Taiwan Joins Hands with Mongolia on Democracy

Taiwan Joins Hands with Mongolia on Democracy
Photo Credit: Reuters/達志影像

What you need to know

Two weeks after major elections in Mongolia, the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy holds a forum in the region to promote democratic awareness.

On July 9 Hsu Szuchien (徐斯儉), president of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TFD), led 11 Taiwanese, including activists and experts in politics, to attend the East Asia Democracy Forum held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

Hsu, also an associate research fellow at the Institute of Political Science at Academia Sinica, took over as president of TFD on June 17.

The two-day meeting tackled several issues, including women’s and youth’s social participation, public involvement in politics and government transparency. More than 40 representatives from Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Mongolia took part in the forum.

In his opening remarks, Hsu, an expert on social movements, said the involvement of citizens, especially women, teenagers and minorities, is key to democracy in Mongolia. They are also the main challenges for a democratic expansion in east Asia.

Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆), one of the young charismatic leaders of the Sunflower Movement, which occupied the legislature in Taipei in March and April 2014, also participated the summit. Hsu pointed to Lin as a symbol of the great impact of youth participation in Taiwan’s political environment. He also said he hoped the experience of Taiwan could provide a model for other countries.

Taiwan's representative to Mongolia, Huang Kuo-jung (黃國榮), was also invited to the forum, and said democracy in Mongolia has become more mature and has improved “step by step.” He said that according to his observations, women in Mongolia can now balance their career with housework, which is very admirable.

First launched by the TFD in 2014, the East Asia Democracy Forum aims to improve democratic development in east Asia. The initiators hope to promote democracy and human rights by expanding interactions between human rights organizations.

This year, TFD decided to hold the annual meeting in Ulaanbaatar in cooperation with the Mongolian Women’s Fund (MONES).

Mongolia just elected its new congress and premier on June 29, with the largest opposition party Mongol Ardiin Nam winning 65 seats, against nine for the Democratic Party. Analysts believe that the recent economic downturn in Mongolia contributed to the Mongol Ardiin Nam’s comeback.

Meanwhile, the Taipei National University of the Arts (TNUA) and Mongolian State University of Arts and Culture (MSUAC) signed a memorandum of understanding on July 8 in Ulaanbaatar to boost bilateral cooperation in the culture and arts education field. Under the agreement, the two universities will organize forums on education, engage in experimental education, faculty and student exchanges, and host joint arts exhibitions, the Taipei Trade and Economic Representative Office in Ulaanbaatar said in a statement.

First Editor: J. Michael Cole
Second Editor: Olivia Yang