Tue, May 22, 2012 - Page 1 News List

US legislator intrigued by ‘one country, two areas’

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Hu said the phrase was different from the “one country, two systems” formulation created by Beijing to allow Hong Kong to have a different political system from China.

On security issues, Ros-Lehtinen said the US Congress had acted in a bipartisan manner to provide Taiwan with more sophisticated military hardware to meet its defense needs, including F-16C/D aircraft and diesel-electric submarines.

Asked about Taiwan’s budget constraints, Ros-Lehtinen said “we are encouraging Taiwan to beef up its allotment for its defense allocation. We think it’s in the best interest of Taiwan and it’s also in the best interest of the US.”

“We hope that Taiwan does its share and we will also continue to do our share. It is [of] mutual benefit to our countries to make sure that [Taiwan’s] defense allocation is raised a bit, and Taiwan will know that the US will have her back,” she said.

At a banquet with DPP members last night, Ros-Lehtinen described the missiles deployed by China against Taiwan as “a modern version” of the Cuban missile crisis and highlighted the importance of preserving Taiwan’s democracy to serve as a beacon to brighten the future of people in China to build its democracy.

Beijing “bullies” Taiwan’s democracy by deploying 1,500 -missiles across the Taiwan Strait, which was no wider than the Straits of Florida that separates Cuba and the US, said Ros-Lehtinen, who moved from Cuba to the US when she was eight.

“So I think Taiwan today is facing a modern version of what we encountered in the Cuban missile crisis, yet you have demonstrated to Beijing that political power does not come from gun barrels, but from ballot boxes,” she said.

Taiwan’s struggle for democracy ranks at the top of many important moments since the end of World War II, a list included the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, the People Power Revolution in the Philippines, the fall of the Berlin Wall and democratic revolution in Cuba, she said.

“In the Chinese Confucius culture world, [Taiwan’s democracy] is a precious achievement, which must be most preserved and protected,” she said.

China is years behind Taiwan when it comes to democratic values and the rule of law, she said, adding that democratic achievements in Taiwan would “shine as a beacon across the narrow Strait to the hundreds of millions of slaves, under the dark tyranny on the Chinese mainland [sic].”

She said that Taiwan offers an “irreplaceable” civic lesson to the Chinese that the iron curtain on the borders with communist states can be broken, which is why China has tried to isolate Taiwan and denied it international space.

Ros-Lehtinen said she would continue to work to assure that US-Taiwan relations will be strengthened in the months and years ahead.

“Together, let’s work together to ensure that there is no backsliding in Taiwan democracy,” she said.

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