Dear Chairperson Tsai,
Just before the Lunar New Year break, the Philippine authorities took it upon themselves to extradite 14 Taiwanese suspected of criminal activities in their country to China, disregarding Taiwanese sovereignty. The move was widely seen as showing a lack of respect to our country. It was also a turn of events that enraged a lot of people here in Taiwan.
We believe that this was not simply a result of the Philippines’ adherence to the “one China” policy. We feel that it reveals something decidedly more sinister happening stage left. We suggest that Beijing had a hand in writing the script of this particular play, a collaborative effort with President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and the government he heads. How does the expression go? Thick as thieves.
We note that on Feb. 7, Ma called on all government departments to henceforth avoid referring to China by that name in all official documents, using instead “mainland China” or simply “the mainland.” This was a deliberate denial of Taiwanese sovereignty, providing the perfect backdrop against which to perform the play they have penned. We cannot overlook the possibility that this extradition of suspected Taiwanese felons to China was yet another effort scripted by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and Chinese Communist Party to wipe Taiwan from the face of the earth.
Taiwanese sovereignty has never been in as much danger as it finds itself in at this moment. The message the Ma administration and China are sending to the international community is that “Taiwan is a part of China” and that “Taiwanese sovereignty belongs to China.” At present, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is the largest opposition party, the party that represents Taiwan’s interests. As such, it needs to stand up and be counted, lead the public out onto the streets in protest against this noxious collaboration between Ma and China, who are working together to sell Taiwanese sovereignty down the river.
Ma wields much power and yet deigns to allow our sovereignty to fall by the wayside. This government can no longer be trusted. We can no longer expect anything of them. Precarious times are upon us. The DPP is the last hope for Taiwanese and this is certainly no time for the party leadership to be dilly-dallying about who they are going to nominate as their presidential candidate. Now is the time for action, time for them to show their mettle, to spearhead protests against the government, to show the international community the rage of Taiwanese, their resolve to safeguard the sovereignty of their nation.
Yes, now is the time. Stand up, DPP, for the defense of Taiwanese sovereignty, with the people of Taiwan. We believe that if you do, you will have the vast majority of the public behind you, pledging their support and allegiance to the cause. It is our hope that you, Tsai, as DPP chairperson, will hear the urgency of our call and heed our plea.
Written by the Central Taiwan Society and the Greater Taichung office of the Taiwan Solidarity Union.
TRANSLATED BY PAUL COOPER