During a visit to the DPP Headquarters on May 1, Chair of the British-Taiwanese All-Party Parliamentary Group Lord Faulkner expressed his pleasure at the chance to visit Chair Su Tseng-chang and the Democratic Progressive Party's headquarters. He used this opportunity to consult with Chair Su on the current Taiwanese political and social movements.
Chair Su summarized the student movement's two main grievances. Charging into the Legislative Yuan and occupying the assembly, the students' first issue rests on the ruling party's use of a non-transparent strategy to shove through legislation. They insisted the legislature devise a mechanism to monitor all bilateral agreements with China, a demand backed by the DPP as well as the majority of the public.
Chair Su further explained the other set of grievances relates to the people's dissatisfaction with industry and energy. A core value of the DPP includes a nuclear-free homeland. Since the Fukushima disaster, concern for nuclear safety, especially of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, reemerged among the people. Sitting on numerous earthquake faults, the plant's 30 kilometers distance from the capital of Taipei only further amplify the people's worries. Refusing to accept concerns and underestimating public will, the Ma administration continues opposing public opinion. The fourth nuclear plant's construction remains without regard for safety. In response, Former DPP Chair Lin Yi-Hsiung initiated an indefinite hunger strike in protest. After more demonstrations emerged, the Ma administration finally yielded and halted further construction. Lin ended his fasting the next day.
Lord Faulkner expressed his confidence in seeing a peaceful conclusion to the recent events, which he added would demonstrate the maturity of Taiwan's democracy. Lord Faulkner and the UK government, however, expressed regret over Taiwan's recent executions. He explains he personally values human rights and believes Taiwan and China should, too.
Chair Su responded that the Ma administration used these executions as a means to shift attention away from the issues. He adds that the DPP suspended the death penalty while in power and set up plans to minimize mistakes. He expressed regret that the Ma administration has since closed off dialogue on the death penalty.
Concluding the talks, Chair Su agreed with Lord Faulkner's opinions and thanked him for deeply caring about Taiwan.
Executive Director of the Policy Research Committee Mr. Joseph Wu along with the Department of International Affairs Director Mr. Liu Shih-chung accompanied Chair Su in the meeting with Lord Faulkner.