Sun, Jan 05, 2003 - Page 8 News List

Letters:

Tiaoyutais belong to Chinese

I write to thank the Taipei Times for its prompt and forceful report on the Japanese government's reported leasing of the Tiaoyutai Islands, which belong to the Chinese people ("Taiwan affirms Tiaoyutai claim," Jan. 2, page 4).

It is my belief that the recent awarding to Malaysia of an island claimed by both Malaysia and Indonesia -- by the International Court of Justice at The Hague -- has prompted the Japanese government to make this move. Its action is opportunistic and expansionistic.

It is also ridiculous for the Japanese government to lease the islands from an individual who supposedly "owns" them, without this so-called owner being named. This pretext for trying to incorporate a piece of Chinese territory should be loudly condemned.

I highly commend Taiwan's Executive Yuan for coming forward promptly to oppose the nefarious action of the Japanese government.

To all Chinese people: the Tiaoyutai group of islands are historically ours and Japan's attempt to include them in its empire should be vigorously protested.

In this context, I appeal to the government of Taiwan to take this serious matter up with the Japanese government and tell them to keep their hands off this Chinese territory. Any further action by the Japanese government must be considered provocative and a direct challenge to both Chinese and international laws governing territorial rights.

Isaac Ho

Vancouver, BC, Canada

`Black gold' is embarrassing

Taiwan is as abundant in "black gold" as the US is. The difference is that "black gold" refers to oil in the US, but to dirty politics -- including vote-buying (Editorials, Dec. 27, 28 and 29) -- in Taiwan.

Votes for the speakership of the Kaohsiung City Council were allegedly "bought" by a candidate at NT$15,000,000 (or US$430,000) per vote from a large number of both ruling and opposition councilors.

A bribe of this magnitude must be some sort of record -- historically and globally.

What a shame. Taiwan wants to be No. 1 -- but not in this way.

How to deal with the deteriorating "black gold" situation in Taiwan is a major challenge for the DPP.

This is a crisis for democracy in Taiwan but it is also an opportunity for the DPP. In 2000, presidential candidate Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) pledged to his voters that he would wipe out black gold, if elected.

The voters trusted him. It's now time for President Chen to fulfill his pledge.

The voters of Taiwan treat their elected officials in the same manner as a circus audience treats the clowns and trapeze artists.

If a performer gives a superb performance, the audience will give him or her an enthusiastic applause and demand an extra performance by shouting "Encore!"

On the other hand, if the performance is poor, the audience will boo him or her so that the next performer can go on stage.

Charles Hong

Columbus, Ohio

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