Policing in Taiwan
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The Taiwan police have been swiftly adapting to the changing socio-political circumstances since the 1990s, including the era of democratization in which social and political movements have become a phenomenon challenging not only the law and order but also police power. The police have also been responding to various contingencies rapidly, such as the Kaohsiung prison breakout, the Sunflower movement and the Formosa Fun Coast explosion. In general, the police reactions have shown that they remain efficient and professional, although critics of police power have pointed to the Sunflower movement. Moreover, Taiwan’s prison management remains to be improved so as to prevent another type of Kaohsiung prison breakout from happening. As Taiwan is entering the stage of democratic consolidation in which citizens are fully aware of their civil liberties and political groups are constantly participating in socio-political movements, police power is destined to be questioned and challenged. Still, Taiwan’s rule of law, with its established court system, can handle controversial cases involving civil liberties and police power. How to strike a balance between the protection of civil liberties and the maintenance of law and order will remain a delicate issue in Taiwan in the years to come.