Sunflower Movement and the future of democracy in Taiwan… and Hong Kong
Cabestan, Jean-Pierre. Sunflower Movement and the future of democracy in Taiwan… and Hong Kong. China Policy Institute Blog, 25 September 2014. http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/chinapolicyinstitute/2014/09/25/sunflower-movement-and-the-future-of-democracy-in-taiwan-and-hong-kong/ [Consulté le 25 septembre 2014].
Having left Taiwan in 1998 after a five year stay there, I am more distant from every day’s political developments there. I am therefore somewhat hesitant to contribute to this blog. Of course, I have regularly returned to the island, and more often so since I moved back to Hong Kong in 2007. And I was there again in mid-September 2014 with a group of European scholars who every year is invited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China (ROC) to get updated about Taiwanese politics and the relations across the Taiwan Strait. Thus, what follows is an outsider’s view.
I have to confess that I was initially rather suspicious of a movement that on 18 March 2014 challenged the legitimacy and the dignity of the Legislative Yuan (LY), the most representative and legitimate body of any democracy. It took some time for me to understand the reasons of the unprecedented occupation of the Taiwanese Parliament: the precipitous adoption by a handful of KMT legislators of the controversial Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement (CSSTA) putting an abrupt end to the discussion, the hunger strike that three Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators, including Hsiao Bi-khim, had started a few days before just outside of the LY main building, the growing dissatisfaction with Ma Ying-jeou’s mainland China policy and the increasing role played by social movements in Taiwan particularly since the KMT’s return to power in 2008.