Sat, Nov 17, 2007 - Page 3 News List

FAPA slams Young over remarks

FIGHTING BACK The association's president said the proposal to hold a referendum on the nation's UN bid was a strategy designed to counter China's `relentless pressure'

By Charles Snyder  /  STAFF REPORTER IN WASHINGTON

The Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) has strongly objected to comments made by American Institute in Taiwan Representative Stephen Young earlier this month criticizing the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) application to hold a referendum on entry to the UN under the name "Taiwan."

In a letter to Young sent on Wednesday, FAPA president C.T. Lee (李青泰) objected to the statements made by Young at a press conference in Taipei on Friday last week.

Young said the referendum was "neither necessary nor helpful" and that the referendum plan was hurting mutual trust between Taipei and Washington.

Lee faulted Washington for "undermining" the nation's democracy by opposing the planned UN referendum.

"The referendum is necessary in order to let the international community know that the Taiwanese people have no intention of letting themselves be subdued by an authoritarian regime in Beijing," Lee said.

He also said that it was needed to counter Beijing's "relentless pressure to isolate Taiwan and push it into a corner."

During the press conference, Young said that the US felt the referendum "poses a threat to cross-strait stability," and warned that "there is a price to be paid in mutual trust when we talk past one another about an important issue like this."

"Yes, there is a price to pay," Lee said in rebuttal. "But this price is the fact that US opposition to the referendum is severely undermining international trust in the US government's revolve to stand up for human rights and democracy in the world."

"If the United States is serious about spreading democracy around the world, it needs to be supportive of -- and nurture -- those countries that have attained democracy through the hard work of their citizens. Taiwan is such a country, and if the US wants to maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, it needs to show resolve in support of our young and fragile democracy," Lee said.

FAPA sent copies of the letter to US President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

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