Charter 08

In honor of Liu Xiaobo, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Chinese dissident who passed away just hours ago, we are posting his dream of a democratic China in the form of his Charter 08, a petition written to advocate for China’s transformation into a true democracy. May he rest in peace and finally be free.

I. Foreword

A hundred years have passed since the writing of China’s first constitution. 2008 also marks the sixtieth anniversary of the promulgation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the thirtieth anniversary of the appearance of Democracy Wall in Beijing, and the tenth of China’s signing of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. We are approaching the twentieth anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen massacre of pro-democracy student protesters. The Chinese people, who have endured human rights disasters and uncountable struggles across these same years, now include many who see clearly that freedom, equality, and human rights are universal values of humankind and that democracy and constitutional government are the fundamental framework for protecting these values. Continue reading “Charter 08”

The Economist: Taiwan a flawed democracy

The Economist Intelligence Unit today released its annual Democracy Index, ranking Taiwan to be a “flawed democracy”, a category Taiwan has been in since the inception of the index in 2006. The index ranks countries using 60 indicators across five broad categories: electoral process and pluralism, functioning of government, political participation, democratic political culture and civil liberties. With a score of 7.79 out of 10, Taiwan is ranked 33rd globally and 5th in Asia, behind Japan (7.99), South Korea (7.92), Israel (7.85), and India (7.71). While Taiwan scored high in electoral process and pluralism (9.58) and civil liberties (9.41), much improvement is needed in political participation (6.11) and democratic political culture (5.63). Notably, the U.S. has been downgraded to a “flawed democracy” this year after the election of Donald Trump. China, with a score of 3.14, is ranked as an “authoritarian regime”.

Also released today, Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index ranked Taiwan to be the 31st least corrupt country in a list of 176. With a score of 61 out of 100, Taiwan ranks behind Singapore (84), Hong Kong (77), and Japan (72) in Asia.