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Peace and Security

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

May 2018
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Peace and Security

UPF-Taiwan Holds Cross-Strait Peace Forum

Kinmen County, Taiwan–UPF-Taiwan held a forum on the theme, “The Future of Cross-Strait Relations: The Way of Cooperation, Sustainable Development and Peace,” at the National Quemoy University in Kinmen County in Taiwan, on November 25, 2017. About 100 delegates participated in the event: nine from Mainland China; five from Hong Kong; one from Macau; 24 from Taiwan, including Kinmen County; and 65 NGO leaders and university students.

Kinmen County is a group of islands located just off the southeastern coast of mainland China, about 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) east of the mainland city of Xiamen. The island suffered intense military bombardment by the People’s Republic of China in the 1950s, and remained under military rule until the mid-1990s. Its transition from a battlefront to a key trading point between China and Taiwan reflects the significant change in Cross-Strait relations in the past few decades. For this reason, it was selected as the location for this Cross-Strait Peace Forum.

The forum was co-sponsored by the National Quemoy University, which provided the venue, a conference hall, and 10 student volunteers to support the one-day program. The keynote speakers were Dr. Jianfa Li, vice president of Xiamen University, and Dr. King-yuh Chang, former minister of the Mainland Affairs Council of Taiwan. Other prominent speakers included:

  • Dr. Yong Hong Tang, dean of the department of economic research at the Taiwan Research Institute;
  • Dr. Renqiu Chu, professor of Chinese philosophy, who is also a 27th generation descendant of the famous Chinese philosopher Chu Shi;
  • H.E. Raymond Tai, the former Ambassador of Taiwan to the Holy See; and
  • Dr. Kai-wen Kwan, professor and head of the department of religion and philosophy at Hong Kong Baptist University.

In the first session, “The Prospects of the Asian Community in South China Sea Sovereignty Disputes,” three speakers offered their suggestions on the best approach for Southeast Asian nations in handling territorial disputes with China, in light of China’s growing activity in the South China Sea.

In the second session, “A Cross-Strait Approach to Tackling Family Crises,” speakers addressed the conflict between “progressive” family values and traditional Chinese values. Speakers presented case studies on the homosexual rights movement in Hong Kong and Taiwan, and discussed the likely impact of the recent decision by Taiwan’s Constitutional Court that the prohibition of same-sex marriage in the current Civil Code violates Taiwan’s constitution.

The third session, “Cross-Strait Ethnic Identities and the Future of Nationality,” dealt with the changing sense of national and ethnic identity among citizens of different age groups and backgrounds in Taiwan. The speakers pointed out that politically motivated efforts to undermine Taiwanese people’s blood ties as well as their linguistic and cultural inheritance from China are a threat to friendly cross-strait relations.

The closing banquet at the Golden Lake Hotel was hosted by the government of Kinmen County. Deputy magistrate of Kinmen County, Mr. Cheng-Tien Wu, warmly welcomed the participants. The county also provided a tour guide for a one-day sightseeing program the next day. This support from the government shows the growing recognition of UPF’s work in the region.

This is the fourth Cross-Strait Peace Forum UPF-Taiwan has organized since 2015. Encouraged by the positive responses it has received from participants of the forums, the chapter aims to develop this annual program into a signature event for UPF in the greater China region.

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