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Democratic Progressive Party Year 2000 Policy Manifesto Abstract November 24, 1999

The abstract from the November 24, 1999 Democratic Party Policy Manifesto
November 24, 1999

DPP Year 2000 Policy Manifesto

November 24, 1999

Taiwan requires an accountable and transparent government as the new basis for national development.  At the dawning of the new century, Taiwan must strive to cultivate a peaceful and stable atmosphere to foster development, and establish a modern democratic government.  This is in order to increase Taiwan's economic competitiveness to meet the challenges of globalization, create a dynamic and plural civil society, and foster a living environment that enables sustainable development.

To grasp the direction of Taiwan's development in the next millenium, an examination of the global environment as a whole is necessary.  There exists a clear trend towards globalization. Such a trend includes the intertwining global economic networks that have crossed boundaries to bring world competition in various fields. In addition, the decreasing role of the state as a controlling agency has meant a shift in the relationship between the central government and its citizens from hierarchical authority to cooperation. Moreover, environmental issues have now emerged as transnational issues and are no longer viewed in opposition to issues of economic development.  Furthermore, there is a clear change in the operation of international politics. In the new multi-polar world, competition amongst nations has shifted from a strictly military level to a realm of "comprehensive power", which means the focus of national security has expanded to encompass not only military security but economic and social security as well.  To effectively respond to these changing global trends, Taiwan must find a new mode for development. 

In the spirit of reform, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is prepared to accept this difficult challenge.  With full responsibility and maturity, the DPP is committed to work hand-in-hand with the people to complete the historical task.  In essence, we have adopted a new approach to governing that involves these fundamental values:

Bottom-up public participation process in politics;

Responsibility and accountability;

Proactive and comprehensive risk management;

Political decisions based on the people's practical daily living experience

Under half a century of KMT authoritative rule, there existed numerous obstacles to Taiwan's national development. These include enmity across the strait; Taiwan's diplomatic isolation; a chaotic political system and corrupt political culture dominated by criminal gangs; a handicapped financial system; vague industrial policies; distorted social development; unfair allocation of resources; excessive destruction of the environment and inadequate national land planning. These historical obstacles must be overcome so that we may establish a nation that strives in international competition and create a fair, secure and normal basis for development.

We present the DPP Year 2000 Policy Manifesto in order to meet the challenges of the new century and to fulfill our new responsibilities. The DPP 2000 Policy Manifesto represents a contract with our fellow citizens for opening a new era of comprehensive national reform.  We hereby outline five pledges for the next century:

1.      A Security Network with Regional Cooperation and Interdependency

In line with the global trend of regional cooperation, interdependency, and the complication of geopolitics, Taiwan's national security should focus on developing a multilateral security cooperation network. Along with this Taiwan must increase its profile in regional affairs by engaging in a diversity of issues, such as trade liberalization and democratization, to compensate for Taiwan's international political isolation. Furthermore, we must maintain an efficient yet credible deterrence force to preempt any belligerent action towards Taiwan.  Finally, we must strive for pragmatic, equal and harmonious cross-strait relations in order to bring about general normalization.

2.      Partnership in Government with Decentralization and Broadened Participation

The core solution for government reform, at all levels, lies in the adjustment of government functions. To respond to the trend of globalization and rapid changes in society, the current centralization of money and power must be adjusted. Economic power and political decision-making must be distributed to local governments and the people. It is important to increase the extent and breadth of democratic participation and local autonomy. In the area of public finance, improvements must be made regarding: first, a balance of decision-making authority and financial resources between the central government and local authorities; second, just and fair tax programs which would abolish outdated preferential tax treatment and subsidies. By developing efficient, accountable, transparent and just new government, we must re-build public confidence in government, to reinvigorate the positive energy of society.  In the next century, we will make the government become the partners of the people, the communities, and the society at large.

3.      Knowledge-based Economy with Technological Innovation and Transparent Competition

The core solution to the problem of securing a safe economic system lies in both the normalization of the relationship between politics and business and the increase in economic and industrial competitiveness.  Supervisory measures should be established to monitor financial reform, risk management and warning systems should be established, and fairness and transparency should be strengthened to enhance the normalization of government-business relations.   In terms of industrial policy, it is crucial to place an emphasis on technology innovation, development of knowledge-based industries, trade liberalization, active promotion of industrial innovation and adoption of modern technologies, and continuing education and training of human resources.   We also emphasize the crucial role of the small and medium sized enterprises to continue their pivotal status in Taiwan's economic development. Assistance should be provided in strengthening international marketing skills, upgrading old-fashioned industries and decreasing the adjustment cost in structural changes. In order to encourage industrial development, the government must dedicate itself to improving the environment, increasing transparency and efficiency, and providing sufficient basic infrastructure.

4.      Active Civil Society with Dignity

The core solution to the problem of social reform lies in three steps: the improvement in the quality of education of citizens; provision of equal and fair opportunity for individual development; and providing an environment of a diverse and self-confident civil society.  Through a well-rounded educational policy, we could cultivate creative citizens who are capable of independent thinking. Through a solid social welfare system, we could guarantee our citizen's livelihood and invest in our human capital. Through a good labor policy, we could coordinate labor and capital to increase the competitiveness of our industry. Through a family policy of gender equality, we could make families gardens of individual growth.  Through our community policy initiated on cultural development, we would shape the new values of a new Taiwanese civilization.  It would be a civilization in which citizens identify with the land where their livelihood is based upon and where their citizens enjoy full participation in public affairs. We would cultivate a democratic and progressive society, which offers equal opportunity to its citizens and possesses great creative energy.

5.       A Secure and Sustainable Living Environment

The core solution to improving the quality of the environment lies in maintaining a balance between economic development and environmental conservation. The adjustment of economic structures should take into consideration the following: standards for sustainable development; integration with international environmental protection trends; and the encouragement of low energy, low pollution, and high value-added industries.  We would promote an environmental tax and offer economic incentives for green industries, in order to seek a win-win situation for industry and the environment.  At the same time, it is important to encourage public participation in issues relating to environmental protection and the quality of living; establish mechanisms for negotiation and democratic decision-making on environmental issues; strengthen the implementation of environmental evaluation; institute a fair and reasonable national land-management plan; and ensure balanced and harmonious sustainable development.

The year 2000 is a crucial year for Taiwan.   With a careful examination of global trends and the domestic environment, the DPP proposes a new vision for the development of our country into the next century.  We are confident that only our party is capable of fulfilling this historical "new responsibility!" 

Now, a mature, responsible and reform-oriented Democratic Progressive Party is ready.  We once again ask for the support of our fellow Taiwanese people!