Sat, Aug 18, 2001 - Page 8 News List

An open letter to the people of Taiwan

Taiwan's pro-China media and political factions waved banners and cheered mightily when Beijing was named as the host of the 2008 Olympic Games. They immediately rolled out the red carpet to welcome the possible passage of the Olympic torch through Taiwan -- as if Taiwan has already been made part of China.

Moreover, a number of national policy advisers supposedly from the "localization" camp are also bending with the wind after making a trip to China. They no longer defend Taiwan's sovereignty. Instead, they advocate an acknowledgement of "one China" under the ROC Constitution.

As a result, the dignity of this country and its people has been seriously trampled upon and insulted.

After British settlers found homes in the US, Australia and New Zealand, they became Americans, Australians and New Zealanders. The nations they have founded are not called Great Britain but the US, Australia and New Zealand.

After Chinese people settled in Singapore, by the same token, they were no longer Chinese but Singaporeans. The nation they founded is not called China but Singapore.

The 23 million people currently residing on this land -- whether Aboriginal, Dutch, Japanese or Chinese -- have become deeply rooted here. We are no longer Dutch, Japanese or Chinese but Taiwanese, irrespective of when we arrived.

In the past 400 years or so, we Taiwanese have been unable to be our own masters, build our own nation, or even pick a decent name for the home we share.

In the early days, the Portuguese called Taiwan the "Ilha Formosa," which means "beautiful island."

The island was called the Kingdom of Tung Ning (東寧王國) when the Cheng () family took it from the Dutch in 1662, and it was later designated Taiwan Prefecture (台灣府) when the Ching () Dynasty took over Taiwan in 1683.

Taiwan then became a Japanese colony until the Chiang () family took it over in 1945, when the island was placed under the sovereignty of ROC in accordance with the Cairo Declaration. Meanwhile, the PRC proclaimed that Taiwan was one of its provinces.

In addition, the nation has frequently called itself "Chinese Taipei" since the ROC withdrew from the UN. Thus, Taiwan's name has been repeatedly changed by foreign regimes, tossed out -- just like garbage.

The nation established by the Chinese people is called China, not Taiwan. The nation established by the Taiwanese people is, of course, called Taiwan, not China.

We should refuse to let the Olympic torch pass through Taiwan. We must not acknowledge "one China" under the ROC Constitution under any circumstances. We must defend the nation and pursue nothing but independence for Taiwan.

We are all Taiwanese. We should call our nation Taiwan -- the name which best represents the Taiwanese spirit. Our nation is, in a word, Taiwan.

Wang Cheng-chung (王正中), chairman of the Goa-Seng-lang Association for Taiwan Independence (GATI); Liang Jung-mao (梁榮茂), chairman of the Taiwan HAPA; Wu Tzu-mei (吳慈), chairwoman of the Shui-tan-tan women's group; Lin Hsi-han (林溪漢), chairman of the Taipei Bian-dan Association; Hsieh Jung-chen (謝榮振), president of the Love Taiwan, Love Our Hometown Association; Hsieh Ching-hung (謝卿宏), Taiwan Heart Association; Chan Man-li (陳曼麗), board chairwoman of the Homemakers' Union and Foundation; Yeh Sai-ying (葉賽鶯), chairwoman of the Taiwan 21st Century Women's Association; Yang Wei-zhe (楊維哲), chairman of the Taiwan Association of University Professors; and Wang Hsien-chi (王獻極), chairman of the World United Formosans for Independence.

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