Toward Becoming a Normal Nation: Taiwan Advocates takes the first step by stating its goals Toward Becoming a Normal Nation, a symposium on governmental reform held in October 2002.

Shortly after Taiwan Advocates began official operation in June 2002, it began planning a symposium titled Toward Becoming a Normal Nation. This symposium focused on legislative reform, reviving the economy and education reform. The symposium was held in 13 sessions over two days with participation from over 600 people from various professions. As chairman of Taiwan Advocates, former president Lee Teng-hui gave the keynote address, titled “Toward Becoming a Normal Nation,” which outlined the main goals of Taiwan Advocates.

Looking beyond Taiwan: Concern for democracy in Hong Kong; Taiwan Advocates attracts international attention“Hong Kong Under “One Country,Two Systems,” an international symposium held in August 2003.

Originally scheduled to overlap with the sixth anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China, this symposium was delayed due to the SARS outbreak. After a protest by 500,000 people was held in Hong Kong on July 1, and the attention the protest subsequently brought to the Hong Kong issue, the symposium attracted unprecedented local and international interest. A wave of editorial attacks in Hong Kong’s pro-China media against Legislative Council lawmaker Emily Lau denouncing her for attending the symposium drew further international interest to Taiwan Advocates. When the New York Times and other major international media reported that Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa would withdraw controversial legislation based on Article 23 of Hong Kong’s Basic Law in September 2003, they often cited Lau’s participation in the symposium, attesting to the conference’s influence on events as they were developing.

Ten scholars and experts from both Taiwan and Hong Kong were invited to the symposium, where a total of nine papers were presented. Participants included two members of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council, as well as media figures and opinion leaders, including television commentator Wong Yuk Man and Jin Zhong, the chief editor of Open Magazine.

Other speakers included Nat Bellocchi, former chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan, who presented a paper titled “Hong Kong and Taiwan: Choice makes the difference,” and Mineo Nakajima who presented a paper titled “Watching the sun set on Hong Kong, and the future of Taiwan.”

A review of 16 years of cross-strait relations withRoss Terrill and Gordon G. Chang, A Meeting of International China ExpertsInternational Symposium on Cross-Strait Relations and National Security held on December 2003.

Sixteen years since lifting the ban on cross-strait family visits,, the nature and aims of cross strait exchanges have changed dramatically. Exchanges in many areas are much closer than ever before, and the original aims of the policy have either been sacrificed or distorted to the point that they no longer serve Taiwan’s interests. Cross-strait exchanges have had an enormous impact on Taiwan’s economy, society, politics and national security. This symposium sought to use objective data and scientific analysis to calculate the effects of these exchanges so that the public can clearly see their benefits and their costs, and so that the government can use the results of this research for reference.

Along with papers on issues of general concern presented by scholars, Taiwan Advocates also invited two outstanding sinologists, Professor Ross Terrill of Harvard University’s Fairbank Center and Gordon G. Chang, an international lawyer and author of The Coming Collapse of China, to speak at the symposium.

Name rectification, writing a new Constitution, establishing a new nation: Taiwan Advocates becomes the driving force behind constitutional re-engineeringA meeting of international scholars to outline Taiwan’s prospects under a new ConstitutionAn international symposim on a new constitution for Taiwan, held on November 2004.

On Sept. 6, 2003, 150,000 people took to the streets in Taipei to demand the rectification of Taiwan’s name, expressing their hope for the establishment of a new nation. During the presidential election of 2004, calls for a revision of the Constitution through a referendum were deafening. The people of Taiwan could sense that the country had reached a dead end in its political development, and that formulating a new Constitution was critical to finding a new path. The chairman of Taiwan Advocates, former president Lee Teng-hui, was a key figure in the movements calling for the rectification of Taiwan’s name, for the re-engineering of the Constitution and for the establishment of a new nation. At his direction, Taiwan Advocates invited scholars and experts from around the world, including the US, Japan, Germany,France and the CzechRepublic, to assist in drawing up an outline for a Constitution compatible with Taiwan’s needs in the 21st century.