Discussion on historic outcome of Taiwanese election takes place Jan. 28

The outcome of Taiwan’s Jan. 16 election gives the former long-standing opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) control of both the presidency and the legislature for the first time.

close up view of Susan Henders
Susan Henders

Significant changes can be expected to come forward with respect to domestic policies such as same-sex marriage, indigenous self-government and judicial reform. Relations with China are expected to change under a party that does not share the “one China” assumptions of the previous government, and Taiwan will likely reach out more actively to engage the world, including Canada.

The York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR) will host a panel discussion on Jan. 28 featuring three observers with different perspectives who will have just returned from observing the Taiwan election. They will share their stories and discuss possible developments arising from this major political change in Taiwan.

The panel will be chaired by Professor Susan Henders, Department of Political Science, and YCAR, York University.

The observers on the panel include:

• Michael Stainton, YCAR research associate
Stainton specializes in Taiwanese domestic politics and society, religious cultures and transformations. He has published and presented a number of papers on aboriginal self-government, religion and rights, and democracy in Taiwan. He worked in Taiwan for 10 years in a rural community development and was a member of the Taiwan Election Canadian Group of Observers in 1992. He is the former president of the Taiwanese Human Rights Association of Canada

• Charles Burton, associate professor, social sciences, Brock University
Burton’s research examines poverty and human rights in the context of repressive structures of political power and cultural legacies. Most of his work is on Chinese domestic and international politics, and on the foreign policies of advanced industrialized nations toward China. He has published works on Canada-Chinese relations and on China’s role in the international community.

• Sheng Xue, writer and Chinese exile leader
Xue is an exiled Chinese writer and an award-winning journalist. Her book Unveiling the Yuan Hua Case (published in Mandarin) investigates China’s most prominent smuggling case. China’s propaganda ministry promptly banned the book after it was published in 2001. Xue now resides in Canada, where she continues her political activism and writing.

The event, titled “We Can Certainly Change Something: Taiwan’s New Direction and Where it Takes the Rest of Us,” takes place from 3 to 4:30pm in Room 208A, Second Floor, York Lanes.

For more about this event, or YCAR, visit ycar.apps01.yorku.ca.