Fri, Mar 21, 2008 - Page 1 News List

US deploys two aircraft carriers close to Taiwan

'RESPONSIBLY POSITIONED' Washington was mum on whether the violent Chinese crackdown in Tibet would have an impact on the presidential election

By Charles Snyder  /  STAFF REPORTER IN WASHINGTON , AND AGENCIES

Casey also said the US "does look forward to a free and fair election in Taiwan. And we will work within the parameters of our existing relationship with whoever is elected by the Taiwan [sic] people."

The congressional letter to Rice was signed by representatives Robert Andrews, a Democrat, and Scott Garrett of New Jersey, John Linder of Georgia and Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan, who are Republicans. Andrews and Garrett have been among Taiwan's biggest champions on Capitol Hill.

"We strongly urge the United States to support the referendum," the lawmakers said.

"The Taiwanese people have the right -- as all people do -- to self-determination," the letter said. "However, the ability to exercise that right is severely compromised when a nation's largest ally turns its back."

"For too long Taiwan has stood its ground as a bulwark of democracy against the encroaching aspirations of an authoritarian communist regime. We should not condemn or oppose the dreams of those who want only to remain free and take their place in the international community," the letter said.

Additional reporting by Jenny W. Hsu

Also See: Activists condemn crackdown

Also See: Presidential election 2008: 1 days to go: Let's postpone the election, Hsieh says

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