Taiwan Ranks First in Political Transformation by German Think Tank, But 76% Taiwanese Might Disagree

Taiwan Ranks First in Political Transformation by German Think Tank, But 76% Taiwanese Might Disagree
Photo Credit: Bertelsmann Stiftung
What you need to know

With the anniversary of the 228 Incident this past Sunday, many Taiwanese stood out to call for transitional justice from both the current and newly-elected government. While a German think tank ranked Taiwan first place in transitional justice, a poll by Business Today, a Taiwanese finance magazine, reveals over 76% of the respondents think transitional justice hasn’t been fully implemented in Taiwan.

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Translated and compiled by Shin-wei Chang

On February 29, Bertelsmann Stiftung, a German think tank and non-profit organization, released its survey on political transformations, “Rough times for democratic change.” The institute has been inviting 250 experts to analyze 129 developing and transformation countries twice a year since 2006, assessing their Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Transformation Index (BTI) under 17 criteria, such as currency and price stability, economic performance and so on. This year, it turns out that Taiwan ranked first, indicating the Taiwan has shown “very good quality” in political transformation.

However, this might not be true for some Taiwanese.

Taiwanese demanding more after elections

On January 16, Tsai Ing-wen was elected as the next president of Taiwan, completing the second round of party alternation in Taiwan. Ever since she was elected, people have been calling for transitional justice, hoping the new government would compensate people whose human rights were abused by past dictatorships.

With the anniversary of the 228 Incident this past Sunday, many activists stood out and called for transitional justice regarding the incident. They demanded for the truth of the 228 Incident, asking the government to state who was responsibility for it. Discussions unfolded on the Internet, and some even accused Chiang Kai-shek, the president of Taiwan during the 228 Incident, was responsible for the deaths. Statues of Chiang Kai-shek were also vandalized in protestors’ calls for transitional justice regarding the historical incident.

►Related News:
Chiang Kai-shek Among Top Nine Killers in the 20th Century and Responsible for the 228 Incident?
School Officials Threaten To Ban College Students From Campus For Posting Flyers On Chiang Kai-shek Statue

Over 76% Taiwanese unsatisfied with transitional justice on the island

However on March 1, Business Today released a poll on people’s opinion on transitional justice in Taiwan. In the survey, transitional justice is defined as “finding out violations of human rights in the past and ill-gotten party assets of the government.” Among the 1,121 people interviewed, over 76% of the respondents think transitional justice hasn’t been fully achieved, and only 11% of them think it has.

Analyzing the figures further, 66% of KMT supporters think transitional justice hasn’t been achieved, while DPP supporters take up 83.8%.

In addition, because the government funds the operation of National Women’s League of the ROC, 72.9% of the respondents think the league has to be re-examined based on transitional justice. Originally, the organization was founded in hope of taking care the spouses of the veterans. However, critics have pointed out that its financial status has always been a mystery, and no one can join the league without recommendation from at least two of its members.

Huang Kuo-chang, legislator from the New Power Party, says he will definitely push for the amendment of law to implement transitional justice. However, Huang adds that since many organizations that used to belong to the KMT have transformed to corporations now, it would be difficult to get the ill-gotten party assets back by lawsuit. “But the necessity of doing it can’t be denied,” Huang says.

Edited by Olivia Yang

Sources:
CNA
Awakening News Network
Bertelsmann Stiftung