Sat, Aug 23, 2014 - Page 1 News List

Sunflower leaders urge US to drop ‘one China’ policy

By William Lowther  /  Staff reporter in WASHINGTON

“The movement defends the democracy of Taiwan and will not accept harmful legislation. We are trying to make US officials understand that the core value of the Sunflower movement is to safeguard Taiwan’s democracy,” Huang said.

“I am an old fashioned guy and I believe in democratic values. I have challenged US officials on who should decide the future of Taiwan. When they talk about self-determination, is it only symbolic, or do they truly believe it? To what extent are they willing to sacrifice their core values for economic benefits? The one China policy has not stopped Chinese aggression,” he added.

Before the delegation arrived in the US, the North American Taiwanese Professors’ Association, the Taiwanese American Science and Technology Association and the Taiwanese American Senior Society invited Huang to address a symposium on Taiwan’s democracy.

The address was to be made at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) Culture Center in Washington. However, shortly before Huang arrived in the US, the office refused to rent their space.

“We were appalled by the decision of TECRO and strongly condemn the suppression of freedom of speech,” the three organizations said in a statement on Thursday.

“Dr Huang is neither a member of the KMT nor the DPP and he would not be speaking for any political party, but was to use his professional expertise to analyze and to probe this subject matter. It is sad and unfortunate to witness this attempt to hinder the development of Taiwan’s hard-earned democracy,” the statement added.

TECRO also issued a statement on Thursday saying that Huang was one of the leaders of the Sunflower movement who had illegally occupied the Legislative Yuan in Taipei for 24 days.

The statement said the application to use the Cultural Center was denied by an overwhelming majority vote of advisors and commissioners for the Taiwanese community.

They cited three reasons: “The organizers announced the speech venue as a fait accompli before obtaining permission. If approved, it would have set an unacceptable precedent. The organizers announced plans to convene a press conference if the application was denied. This coercive behavior should not be encouraged. The Cultural Center is not an appropriate place to hold events that may arouse political controversy.”

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