Open letter to Obama
To US President Barack Obama,
As the president of the Formosan Association for Public Affairs, a Taiwanese-American grassroots organization that promotes freedom, human rights and democracy in Taiwan, I write to relay to you the concerns of Taiwanese-Americans.
As you prepare to welcome Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) to the White House, we appeal to you to reaffirm US support for freedom, democracy and human rights in Taiwan.
We understand that the US needs to engage China.
However, such engagement should not come at the expense of US core values — freedom, democracy and human rights.
Taiwanese have developed a vibrant democracy, and the nation is looking forward to presidential and legislative elections in January next year, which will likely see the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) gain power.
In the past few months, China has threatened “consequences” if the DPP wins.
We believe this interference in Taiwan’s internal affairs is unwarranted and urge you to prevail on Xi to accept Taiwan as a friendly neighbor and move toward normalized relations with its democratically elected government.
We ask that you remind Xi that it is of core interest to the US that Beijing’s interactions with Taiwan be resolved peacefully and with the express consent of Taiwanese.
We also urge you to refrain from proffering US respect for China’s “sovereignty and territorial integrity” as China’s claims to Taiwan’s sovereignty are unjustified.
We ask that you impress upon Xi that Beijing needs to dismantle its 1,600 missiles aimed at Taiwan, and renounce any use of force.
To safeguard Taiwan is to embrace freedom, democracy and human rights.
This is the best way to maintain peace and stability in Asia and is consistent with the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act.
Finally, it is essential that China end Taiwan’s international political isolation.
This is a peace-loving nation that is able and willing to carry out UN Charter obligations. Taiwan deserves an equal place in the international family of nations, and Taiwanese should be fully represented in international organizations such as the UN and the WHO.
Thank you and we look forward to hearing from you on these matters that are so important to our Taiwanese-American community.
President, Formosan Association for Public Affairs
Government chips are down
When China unilaterally announced that it was introducing its new integrated-chip “Taiwan compatriot travel document” on Monday, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) spokesperson Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光) brought out all the cliches, saying that, “compatriots on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait are all one big family,” that the new card was meant to “further simplify cross-strait exchanges between compatriots” and that there had been no changes to its functionality.
When Mainland Affairs Council Minister Andrew Hsia (夏立言) said that there had not been sufficient talks about the implications of the card, but that the spokesperson’s explanation “removed the doubts that many people have had,” it was clear that Beijing was leading Hsia by the nose.
Incomprehensibly, during a question-and-answer session in the legislature, Premier Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) said that he only found out about the announcement when he read it in the newspaper.
He said that China cannot make major unilateral announcements when decisions are pending, adding that Taiwan has not ruled out calling an international press conference to address the issue.