Thu, May 25, 2006 - Page 8 News List

Letter: Support `people diplomacy'

Diplomacy is "the art and practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of groups or nations. It usually refers to international diplomacy or the conduct of international relations through the intercession of professional diplomats with regard to international issues. Treaties are negotiated by diplomats prior to endorsement by national politicians."

For the "people on Taiwan" as defined in the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) passed by the US congress in 1979, international diplomacy has entirely unique protocols. This relationship as defined under the TRA is the diplomatic template used for nearly every other nation that does not recognize the legitimacy of the Republic of China (ROC) as a sovereign nation.

The current imbalance in rights, privileges -- and more specifically the inequality, discrimination and gross abuse of non-ROC nationals under the current government -- should be a major cause for concern. If addressed properly and corrected, this protocol for international relations, based on "people diplomacy," may be the key to solving Taiwan's diplomatic nightmare as well as improving the deteriorating human and civil status for non-ROC "people on Taiwan."

The fact that the US, Taiwan's greatest ally and supporter, chooses to view international relations, not as being between governments but between the people of Taiwan and the US, is one the current government has entirely ignored.

Under this framework, all the people are now diplomats and the relationship and treatment of those people is the basis for the relationship between the US, Taiwan and the world.

Eric Lier


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