Date: Mar 31, 2017
By: Nadia Tsao and Jonathan Chin / Staff reporter in Washington, with staff writer
The chilling effect caused by China’s detention of human rights and democracy advocate Lee Ming-che (李明哲) has spread to the US, where some young Taiwanese said they are now worried about talking about democracy.
Chen Fang-yu (陳方隅), a doctoral candidate in political science at Michigan State University, expressed his concerns at a conference held on Wednesday in Washington by the Global Taiwan Institute on the state of Taiwanese democracy to mark the third anniversary of the Sunflower movement.
The movement refers to student-led protesters’ occupation of the legislative chamber for almost 23 days in March 2014 against the then-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government’s handling of a cross-strait service trade agreement.
Chen said that unlike democratic countries, China can arbitrarily decide which actions are criminal, including those that other governments consider legitimate exercises of free speech. [FULL STORY]