Thu, Apr 19, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Academic asks EU to stick to values on Taiwan matters


The nation's representative to the EU urged the bloc on Tuesday to continue treating Taiwan in the spirit of traditional European values, as it has over the past five decades.

In his speech, delivered at the European Studies Center of the Dutch-language university Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Michael Kau (高英茂) called on EU countries to treat Taiwan and handle Taiwan-related matters based on the cherished values of peace, freedom, human rights, democracy, justice and tolerance as stipulated in the Treaty of Rome -- signed by European leaders on March 25, 1957 -- which established the European Economic Community, the EU's predecessor.

`one china'

Kau said the EU should be vigilant when dealing with the "One China" policy as there is no consensus among EU members over the definition and because the EU's understanding of its meaning differs from that in Beijing.

Kau said he was worried that by adopting a "One China" policy, the EU would be sending Beijing a blurred signal on cross-strait issues, which could lead to a belief that Taiwan is in fact part of China.

`status quo'

As to the "status quo" in the Taiwan Strait, Kau said this was a difficult concept to explain, adding that the basis of the "status quo" had changed over time.

He said that approximately 70 percent of Taiwanese consider themselves "Taiwanese" and believe the future of the nation should be decided by Taiwanese.

Such statistics, he said, represented the "status quo" in Taiwan.

Kau, who taught political science at Brown University in Boston, Massachussetts, for many years, said a more creative and useful approach to cross-strait relations at the EU would be to refer to "peace and stability" in the region rather than the prevailing "status quo."

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