‘Struggle for 100% Freedom’: The Legacy of Nylon Cheng and Taiwan’s Democratization

November 26, 2018

A provocative media entrepreneur and radical advocate of Taiwan independence in the 1980s, Nylon Cheng 鄭南榕 has since been commemorated with a  “Freedom of Speech Day” and his quotations have served as rallying cries for a later generation of political activists. In a talk on Taiwan’s transition from authoritarian rule, University of Alberta political scientist Ashley Esarey argues that the ways in which Nylon Cheng’s ultimate sacrifice have been remembered can reveal much about the enduring effects of 1980s democratic activism as well as illustrate the vibrance of democracy in contemporary Taiwan.


Dr. Ashley Esarey received his BA in Diplomacy and World Affairs from Occidental College in Los Angeles, earned his MA, MPhil, and PhD in Political Science from Columbia University in New York, and held the An Wang Postdoctoral Fellowship at Harvard’s Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies. At the University of Alberta he is Academic Advisor at the China Institute and teaches courses on Chinese politics, global security, and international relations in the Department of Political Science. His research concerns political communication, environmental activism, and the domestic politics and foreign relations of China and Taiwan.


Monday, November 26, 2018


SFU Burnaby
Academic Quadrangle
AQ 6229
8888 University Drive, Burnaby

Please register here.

  • David See-Chai Lam Centre
  • Taiwan Studies Group, Department of History