Nobody is against peace across the Taiwan Strait, but peace must be brought about under the clear understanding that China fully respects Taiwan’s sovereignty and the freedom of the people in the nation to determine their own future.
At this point there is little reason to trust Beijing’s motives.
The first step toward a Taiwan consensus would be to follow the lead of Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) who proposed a way forward out of the present impasse.
Failure to respond positively will have serious consequences for Taiwan’s international image, and for the future of democracy and freedom in Taiwan.
It is also incumbent on you, as president, to ensure that the debate is continued freely, democratically and civilly.
Sending in riot troops with sticks and batons against peaceful students is not a responsible way to move forward. Instead it damages the nation’s credibility.
The Sunflower movement shows that Taiwan can have a bright future. The nation can be proud of what these young people have been willing to endure for their ideas and ideals.
Multiple opinion polls as well as the massive attendance of about 500,000 at the rally on Sunday March 30 attest to the movement’s very broad basis of support in society.
It is up to you, Mr President, to show wisdom and willingness to work with the students and other civic groups for Taiwan and its future. The world is watching.
Clive M. Ansley
Gordon G. Chang
Brian A. Dursum
June Teufel Dreyer
Stephen R. Halsey
William T. Hipwell
Michael Rand Hoare
Thomas G. Hughes
Richard C. Kagan
Jerome F. Keating
Hon. David Kilgour
Steven I. Levine
Daniel C. Lynch
Victor H. Mair
The Very Reverend Bruce McLeod
Reverend Milo L. Thornberry
John J. Tkacik Jr.
Gerrit van der Wees