Wed, May 07, 2008 - Page 4 News List

US group 'concerned' over KMT victory

APPREHENSION The World Taiwanese Congress defined 'status quo' as meaning that countries on both sides of the Strait are sovereign and do not belong to each other

By Charles Snyder  /  STAFF REPORTER IN WASHINGTON

The governing body of the World Taiwanese Congress (WTC) demanded at a meeting on Sunday that president-elect Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) new government insist on the “one country on each side” of the Taiwan Strait principle when dealing with China and not abandon the move toward the “normalization” of Taiwan as a state.

The Coordinating Committee of the pro-independence organization, made up of dozens of mostly Taiwanese-American associations, expressed their “great concern” over the future of Taiwan in the wake of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) sweep of the presidential and legislative elections.

“Due to the apprehension that Taiwan’s incoming government has already shown a tendency to forfeit the Taiwanization movement and resurrect the ghost of authoritarianism, WTC demands strongly that Taiwan’s officials must be loyal to Taiwan, insist on the ‘one country on each side’ status quo and continue to deepen Taiwan’s democracy,” it said.

The WTC was founded in 2000 after the election of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to help promote the sovereignty of Taiwan. It was composed of some 60 organizations and had its first Annual Convention in Taipei in March 2001, which included a speech by Chen.

In a statement after its meeting in Washington on Saturday and Sunday — its first since the Democratic Progressive Party’s crushing defeats at the polls — the committee said it defined the “status quo” as meaning that Taiwan is a “sovereign and independent country,” that China and Taiwan “do not belong to each other, that Taiwan is free and democratic and that the Taiwan Strait is peaceful and stable.

It made three proposals: a change in the names of Taiwan’s diplomatic offices abroad and of government-run enterprises, the “normalization” of Taiwan’s international relations and the “internationalization of the relationship between Taiwan and China.”

It pointed to post-presidential election polls that show “the great majority of Taiwanese people believe that Taiwan is a sovereign and independent nation, and that Taiwan and China are two separate countries.”

“Therefore, the outcome of the election did not indicate that the people of Taiwan have abandoned Taiwan’s sovereignty, nor agreed with the one-China framework for the status of Taiwan,” the organization said.

It also criticized the Taiwanese media for underplaying Chen’s accomplishments, inflating Ma’s image and having “downplayed and belittled Taiwan.” It said the majority of press and TV news outlets in Taiwan are controlled by or beholden to the KMT.

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