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Taiwan’s Imperfect Democracy (Page 2 of 2)

A delegation from the International Committee for Fair Elections in Taiwan has also concluded that this year’s elections were mostly free, but only partly fair. The group of 24 election observers from Europe, Canada, the United States and Japan was led by former Alaska governor and U.S. Senator, Frank Murkowski.

The challenges for democracy everywhere are enormous. The Taiwanese know this better than anyone. They know, too, that their own experiment with democratic governance is only the beginning of a long and rewarding journey. That journey can only be successful, however, if the hurdles and impediments are cleared away.

For the United States and other Western democracies it’s important to ensure that Taiwan’s democracy retains a level playing field. Only in this way can the Taiwanese people make a fully free choice on their future and become a true beacon for democracy in East Asia, including China.

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Julian Baum is a former Taiwan correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review. Gerrit van der Wees is a former Dutch diplomat who presently serves as editor of Taiwan Communiqué, a publication of the Formosan Association for Public Affairs in Washington. D.C.

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