DPP hosts international workshop on youth participation in politics

The DPP, along with the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD), held an international youth workshop in Kaohsiung from Aug. 17 to 21. The DPP is a founding member of CALD, a network of political parties that promotes the values of democracy and freedom throughout Asia.

The DPP organized the workshop to gather young activists from Asian political parties and have them share the way international parties promote youth participation in politics. Participants in the workshop included young representatives from the DPP of Taiwan, the Democratic Party of Thailand, Liberal Party of the Philippines, Gerakan Party of Malaysia, the Singapore Democratic Party of Singapore, the Liberal Party of Sri Lanka, the Sam Rainsy Party of Cambodia, the Democratic Party of Struggle and the National Awakening Party of Indonesia, the Democratic Party of Hong Kong and the Democratic Party of Japan.

Representatives from the European youth liberal alliance, LYMEC, and Germany’s Friedrich Naumann Foundation were also present at the workshop to speak of their experience in forming youth organizations in Europe.

Bikhim Hsiao, director of the DPP’s Department of International Affairs and spokesperson for DPP Chair Tsai Ing-wen, spoke at the workshop opening regarding the importance of participating at a young age in politics.

Hsiao said that the DPP has always been associated with the youth, citing as an example the DPP 2000 campaign slogan “Taiwan: A Young Country with Energetic Government”. She said that the DPP’s victory in the 2000 election confirmed that youth were indeed a powerful electoral bloc in Taiwanese politics.

“It is a challenge to govern and to make a difference - and the youth always play a pivotal role in the process,” Hsiao said.

In addition to learning about the way young people participate in politics in different countries across Asia, the international workshop participants were also able to experience the DPP’s involvement and culture in southern Taiwan.

Staying near the Love River of Kaohsiung, the international workshop attendees visited Kaohsiung’s Laohe night market and the vibrant shopping district of New Chueh Chiang during the first two days of the workshop. On the last day of the workshop, participants visited the campaign headquarters of the DPP candidate in Greater Tainan, Lai Ching-teh. They also had a chance to visit Tainan’s historical monuments such as the Chikan Towers, the Confucius Temple and the National Museum of Taiwan Literature housed in Tainan’s former city hall.