Sun, Nov 20, 2005 - Page 8 News List

Letter: Tell China to scrap missiles

By Fred Baehner

To US President George W. Bush:

On the eve of your visit to China, we, the undersigned representatives of Taiwanese-American organizations, appeal to you to reaffirm the US' support for freedom and democracy in Taiwan. In your upcoming meetings with the Chinese leaders, please remind them that it has long been US policy that the future of Taiwan be resolved peacefully and with the expressed consent of the Taiwanese people.

You have been advocating the spread of democracy throughout the world. We applaud your dedication to this core American value. Taiwan has achieved its democracy through sweat and tears. It is clearly in the US' interests to protect and nurture this hard-won democracy. Therefore we implore you to let the Taiwanese people exercise their democratic right in determining their destiny. We urge you to refrain from expressing non-support for Taiwan independence.

To say that the US does not support Taiwan independence risks precluding de jure independence as an option for the future of Taiwan. Taiwan has been a de facto independent country for 60 years. Taiwan has never been ruled by the People's Republic of China.

A survey in Taiwan last year found that 62 percent of the respondents said they were Taiwanese. A mere 19 percent identified themselves as Chinese. Given free choice, the people of Taiwan would most likely vote for de jure independence.

The best way to foster democracy is to create an environment in which the people's will can be freely expressed.

In the case of Taiwan, the 700 Chinese missiles targeting the nation produce a coercive rather than conducive environment for the exercise of democracy. These missiles also gravely threaten the status quo that you have been so eager to preserve. We recommend that, in your negotiations with the Chinese leaders, you insist that these offensive weapons be dismantled.

In April 2001, you stated that the US would do whatever necessary to help Taiwan defend itself. We are grateful for your strong commitment to the safety and security of Taiwan. We trust that on your China trip, you will not give in to Chinese demands to diminish Taiwan's status as a free and democratic nation or as a full and equal member of the international community.

Fred Baehner

American Taiwan Society

This story has been viewed 3135 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top