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INTRODUCTION FOR DR. PENG MING-MIN

Born in Taiwan during the Japanese occupation period, Dr. Peng Ming-min first received his primary education in Taiwan before going to Japan for secondary school and university. During

World War II, he studied law and political science at the Imperial Tokyo University. In 1945 , he left Tokyo for the countryside in order to avoid the American bombing of Japan's capital. After reaching Nagasaki, Dr. Peng lost his left arm in a bombing raid and witnessed the atomic blast that destroyed Nagasaki. As a survivor of one of the most horrific chapters of world history, Dr. Peng has remained committed to peace throughout his life.

By the end of the World War II , as the Kuomintang (KMT) army began arriving from China, Dr. Peng returned to Taiwan in October 1945. Dr. Peng witnessed the KMT's brutal month-long massacre which began on February 28, 1947. The looting and violence perpetrated by the KMT left a lasting impression on Dr. Peng and many Taiwanese. Subsequent decades of political oppression during the “White Terror” era of the 1950's and 1960's had subjected the Taiwanese people to live in fear. After completing his bachelor's degree at the Law School of National Taiwan University, Dr. Peng went on to pursue a Master's degree at the Institute of International Air Law at the McGill University in Canada, later a doctoral degree in law at the University of Paris in 1954. During his studies, Dr. Peng wrote some of the first essays on international air law published in France, Canada and Japan. His publications attracted considerable international attention and distinguished Dr. Peng as a pioneer in the new field of international air law.

Upon his return to Taiwan, Dr. Peng embarked on a brilliant academic and public career. In 1957, at age 34 , Dr. Peng became the youngest full professor at the National Taiwan University during the post-war period. While Dr. Peng was a professor and chairman of the Department of Political Science from 1961 to 1962, he attracted the attention of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and other KMT leaders. Chiang appointed Dr. Peng as the advisor to Taiwan's delegation to the United Nations, which was the highest political position held by any Taiwanese at that time, and hinted for future higher-level governmental appointments.

Dr. Peng's appointment came at a time when the KMT government representation of China in the United Nations was losing international legitimacy due to KMT's opposition to Mongolia's admission into the U.N. To this day, the KMT government still claims territorial sovereignty over Mongolia despite the fact that Mongolia voted for independence in a 1945 Plebiscite. Sensing that the Nationalist government faced imminent expulsion from the UN and that the interests of the Taiwan people would be sacrificed, Dr. Peng's opposition to the KMT government grew. In July 1962, he wrote a report, entitled “The Sentimental Basis for Pan-Africanism,” which discussed the African emergence from colonialism and its struggle to attain independence, identity, and nationhood. Many local observers recognized his work as an allegory to the situation in Taiwan.

In 1964, Dr. Peng and his students issued “A Manifesto to Save Taiwan” with three objectives: To affirm that recovering Mainland China is absolutely impossible; To rewrite the constitution in order to guarantee human right and genuine democracy; To participate in the UN as a new member and to establish diplomatic relations with other countries working together for world peace. While revolutionary at the time, many of the proposals in the Manifesto have become government policy today, leading many observers to hail Dr. Peng as the “Father of Democracy and Independence” in Taiwan.

Before the Manifesto could be distributed, Dr. Peng and his students were arrested. Dr. Peng was sentenced to eight years of imprisonment by a military court. His case attracted worldwide attention prompting Amnesty International, Professor John K. Fairbank, Dr. Henry Kissinger and many others to express their concern to the KMT regime. Bowing to the increasing international pressure, Chiang Kai-shek released Dr. Peng from military prison 14 months later, but placed him under house arrest for life with strict surveillance.

In January 1970, Dr. Peng dramatically escaped to Sweden where he was granted political asylum. Despite strenuous objections from the KMT government, the United States granted Dr. Peng a visa and he arrived in Michigan in August 1970. During his two decades of exile , Dr. Peng lectured at the University of Michigan, Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, and the University of London. In 1972 , in addition to serving as the Director of Formosan Studies in New Jersey, Dr. Peng also published a personal memoir entitled A Taste of Freedom which was later translated into Chinese. His book has become a major source of hope and inspiration for many Taiwanese around the world.

During his time in the United States, Dr. Peng continued to be a leading figure in Taiwan politics and American foreign policy issues. In 1981, he co-founded the Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA'S), a Taiwanese lobbying organization based in Washington D.C. Dr. Peng served as FAPA's president from 1986 to 1988 and chaired the Asia-Pacific Democracy Association in 1989. He also testified on Taiwan issues before the US Congress on several occasions.

In 1990, Dr. Peng was invited to attend the National Affairs Conference in Taiwan in which scholars and politicians from both political parties sat down for the first time to discuss future policies for Taiwan. However, Dr. Peng refused the invitation because there was still a warrant outstanding for his arrest in Taiwan. When President Lee Teng-hui finally granted a general amnesty for political offenders in 1992, Dr. Peng made immediate plans to return to Taiwan. After 23 years of exile abroad, Dr. Peng returned to Taiwan on November 1, 1992.

In 1994, Dr. Peng established the Peng Foundation for Culture and Education which sponsored seminars and lectures to raise awareness of Taiwan's identity. On September 28, 1995, after an arduous two-tiered nomination process involving 49 public debates around Taiwan, the Democratic Progressive Party nominated Dr. Peng as the candidate for Taiwan's first presidential elections in March 1996. In sharp contrast to other presidential candidates, Dr. Peng is committed to implementing genuine democracy, guaranteeing fundamental human rights, and protecting Taiwan's current independent sovereignty. Dr. Peng's vision and direction was and still is much needed during the time of Taiwan's historic and difficult transition.

