President Tsai commemorates 30th anniversary of end of martial law

President Tsai Ing-wen praised July 15 the people of Taiwan as the driving force for the nation’s democratization in posts on her official Facebook and Twitter accounts commemorating the 30th anniversary of the end of martial law.

Imposed in 1949 after the Republic of China (Taiwan) government relocated from mainland China to Taiwan, martial law remained in effect for almost four decades before being lifted by President Chiang Ching-kuo in 1987.

On her Facebook page, Tsai described the end of martial law as a significant first step toward democracy and freedom in Taiwan. For a long time, many people have credited Chiang for terminating martial law, but it is essential to focus on the role of the people in fostering Taiwan’s democracy, she wrote.

The president also shared two photographs taken in the 1980s during a rally organized by 519 Green Action, a political movement demanding the end of martial law. She noted that in the pictures, as is common of protest images from this period, many people have their backs to the cameras.

Participants in the rally may have been truck drivers, teachers, factory workers or small business owners, she wrote. Although no one knows their names, they are responsible for advancing democracy in Taiwan.

Also in the Facebook post, Tsai listed three points outlining her vision for the future development of the country’s democracy. First, she expressed her hope that more local forces can participate in the political environment so that the nation’s democracy retains a youthful energy.

Second, the president advocated the creation of a healthier model for exchanges between the government and social groups. Third, she called for all political parties to think about the nation’s future from a Taiwan-centric position.

According to Tsai, over the past three decades the people of Taiwan have demonstrated that democracy need not be feared. For the next 30 years, we must be just as courageous to build a future in which the people of Taiwan do not have to worry about the country’s political environment disappearing, regardless of who is president.

Tsai wrote that she will continue to work with the people of Taiwan to strengthen the nation’s political environment. We cannot forget that the shared values of democracy and freedom are our strengths.

Source: Taiwan Today