Letter: A reversal of rhetoric

By Ben Goren  / 

Wed, Mar 28, 2007 - Page 8

Since the UK government does not have official or diplomatic relations with Taiwan, as a British citizen and long-term resident in Taiwan I would like to convey a message to the American Institute in Taiwan.

I would like to request that the US government resist pressure by the regime in Beijing to halt arms sales here.

If the US is serious about protecting and promoting democracy around the world, it must ensure that its relationship with Taiwan is not compromised by outside interference in an internationally accepted, cooperative relationship.

The US State Department's re-iteration of its so-called "one China" principle is sending the wrong signals to annexation proponents in China, who aim to pressure the international community into accepting the false discourse on Taiwan-China relations as an "internal" Chinese matter.

The US government needs to recognize that the ongoing battle between the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) has the danger of dragging the independent people here into a conflict not of their own making.

I ask that the US take steps to mediate between these parties so that a peaceful and mutually acceptable resolution can be found; one that allows Taiwanese to finally gain legal international recognition of their rights to self-determination, sovereignty and statehood.

This is a historically correct and just solution. Many in the UK regard China's attempts to isolate Taiwan as deliberate provocation and the passing of the so-called "Anti-Seccession" Law a dangerous step.

I welcome efforts by the KMT to mediate a truce with the CCP in the hope that it may facilitate the return to the mainland of those in the KMT who support China.

In the meantime, many in the UK support the Taiwanese as they continue to reclaim their identity and consolidate their democracy through a careful and peaceful process of truth and reconciliation.

I also advise the leaders in Beijing to resist internal pressures to utilize conflict with Taiwan as means to maintain their hold on power and hope that they will not take reckless and short-sighted steps to pursue the creation of a new Chinese empire.

While I respect the Chinese right to self-determination as a political issue, only Taiwanese have the right to discuss what their future will be like.

I hope that enlightened forces in China and Taiwan can reach agreement on formal official recognition of both countries, which perhaps might pave the way for a future three-state Asian Trade and Security Union involving Japan.

I genuinely urge all parties involved to seek a peaceful resolution, avoid conflict at all costs and respect the UN 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Ben Goren