Tue, Jul 10, 2001 - Page 8 News List


An evolution of ties

After President Chen Shui-Bian (陳水扁) was elected, there was a lull in the war of words across the Taiwan Strait. It was very peaceful, even though people went ahead with the forging of many small, economic and cultural links between Taiwan and China.

I think that period could be instructive. President Jiang Zemin (江澤民) has recently asserted that China's self-unifying expansion is historically inevitable. I can accept its inevitability but its terms are still unclear. China's expansions into Tibet, Eastern Russia, Mongolia, Hong Kong, Macau and the South China Sea have been driven as much by the need for land and resources as for the purpose of national defense.

But China's desire to annex Taiwan has created a situation in which both sides are rejecting traditional solutions. Taiwan rejects the traditional solution of being a province of China. China rejects the traditional solution of Taiwan being a sovereign state.

These rejections leave us with a situation much like the silence after the election; no one has a name for the way the situation is evolving. Perhaps this is the best state of affairs. Perhaps, regardless of the uncertainty over Taiwan's future, Taiwan and China are pioneering a new form of international relations.

I would like to make several suggestions: One, all parties to the dispute agree to disagree. Two, all parties to the dispute stop trying to put one name or one formula on the situation. Three, all parties to the dispute agree that evolution rather than war is the best process for resolving the dispute. Four, all parties to the dispute put as much energy as possible into the myriad constructive links that are moving Taiwan and China slowly toward a workable future together.

David Cornberg


Bad treatment by Japan

Taiwanese residing in Japan are compelled by Tokyo to have their nationality registered as "Chinese." For years, many Taiwanese have requested the Immigration Bureau to correct it to "Taiwanese," only to be ignored, or even rudely humiliated. This has been a major insult and a cause of pain for people from Taiwan living in Japan. Taiwan's dignity has also been crassly trampled upon by the Japanese government.

For that reason we launched an all-out protest in Japan

yesterday against the Japanese government's false recording of nationality. We will demand that our nationality be corrected as "Taiwanese." Meanwhile, we will appeal to the Japanese people, media and politicians and seek support from all sides.

We hereby call on our fellow Taiwanese to show their concern over the issue by lodging protests with Japan's representative office in Taipei, the Interchange Association (日本交流協會), by phone, fax or letter, and to push Taiwan's government to demand that the situation be rectified.

Let's fight together for the dignity of Taiwanese in Japan.

Lin Chien-liang

Chairman, Taiwanese Association in Japan

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