Fri, Apr 06, 2007 - Page 8 News List

Letter: Losing face globally

By Laura Feng

The international community has a tendency to be uncomfortable around the "Taiwan issue."

Going head to head with China is an action that foreign powers are reluctant to take. The global pressures to keep the peace, maintain the status quo and continue economic relations with the People's Republic of China, have led the US and other powers to reduce their support for the Taiwanese people. China rises, and Taiwan becomes diminished in stature.

The Cold War is over, and after all, as US president Calvin Coolidge said: "The business of America is business."

China is very good business. Taiwan absolutely cannot take for granted that we have the protection of the US, unconditionally and without a time frame. We must remind the US, by our behavior and our actions, why it should stand by Taiwan.

Taiwan has struggled and suffered and worked to earn a place in the international community. We should be proud of our heritage, our status as a model of democracy and freedom in Asia. We should act with the dignity and integrity that befits our history and our high-minded ideals.

We should show the world that we, unlike China, stand for freedom, democracy, free expression and honest government. We should make the name "Taiwan" equivalent with progress, idealism, sincerity and democracy in the truest sense.

The recent corruption scandals that have beset the Taiwanese people and our nation are an embarrassment and throw an ugly shadow over our international image. As an overseas Taiwanese, I read the Taiwanese papers and keep up on the happenings in our nation, of which I am very proud. So, out of patriotism, I offer a few words in reproach: J'accuse.

To politicians of both parties who enmesh our country in scandals and power-hungry bickering: Shame on you. Your actions make us lose face. Your prioritizing of personal ambitions over the greater good of our nation will harm us all. Your partisanship, pettiness and corruption shame us all.

That former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman and Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) sees fit to condemn first lady Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍) in one breath and defend himself in the next is embarrassing, even laughable. He flouts decency with the declaration that he, even if convicted, will seek to lead our nation.

On the other hand, that Democratic Progressive Party members cannot find common cause in defending Taiwan's sovereignty and protecting domestic interests tells me that they have lost touch with their core values. Ambition blinds them, and if they lose sight of their responsibilities to the people in their bickering, they will truly have failed.

On both sides of the partisan divide, one thing is very clear. There is more interest in making ugly accusations and creating scandals than in good governance. These people think first of themselves, then their party, and they have forgotten the priority which should be uppermost in their minds: Taiwan.

Laura Feng

Richmond, Virginia

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