Sat, Jan 21, 2006 - Page 8 News List

Letter: Are you listening, Condi?

By Edward Huang

An open letter to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice:

On behalf of the North America Taiwanese Professors' Association, I applaud the clarity in which the US government acknowledges that the people of Taiwan have the right to exercise referendums or constitutional reforms. The statement issued by department spokeswoman Janelle Hironimus on Jan. 1 on this point reaffirmed the core democratic values shared by all citizens of any free society.

Regrettably, in the same statement, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) was urged to adhere to the so-called "Four Noes," ignoring the fact that the pledge was predicated on the absence of China's military threat against Taiwan. Contrary to its pledge of a "peaceful rise," China has positioned over 700 missiles targeting Taiwan and others in the region.

Furthermore, China enacted its "Anti-Secession" Law early last year. All these have clearly made the US government's recent reference to the "Four Noes" pledge utterly nonsensical. As US President George W. Bush stated in Tokyo late last year, Taiwan is a model of democracy for China.

A democratic Taiwan is a Taiwan of the Taiwanese, for the Taiwanese and by the Taiwanese. The US' anachronistic "one China" policy is inconsistent with the president's stated objective of promoting democracy everywhere in the world, as such a policy prevents democratic Taiwan from participating in world affairs as a responsible member of the international community.

My colleagues and I sincerely hope that the Bush administration recognizes that the notion of China's "peaceful rise" will be a myth until China learns to respect the right of the Taiwanese to freely choose their own government and their own political future. It is our view that replacement of the three-decade old "one China" policy with a "one China, one Taiwan" policy will better serve our long-term national interest.

Edward Huang

United States

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