Taiwan (NewBloom) – WHATEVER THE claims about Taiwan being a progressive nation, differing from neighboring Asian countries, drug policy is an issue where Taiwan is far from progressive. And indeed, in may respects, the Tsai administration’s drug policy is revealing of…
WHAT DOES Hung Hsiu-Chu intend to achieve with her upcoming visit to the US in January? Most likely, the timing of the trip is because Hung’s ideological rival, current president Tsai Ing-Wen, will make a stopover in the US in January en route to an official diplomatic visit with Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador, four of the 21 remaining countries which still acknowledge the sovereignty of the Republic of China. While it known that Tsai will meet with US government officials during her stopover, it has been rumored that Tsai will meet with US president-elect Donald Trump. Although such a meeting is highly unlikely, such rumors come after the diplomatic shake-up that occurred in wake of the phone call between Tsai Ing-Wen and Donald Trump which occurred in December.
Indeed, would Hung herself seek a meeting with Trump? If it probably would be too sensitive for Trump and Tsai to have a face-to-face meeting, never mind the unprecedented nature of the Tsai-Trump phone call, Trump would probably never meet with Hung. But Hung could still do much damage on her trip, such as taking advantage of her trip to paint a picture of Taiwan which suggests that Taiwanese are in fact, in favor of Chinese unification, with Tsai being an outlier, or more likely, attempting to create the perception that Taiwanese are more divided on unification/independence issues than they actually are.
WITH UP TO 250,000 demonstrating in support of marriage equality in Taipei yesterday, the ball is back in the DPP’s court regarding efforts to legalize same-sex marriage in Taiwan. In previous months, the legalization of same-sex marriage in Taiwan was previously seen as only a matter of time, given campaign promises of the Tsai administration to legalize marriage equality and widespread social support for the legalization of gay marriage. Demonstrations yesterday may have been the largest protests that Taiwan has seen since the 2014 Sunflower Movement, which saw 500,000 demonstrate in the streets of Taipei on March 30th, 2014, the day now commonly referred to in shorthand as “330.”
But large demonstrations by Christian groups opposed to marriage equality would later allow the DPP to backslide on campaign promises, seeing as the DPP is very probably divided on the issue of gay marriage internally. The DPP has in the past month reversed course, suggesting that it would push for “separate but equal” civil partnerships instead of gay marriage, despite that marriage equality legislation proposed by the DPP is under discussion in legislature. The widespread panic provoked by this possibility, when it previously seemed all but certain that marriage equality would become a reality in Taiwan, is what has led to a renewed push by LGBTQ activists to put pressure on the Tsai administration to live up to campaign promises.
BACKSLIDING BY the DPP on marriage equality has led to rage from members of the LGBTQ community and allies. On Friday, the majority leader of the DPP, Ker Chien-ming made public statements indicating that the DPP has decided to move in the direction of realizing marriage equality by seeking to add an amendment to the existing Civil Code.
In particular, the DPP has been unable to resolve the issue of whether some form of marriage equality is to be realized through changing the civil code or adding an amendment to the existing civil code. Changing the Civil Code would be more wide-sweeping in nature, seeing as this would change currently gendered language in other sections of the Civil Code, such as language referring to “husbands and wives” or to “fathers and mothers.” As such, adding an amendment to the existing Civil Code would be more conservative in nature.