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.
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
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
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 》
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 》
1973 美國俄亥俄州賴特 (Wright) 州立大學客座教授《 1973-1974 》
1981 與海外同鄉籌組台灣人公共事務會 (FAPA)
1986 台灣人公共事務會 (FAPA) 會長《 1986-1988 》
1992 11 月 1 日返回闊別近二十三年的故鄉 ---- 台灣
1996 3 月代表民進黨參選首屆民選總統
2000 5 月總統府資政
2003 Supplementary Materials