Thu, Dec 09, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Koo blasts US for `arrogance'

NAME-CHANGE PLAN The presidential adviser made the comments after American officials criticized a plan to change the names of overseas offices and state-run firms

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese dissident Cao Chang-ching, right, speaks with former president Lee Teng-hui during a press conference to launch his newly published book.

PHOTO: SEAN CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES

Senior Presidential Adviser Koo Kwang-ming (辜寬敏) yesterday said the US is too arrogant and is treating Taiwan as if it is a colony.

"The unfriendly attitude displayed by the US in response to Taiwan's move to rectify its name suggests that the US has forgotten the original ideals and dreams it upheld when it was first founded," Koo said.

Koo made the remark yesterday at the launch of a new book by Chinese dissident and writer Cao Chang-ching (曹長青). Many of the invited guests took the opportunity to voice their discontentment over the US' opposition to President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) proposal to rectify the names of Taiwan's overseas representative offices and all relevant government agencies to "Taiwan."

US State Department Spokesman Adam Ereli on Monday said Chen's name-change plan would alter the "status quo" and thus the US does not support "changes of terminology for government-controlled enterprises or economic and cultural offices abroad" as Chen had proposed.

"Taiwan is a small country while the US is a big one. The big one will remain oblivious if the small one keeps on seeking approval from the big one," Koo said.

Koo said Taiwan must stand its ground on the name-rectification issue despite US opposition.

"As long as Taiwan holds fast to its stance, the US will change," Koo said.

Ruan Ming (阮銘), a presidential advisor attending the book release, added his opinion. Citing the name of the US' de facto embassy in Taiwan, Ruan said it "is called the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and not the American Institute in China."

Ruan is a former special assistant to the late general secretary of the Communist Party of China Hu Yaoban (胡耀邦).

"Why is that you [the US] can call Taiwan by the name Taiwan, yet allow not Taiwan to call itself Taiwan?" Ruan said.

The two books presented by Cao yesterday were titled Value of Independence (獨立的價值)" and American Values (美國價值)."

Ruan, who has been a citizen of Taiwan for two years, suggested to Cao that he might want to give his new books to the US as a present to remind the US of its original values.

Senior Presidential Adviser Peng Ming-min (彭明敏) said that although the promotion of Taiwan independence has been going on for almost 60-70 years, "half the people of Taiwan still have no clear idea and don't know who they really are."

"These people should feel ashamed" in contrast to the reality and truth about Taiwan's status Cao has grasped, Peng said.

Peng, who is widely regarded as the godfather of the nation's independence movement, said he hopes Cao's books will help inspire and educate people in Taiwan.

With the legislative elections less than two days away, former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), who also attended the event, urged the public to use their ballots on Saturday to elect a new legislature that can represent "Taiwan's value."

Unlike many Chinese dissidents who call for democratic reforms in China yet appear hesitant when it comes to the issue of Taiwan independence, Cao, a New York-based political commentator, advocates Taiwan's right to self-determination.

Lee expressed gratitude for Cao's support of Taiwan independence and said Cao's independent judgment originates in his believe in the value of liberty and democracy.

While praising Cao's persistence in believing the "truth," Lee criticized the "no truth, no president" slogan of the pan-blue camp as "a truth that had been manufactured, a remnant of the party-state consciousness."

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