A Word from the TFD President

A Word from the TFD President

Since the Sunflower Movement in 2014, it has become evident that the international community has long been neglecting an important factor affecting cross-Strait relations and the regional strategic balance — the robust and dynamic democracy in Taiwan. The consolidation and persistence of democracy in Taiwan not only relies on the casting of votes in regular elections held every few years, but also takes root in the vibrant social movements and the competing advocacies of organizations from civil society. Pressed by a pluralized society, the current Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration has also endeavored to initiate various public policy reforms to address these social demands. New public debates are taking place every day, and contestation of social forces and ideologies emerges on multiple fronts in Taiwan’s public arena. Against such a background, the launch of the Taiwan Democracy Bulletin is an effort by TFD to meet the demands of the international community to grasp and comprehend the nuanced complexity and fast-changing dynamism in the democratic processes and practices in today’s Taiwan. We hope this bulletin will open a window for the world to take more interest in the fascinating stories that happen in Taiwan’s democracy. We also look forward to your feedback and suggestions in the future to improve our work and better meet the needs of our readers.

Hsu Szu-chien
President, Taiwan Foundation for Democracy

* * *

Published twice monthly under the auspices of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TFD), the Taiwan Democracy Bulletin offers timely and essential updates on trends and developments in Taiwan that are likely to affect the quality of its democratic institutions. Through short English-language articles written by experts in related fields, the Bulletin will provide a balanced assessment of the state of Taiwan’s democracy, clear-eyed analysis of the country’s vibrant civil society, and help connect state and non-state actors in Taiwan with partners in the international community who have a stake in the maintenance of Taiwan’s democracy. The Bulletin officially launches on Thursday February 23, 2017.

Find us at: bulletin.tfd.org.tw

About

Taiwan’s peaceful transition to democracy is not only a historical accomplishment for its twenty-three million people, but a landmark in the worldwide spread of democracy. Only after years of struggle and effort could this transformation take place. We must never forget this history, for it shapes the cornerstone of our continued commitment to the principles of democracy and human rights.

The Foundation was established with an inter-related, two-tracked mission in mind. Domestically, the TFD strives to play a positive role in consolidating Taiwan’s democracy and fortifying its commitment to human rights; internationally, the Foundation hopes to become a strong link in the world? democratic network, joining forces with related organizations around the world. Through the years, Taiwan has received valuable long-term assistance and stalwart support from the international community, and it is now time to repay that community for all of its efforts.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs initiated the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy project in 2002. After much research and careful evaluation, the Ministry integrated the required resources from many sectors of society. In January 2003, the Ministry obtained the support of all political parties to pass the budget for the Foundation in the legislature. The TFD formally came into being on June 17, 2003, with its first meeting of the Board of Trustees and Supervisory Board. At that meeting, Legislative Yuan President Wang Jin-pyng was elected its first chairman. According to its By-laws, the TFD is governed by a total of fifteen trustees and five supervisors, representing political parties, the government, academia, non-governmental organizations, and the business sector.


The primary source of funding for the TFD is the government. However, it is independently incorporated, non-partisan, and non-profit. According to its By-laws, the Foundation may accept international and domestic donations. One fifth of its budget is reserved for Taiwan’s political parties, supporting their own international and local initiatives that are in line with the mission of the TFD. The remaining budget is used for the TFD core activities, including:

    Building relationships with related institutions around the world.Participating actively in the global promotion of democracy and supporting the improvement of human rights conditions.Supporting democracy promotion activities of NGOs and academic institutions.Promoting research and publications on democratic developments at home and abroad; andHolding seminars, workshops, conferences, and other educational activities in the area of democracy and human rights.

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