Wed, Aug 29, 2007 - Page 8 News List

Letters: Stop kowtowing to China

The US State Department spoke out in June in opposition to the proposed referendum on Taiwan's application to join the UN under the name "Taiwan."

Last month President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) wrote UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon a letter applying for UN membership.

During Chen's recent trip to Honduras for a summit with Central American leaders, he was punished by the US government, who only granted him a 50-minute refueling stop in distant Alaska.

Clearly, it is a strong indication of US displeasure with Chen's push for a nation-wide referendum on the government bid to join the UN under the name of Taiwan.

Taiwan is a democratic country and staunch ally of the US. Make no mistake: A referendum is a domestic affair and an integral part of the system that the US and other democratic countries hold dear. Then why does the US openly interfere with Taiwan's domestic affairs and democracy?

Washington fears that Chen's push for the referendum could test the patience of Beijing, which views it as a step toward formalizing de facto independence. Washington sees it as Chen provoking China. How can the US adopt this kowtow policy to China, a country without basic human rights?

As a signatory of the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty, the US should recognize that since Japan renounced its ownership of Taiwan, the future of the country should be determined by the people who reside there.

Saying that a referendum is direct democracy which is a universal value that cannot be compromised, Chen stated, "The Taiwanese people will never accept someone drawing a red line for our democracy," and "We should not give up [the referendum] in exchange for better US transit treatment."

The message is loud and clear that for the 23 million people of Taiwan, nothing can replace their self-determination and democracy.

As the leader of the free world, it is time that the US stop opposing Taiwan's entry into the world body and stand up to support it wholeheartedly.

Gaines Ho

McLean, Virginia

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