to say, this is the greatest accomplishment of Taiwan.

Kaohsiung mayor

Along with the transformation of Taiwan, I realized that those of us who once fought for democracy had to change as well. When I was in my 20s, my companions and I were all revolutionaries who sought to overthrow a dictatorial regime. The KMT government regarded us as seditious. In fact, they used to speak of the “four women desperados” of the dangwai. Annette Lu and I were two of the four.

But that was then. Times change, sometimes quite dramatically. The handover of ruling power in 2000 marked the beginning of a new era in Taiwan. The KMT stepped down, and it was the DPP’s turn to govern the nation. After changing from a revolutionary into a reformer, I discovered that reform is more difficult than revolution. When we were outside the system, we could just take a “full steam ahead” attitude in opposing the government, but once I was inside the system I had to pursue reform with great caution.

I already had this realization when I headed the Council of Labor Affairs, but when I became the mayor of Kaohsiung, this struck home even more so.

Kaohsiung is the biggest metropolis in southern Taiwan. The Port of Kaohsiung is the 13th-busiest container port in the world, and industry has been a major feature of the city’s economy ever since the period of Japanese rule. After World War II, oil refineries, steel mills, and shipyards began popping up, turning Kaohsiung into a center of heavy industry. As mayor, my biggest challenges were to clean up decades of pollution, and to facilitate the transformation of local industry.

We’ve built a lot of parks, greenbelts, and wetlands, and the natural environment is gradually recovering from years of mistreatment. We’re also cleaning up our rivers and streams. The most notable example is the Love River.

Many areas in Kaohsiung used to flood during the typhoon season, often up to half a story deep, but we’ve created 15 flood-detention basins that when dry are used as parkland, complete with jogging paths and more. Areas where we’ve built these basins don’t flood anymore.

Kaohsiung has a population of 2.8 million, and most people get to work by either car or scooter, which creates serious air pollution. We now have two mass transit lines, and we’re building a light-rail loop line as well as other new rail transit lines. Our mass transit network is soon going to offer outstanding coverage throughout the city. All of Kaohsiung City’s 38 districts have public bus service, and there are 5,000 public rental bicycles. Transportation in Kaohsiung just keeps getting more convenient, and cleaner.

The industrial harbor facilities have been moved south to the Second Harbor, while abandoned warehouses in the old harbor have been rebuilt as the Pier-2 Art Center, which provides space for artist workshops, museums, and shops. On another front, it is no coincidence that a big industrial port city like Kaohsiung should be home to large numbers of immigrants from Southeast Asia. As part of our effort to promote multiculturalism, school-age children of immigrants are provided with special classes where they learn the native languages of their parents. Kaohsiung is gradually moving on from its heavy industrial beginnings to become a multifaceted metropolis with an appealing combination of industry and culture.

My administration is very clear about what we want to accomplish. We want to clean up our polluted environment. We want to create a livable city that doesn’t flood, and a city with convenient transportation. We want our people to be able to choose from a wider variety of jobs. And we want cultural diversity. The transformation of Kaohsiung is still in progress, but everybody is already saying: “Kaohsiung has become so beautiful. It’s a different place these days.”

New challenges facing Taiwan

Under authoritarian rule, I was a revolutionary who fought to build a society where different voices could be heard. In democratic times, I have become a reformer who is working to build a city where people and nature can thrive together. Different times call on different qualities from each of us. Our President Tsai Ing-wen is also quite different from me.

She gave a speech here three years ago, before she was elected president, so I think many of you remember her. She’s not a “desperado” type of personality, like I supposedly was. She’s even-keeled and professional. But she’s every bit as determined as I am about getting reform accomplished.

Since taking office, President Tsai has been working to reform the pension system and recover assets that political parties have obtained through illicit means. These reforms are absolutely necessary, but they’re also very difficult.

Take the case of pension reform, for example. Public sector retirees receive far more generous pensions than blue-collar workers, and some receive 18% interest on their pension deposits, which is especially unfair. Most people support President Tsai’s pension reform effort, but a small minority opposes it bitterly.

The campaign to recover ill-gotten party assets is another case in point. During the authoritarian period, billions of US dollars’ worth of assets belonging to the state were transferred by the KMT to its private ownership. The KMT became the richest political party in the world, and its immense wealth has undermined the fairness of elections. The effort to recover these ill-gotten assets has also enjoyed strong popular support.

We must deal with the unfair systems that remain with us as holdovers from the authoritarian period. That’s the only way to achieve normalcy. Our transitional justice campaign has met with resistance, but I firmly believe that President Tsai, in her own low-key but determined way, will succeed in the end.

It’s the same with cross-strait relations. President Tsai, acting firmly but without fanfare, is tenaciously upholding Taiwan’s sovereignty, while at the same time demonstrating to China her good-faith intention to maintain peaceful ties. She has launched reform of our armed forces, emphasizing Taiwan’s self-defense capabilities. And she hopes to cooperate with the US, Japan, and other nations to maintain regional security in Asia.

Taiwanese values are the new values of Asia

There have been a lot of ironic twists and turns in my life. The most ironic of all was that I should go to prison because of the Kaohsiung Incident, and end up years later as the mayor of Kaohsiung.

The entire dangwai leadership was arrested during the Kaohsiung Incident, so who would have expected the crackdown to kick the democracy movement into higher gear, rather than snuffing it out? This movement put an end to authoritarian rule and ushered Taiwan into the community of democratic nations.

When I was young, I opposed the single-party dictatorship, and dreamed about Taiwan having the same freedom of speech and democracy as in the West. But those things back then were as distant as the stars in the night sky. I didn’t think those dreams would one day come true.

Taiwan now has complete freedom of speech, and we choose our national legislators and president through democratic elections. Our current president is a woman. The mayor of Kaohsiung is a woman. So are the speakers of the Kaohsiung City Council and the Taipei City Council. Women also account for almost 40% of the members of the national legislature. Taiwan is the most free and democratic nation in Asia.

Achieving democracy was no easy feat, and consolidating it is proving just as difficult. At the same time that we are reforming legacy authoritarian systems, we also have to deal with a threat from overseas as well as rapidly changing conditions in Asia.

Taiwan’s democracy is maturing, and the DPP has already emerged as a fully fledged reformist party. I firmly believe that we have the ability to face all the challenges that lie ahead.

However, Taiwan needs the support of the international community. It was thanks to the support of the international community that I was able to stay safe through two stints in prison. And it was international support that helped Taiwan throw off authoritarianism and achieve freedom and democracy. Today, Taiwan needs international support all the more.

The youth of Hong Kong, China, and Southeast Asia yearn for the free and democratic ways that Taiwan already enjoys. I believe Taiwanese values are the new values of Asia. Taiwan may be small, but we can play a huge role in Asia.

Maintaining Taiwan’s freedom and democracy is important to all of Asia. It’s not just in the best interests of Taiwan and the US; it’s also our shared responsibility. I hope the US and Taiwan can work together even more closely to defend peace in the Indo-Pacific region and throughout the world.

Thank you.

民報http://www.peoplenews.tw/ 授權轉載


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