From July 17-19, 2023, exciting lectures were held every evening at the University of Trier around the current topic "Taiwan-Facets of Democracy and Foreign Policy".
Prof. Dr. Wang Hsin-Hsien - "Is Taiwan the most dangerous place on Earth? - US-China competition and cross-strait relations."
Dr. Hsu Yu-fang - "Taiwan's Perpetual Parliament and the Road to Democracy."
In the framework of the Taiwan Week, which was organized by the University of Trier, the National Chengchi University (Taiwan), as well as the Taipei Representative Office of the Federal Republic of Germany, Frankfurt Office, Dr. Hsu Yu-Fang gave a lecture on "Taiwan's Eternal Parliament and the Road to Democracy" on the second day.
Hsu Yu-fang, who is currently an assistant professor at the Institute of German Language and Culture at Soochow University in Taiwan, received her master's and doctoral degrees in political science from the University of Bonn. Her research interests are in political issues related to Germany and Taiwan.
The presentation was introduced by Dr. Josie-Marie Perkuhn with thanks to Dirk Schmitt, the Taiwan representation and to Ms. Hsu.
In her lecture, Hsu Yu-fang discusses Taiwan as a democratic state and its particularly wide reach, which she justifies, among other things, with the fact that Taiwan has had a stable democracy for a long time and proves this with a graph from "The Economist Democracy Index".
The emergence of Taiwan's democracy is linked to the island's special history. Since the immigration of the Guomindang, the idea of democracy spread further and further in Taiwan until the loss of the UN seat to China in 1971, which was a turning point for democracy in Taiwan.
Today, Taiwan has a parliamentary system; Hsu calls it a semi-presidential system, although she has already been criticized for the term "semi-presidential."
Further, Hsu Yu-fang describes the irregular and unfree parliamentary formation under Chiang Kai-Shek after 1949, who believed that the parliament had too much power compared to the president. Until the first freely elected parliamentary elections, the relationship between parliament and government was a difficult one, characterized by conflict.
Today, the parliament plays an important role in democratization, because it is there that Taiwanese expressed their displeasure through actions that went viral. Pictures from the parliament show dissatisfied citizens throwing pig intestines into the parliament building. There were also fistfights between the deputies.
At the end of her lecture, Hsu shows pictures of parliamentarians from 1990 who, due to their old age, fell asleep during parliamentary sessions or cast their votes from their sick beds. In the same year, a student movement rises against the "old thieves", the old parliamentarians and demonstrates against corrupt MPs.
After her lecture, Dr. Hsu Yu-fang answers questions from her audience from the lecture hall and online.