Skiplink Navigation

Main Features

Taiwan Liu Shih-chung

Liu is deputy secretary-general of the Tainan City government 


Bruno Kaufmann: What significance does Tainan have for Taiwan’s democracy?

Liu Shih-chung: The democracy movement of our island state actually started here in Taiwan’s oldest city in the 1970ies. Back then, military dictator Chiang Kai-shek governed this country with an iron hand. Many active citizens of our city were persecuted and imprisoned.

B.K.: How has democracy developed in your country since the first free elections 19 years ago?

L.S.C.: We have come very far in a relatively short time. Formally and institutionally, we have gained extensive rights, and civil society is a lot stronger now than it was only a few years ago.

B.K.: How important do you think is this development on a local level?

L.S.C.: Very important, but this does not only apply to Tainan and Taiwan but all over the world. Values such as openness and participation can be realised much more quickly on a local level than on a national level, which is often heavily polarised.

B.K.: How has Switzerland’s model of a modern direct democracy influenced this development?

L.S.C.: The great variety of participatory opportunities, as in Switzerland, is a great example and has certainly influenced our democracy and law-making process over the last few years. We need to learn from the most significant and best practices from all over the world because a strong democracy is our best life insurance.

Translated from German by Billi Bierling

Neuer Inhalt

Horizontal Line

SWI on Instagram

SWI on Instagram

SWI on Instagram

subscription form

Form for signing up for free newsletter.

Sign up for our free newsletters and get the top stories delivered to your inbox.

Click here to see more newsletters