《認識彭明敏 瞻望新台灣》 青年徵文活動 緣起 About the Essay Contest
Professor Peng Ming-min, who has passed away in 2022 was born in Japanese-ruled Taiwan 99 years ago. Peng graduated from National Taiwan University and furthered his studies in Canada and Europe where he became an outstanding legal and political scholar, and later an authority on international legal studies. Peng returned to Taiwan and later became and adviser to the Representatives of Republic of China to the United Nations.
Professor Peng had not only experienced the colonial rule of Japan in his life, he has also witnessed the totalitarian rule of the Kuomintang(KMT) controlled Republic of China government on Taiwan, which has been a governing authority on Taiwan since they took over the island upon Japan’s surrender to the Allied Powers in 1945. Peng’s experience of the great changes in his hometown and the international situation at the time prompted him to be more proactively involved in the Taiwan independence movement.
One of Peng Ming-min’s most influential works was the 1964 manifesto A Declaration of Formosan Self-salvation that he co-drafted with the late former legislator Hsieh Tsung-min and human rights activist Wei Ting-chao,. Peng deemed the concept of “one China, one Taiwan" an international reality. That action did not bode well for Peng Ming-min was later persecuted by the KMT government and had to leave Taiwan as an exile and subsequently devoted himself to Taiwan's democratization while overseas. He assisted in the founding of the Formosan Association for Public Affairs(FAPA) and served as the president of the World United Formosans for Independence(WUFI). In 1996, he ran in the first direct presidential election of the Republic of China on Taiwan as Democratic Progressive Party’s presidential nominee. During his lifetime, Professor Peng published many well-known works, which inspired countless Taiwanese political figures and leaders for decades, and had a profound impact on Taiwan's democratic movement.
The event organizer hopes to let younger generation Taiwanese Americans have an opportunity to know more about Professor Peng by having a closer look into his works and use this meaningful essay contest as a way to commemorate Peng’s great contributions and awaken one’s Taiwanese consciousness in the process. The organizers hope that this contest will enable Taiwanese American youths to better understand Taiwanese American history, value the sacrifices and efforts of the pioneers for Taiwan’s democracy and social justice, and allow the new generation of Taiwanese Americans to share their forward-looking vision of Taiwan.