TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Veteran Taiwan independence activist Peng Ming-min (彭明敏) called on the new government after the Jan. 11 elections to organize a “Nation-Building Conference” in order to establish a new nation.
In an opinion piece published by the Liberty Times on Thursday (Jan. 2), Peng noted it was the 56th anniversary of his original manifesto advocating a democratic Taiwan. It was also the 50th anniversary of his flight out of the country to escape political persecution.
Given China's threats against Taiwan, Peng called on the public to remember that democracy, freedom and human rights had to be defended. If not, the Taiwanese would end up like the Uyghurs in Xinjiang, he warned.
After the elections, the new government should not make any concessions on the issue of Taiwan’s sovereignty. It should also launch a conference to pave the way for a new nation, Peng wrote.
This would include drafting a new constitution, a new official name for the country, a new flag and new national anthem, he said. In addition, all references to China should be removed from the names of streets, schools, corporations and organizations.
Peng added that whatever Taiwanese were prohibited from doing in China, Chinese citizens should not be allowed to do in Taiwan, such as waving their national flag. Equality and reciprocity were paramount principles to establish in the relationship with China, while Taiwan should also clearly define itself as an ally of the United States, Japan and the European Union.
He concluded his opinion piece by insisting the new Taiwan should apply for membership of the United Nations. If it was not successful in one year, the country should continue until it was allowed to join the global body.
Peng served as the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) candidate in Taiwan’s first direct presidential election, in 1996.