Fri, Sep 14, 2007 - Page 8 News List

Letters: Praise and penalty combined

The US president praised Taiwan as an example of democratic development and as a leading US defense partner ("Bush lauds Taiwan's democratic society," Sept. 8, page 1) at the recent APEC meeting.

The Taiwanese must have mixed feelings about Bush's praise.

They are happy because their democratization efforts and Taiwan's defense partnership have been recognized.

But they also feel sad because the US, under its outdated policy and China's influence, has penalized them in many areas for several decades. They prefer praise followed by reward.

Taiwan is one of the major economic powers in the Asia-Pacific region, but Taiwan's democratically elected president cannot attend the APEC meetings.

In the last two years, presidents of two private companies represented Taiwan at the APEC meetings and their nominations were subject to China's approval. Taiwan was mislabeled as "Chinese Taipei" and was not invited to some important APEC committee meetings.

In the US, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) was banned from entering the lower 48 states for a stopover en route to Central America. He chose to stay aboard his plane in Alaska as a form of silent protest. There have been no top-level meetings between the US and Taiwan.

It is reported that Taiwanese representative to the US Joseph Wu (吳釗變) can meet US officials only in their "nonofficial capacities" in restaurants rather than at the State Department.

The US rejects Chen's proposed referendum on entering the UN, as well as name rectification and normalization of the nation.

Recently, a US official declared that Taiwan was not a country.

But he failed to propose a referendum for Taiwanese to decide their national status according to the UN principle of self-determination.

Charles Hong

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