Mon, Sep 28, 2009 - Page 8 News List

[LETTERS]

A legitimate government

Why should any Taiwanese, including former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), be tried under the laws and Constitution of the Republic of China (ROC), which were imposed upon us without our approval? The only legitimate government is one which has the consent of the people.

The ROC government under the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) decades ago asked Taiwanese to join their fight against the Chinese communists and regain control of the “mainland.” Now the KMT has done an about-face and plans to surrender to the communists and make Taiwan part of China — taking the Taiwanese people along as hostages.

Taiwanese cannot be governed this way nor should they be governed by discriminatory rules. They need a functional constitution approved by themselves.

The Democratic Progressive Party administration intended to rewrite the ROC Constitution because many rules are not applicable to Taiwan’s situation, but they were warned by the US executive branch against changing the “status quo.”

Most Taiwanese don’t want to be governed by the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the US Military Government or the repressive KMT.

Nor do Taiwanese want to live in a limbo in which their rights are not safeguarded because there is no de jure nation to protect their rights in international organizations.

The US government has ignored the rights of Taiwanese for more than half a century, leaving them unrepresented and stateless.

As the KMT is not sincere about change, in order for Taiwan to function normally and according to fair rules, a civil government must replace the one imposed upon Taiwan since the issuance of General Order No. 1 by General Douglas MacArthur on Sept. 2, 1945.

This order must be terminated, giving the Taiwanese the freedom to form their own government and draft their own constitution. A legislative election would preferably be supervised by a qualified international body.

ALISON HSIEH

Athens, Greece

Stop the falling birth rate

A report by the Washington-based Population Reference Bureau found that Taiwan has the world’s lowest birth rate (“Report says birth rate in Taiwan is lowest in world,” Sept. 22, page 2). This unfolding crisis has been of growing concern to officials for quite some time. The fertility rate in Taiwan hasn’t even been at the replacement level (2.1) since 1983.

The best “solution” the government has been able to come up with so far is offering a nominal subsidy to entice married couples to have more children. There seem to be few takers.

In the past two years alone, the fertility rate has dropped from 1.2 children per woman to one child per woman, with no signs of a slowdown in the decline. If anything, the drop is accelerating.

The reasons for Taiwan’s rapidly falling birth rate are manifold: governmental family planning policies over the past 50 years, societal values that emphasize higher education and careers for women over marrying and having children, the economic considerations of child-rearing, and the widespread acceptance and use of selective abortion as a means of birth control. Not coincidentally, abortion was legalized in 1984, the same year Taiwan’s birth rate fell below the replacement level.

The low birth rate has led to numerous other problems, including a school crisis resulting from too few new students, a serious sex-ratio imbalance, a labor shortage and growing national debt (since there are fewer workers to support increasing government expenditures).

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