Mon, Sep 03, 2007 - Page 8 News List

Letters

Taiwan's UN referendum

US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte has publicly stated his country's opposition to the Democratic Progressive Party's proposal to hold a referendum on entering the UN under the name "Taiwan."

The people of Taiwan demand that Washington stand up to China and show leadership on this issue.

The US has a long history of sacrificing Taiwanese interests in favor of China and this is why they have labeled the referendum as an attempt to unilaterally alter the "status quo."

The US has a lot to lose from this referendum, since it might require officials to take a stand that would not only upset China, but also expose the US' disregard for the Taiwanese.

The US has always considered Taiwanese to be Chinese because of similarities in race and language.

We, the Taiwanese, want to express our aspiration to join the world community and realize our right to permanent disposition of our territory.

For our sake, this referendum must succeed. This is the first time since World War II that we Taiwanese have been able to express our displeasure with the US for lumping Taiwan together with China in World War II territorial dispositions, and for assuming the Chinese represent the Taiwanese.

We appreciate the efforts of late US secretary of state John Foster Dulles, who kept Taiwan out of the hands of Communist China. But the "two China" policy which still exists, though not in name, continues to deny us Taiwanese a say in our future.

The US has always had the final say on Taiwan and it is responsible for the mess we are in now. The US must meet its responsibilities to the people of Taiwan.

The US began to turn away from its ideals under president Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was Roosevelt who betrayed the ideal of self-determination so eloquently described in the Atlantic Charter and [editor's note: after his death] the UN Charter so that his "Four Policemen" (referring to the four founders of the UN -- the US, UK, former Soviet Union and China) could have a military base in Taiwan.

Roosevelt's miscalculation with regard to the Chinese National Party (KMT) is responsible for all of the current problems in the Taiwan Strait.

Taiwan's UN referendum must continue for the sake of the US, so the Taiwan issue can become an issue in next year's US presidential election.

Central to the discussion should be the wide discretion the US Constitution grants to the president in conducting foreign affairs. If the US Congress had intervened in the long chain of events that led to Taiwan's "limbo" status, most of today's problems could have been avoided. The referendum provides a positive opportunity to encourage debate on this issue.

Alfred Tsai

Berkeley, California

Something exciting is happening in Taiwan. Both President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) have expressed their desire to join world bodies under the name "Taiwan." This is the first time that Taiwanese have approached this issue with their heads, rather than their hearts. Finally, Taiwanese realize there is no Republic of China (ROC).

There was once an ROC, but this was replaced many years ago by the People's Republic of China (PRC). Everything that belonged to the ROC became the property of the PRC, and all citizens of the ROC automatically became citizens of the PRC.

On Sept. 15, thousands of Taiwanese-Americans will rally at the UN headquarters in support of Chen's bid for Taiwan to be admitted to the UN under her own name. The bid will not succeed because of the veto power held by China. But this is only the first step. The next move will be a petition to the International Court of Justice at the Hague, which will be asked to rule on Taiwan's sovereignty.

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