The perils of a long transition

Taiwan News
Date: 2016-04-07
By: Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Deng Nan-jung, the editor-in-chief of a magazine called the “Freedom Era

Tsai attending the memorial service for Deng Nan-jung on Thursday. April 7, 1989.

Tsai attending the memorial service for Deng Nan-jung on Thursday.
April 7, 1989.

Weekly” set himself on fire in his Taipei office as police tried to arrest him. His crime? Sedition, or publishing a proposal for a constitution for the Republic of Taiwan in his magazine.

Just a few months later, students in China would face similar repression on a much bigger scale on Tiananmen Square, yet Taiwan had always prided itself on being a “Free China,” a lighthouse in the darkness of authoritarianism.

While Deng’s actions in the face of repression have been marked by sympathizers and supporters for many years, his significance has taken 27 years to be recognized on a wider scale.

President-elect Tsai Ing-wen said Thursday that as soon as her administration took office, the next April 7 would be earmarked as “Freedom of Expression Day” for the whole country. Of course, that will not be enough to safeguard basic freedoms. Legislative proposals in the works to prevent the monopolization of the media and to restrict the involvement of political parties in the media will be the more practical sides of the same thinking, pushing through reforms to anchor the changes already achieved and make sure the gains become permanent.     [FULL  STORY]

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