After the election, Dr. Peng formed The Nation-Building Union of Taiwan and has served as its president. On May 20, 2000, when the people of Taiwan finally elected the nation's president from the opposition party (DDP) for the first time since KMT control, Dr. Peng became the Senior Adviser to President Chen Shui-Bian.

TIMELINE

•  Born in Taichung, Taiwan

1936-1939 Kaohsiung High School

1939-1942 High School in Japan.

1942-1945 Tokyo's Imperial University major in law and political science

1945 Returned to Taiwan from Japan

1946-1948 National Taiwan University major in political science

1948 BA in Political Science from National Taiwan University

1948-1952 TA, Department of Political Science, National Taiwan University

1953 LL.M from McGill University (Canada)

1953 Ph.D. in law from University of Paris (France)

1954-1955 Associate Professor of Political Science, National Taiwan University

•  Studied at the Institute for International Relations, at Harvard University

•  Full Professor of Political Science, National Taiwan University

1961-1962 Chairman, Department of Political Science, National Taiwan University

1961-1962 Director of the Public Law Research Institute

1962 Adviser to the R.O.C. delegation to the United Nations

•  Issued the “Manifesto to Save Taiwan” with students,

Hsieh Tsong-min and Wei Ting-chao, subsequently arrested

•  Sentenced to eight years in prison, later commuted to house arrest. Placed under 24

-hour surveillance by security operatives

1970 Escaped to Sweden and granted political asylum

1970-1972 Senior researcher at University of Michigan, China Research Center

Visiting Professor at University of Michigan, School of Law

•  Chairman, the World United Formosans for Independence (WUFI)

Published “A Taste of Freedom,” a personal memoirs

•  Visiting professor at Wright University, Ohio

1978 Member of the board of directors of the Taiwan-America Association

•  Headed a delegation to the U.S. Congress and testified at a House of Representatives

hearing for the passage of the Taiwan Relations Act

•  Co-founded the Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA)

•  Testified before the U.S. House of Representatives, urging democratization and an

end to marshal law in Taiwan

•  President of FAPA

1989 Chairman of the Asia-Pacific Democracy Association

1992 Returned to Taiwan after 23 years of exile

1994 Established the Peng Foundation for Culture and Education

1995 On February 28, became a member of the Democratic Progressive Party

On March 30, formally announced candidacy for the DPP presidential primary

On September 28, nominated as the DPP presidential candidate.

1996 Candidate for Presidency of Taiwan, representing the major opposition party

(Democratic Progressive Party)

1997 President, The Nation-Building Union of Taiwan

2000 Senior Adviser to The President of Taiwan

彭明敏簡歷

1923  出生於台中大甲鎮 

1936  高雄中學《 1939 肄業》 

1939  日本關西學院中學部《 1940 畢業》 

1940  日本 ( 京都 ) 第三高等學校《 1942 畢業》 

1942  東京帝國大學法學部政治科《 1945 因戰亂肄業》

1946  台灣大學政治系《 1948 畢業》 

1953  加拿大麥基爾 (McGill) 大學法學碩士 

1954  法國巴黎大學法學博士

   台灣大學政治系副教授 

1956  美國哈佛大學國際事務研究中心研究 

1957  台灣大學政治系教授 ( 時年三十四為戰後最年輕的正教授 )

1960  哈佛大學國際問題研究會研究 ( 於東京舉行 )

   中美文化合作會議代表 ( 於美國西雅圖大學舉行 )

1961  國家科學發展委員會國家講座《 1961-1962 》

   「陽明山會議」代表《 1961-1962 》

   第一屆十大傑出青年 ( 國際青商會主辦 )

   台灣大學政治系主任、公法研究所主任《 1961-1962 》

   聯合國大會中國代表團顧問 

1964  與謝聰敏、魏廷朝發表「台灣自救宣言」被捕 

•  被判刑八年,同年十一月特赦出獄,遭軟禁在家,由情治單位二十四小時監控 

1970  秘密出境至瑞典,獲政治庇護

   瑞典斯德哥爾摩人類博物館 亞洲部門資深研究員

   美國密西根大學中國研究中心資深學術研究員 兼法學院訪問教授《 1970-1972 》 

1972  「台獨聯盟」總本部主席

1973  美國俄亥俄州賴特 (Wright) 州立大學客座教授《 1973-1974 》 

•  參與芝加哥、洛杉磯、休斯頓、華府等地舉行的「台灣人民眾大會」,擔任主講人

•  率團遊說美國國會並在眾議院公聽會作證,為「台灣關係法」的國會立法催生 

1981  與海外同鄉籌組台灣人公共事務會 (FAPA)

1983  在美國眾議院公聽會作證,要求台灣民主化,解除戒嚴令 

1986  台灣人公共事務會 (FAPA) 會長《 1986-1988 》 

1989  亞太民主協會理事長 

1992 11 月 1 日返回闊別近二十三年的故鄉 ---- 台灣 

1994  成立彭明敏文教基金會並擔任董事長 

1996 3 月代表民進黨參選首屆民選總統

4 月成立建國會,任會長 

2000 5 月總統府資政

擔任亞太自由民主聯盟〈亞盟〉秘書長

2001   應捷克總統哈維爾之邀參加第五屆「公元兩千年論壇」

2002 率團參加美國布希總統主持的「祈禱早餐會」

2003 Supplementary Materials

 

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