Sun, Feb 12, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Taiwanese-Americans complain of interference

By William Lowther  /  Staff Reporter in Washington

A large group of Taiwanese--Americans has formally complained to the White House about what it sees as US interference in the nation’s recent presidential elections.

In an open letter to US President Barack Obama, the group expresses its “collective disappointment” with lapses in the political neutrality of his administration.

The letter said that despite multiple assurances of impartiality from the US State Department, “the actions of your administration in the weeks and months leading up to the election imparted a decidedly different impression.”

Signed by the presidents of twelve Taiwanese--American organizations, the letter listed a number of instances — including statements by an anonymous White House official to the Financial Times — that strongly indicated Washington’s preference for the re-election of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

“This series of statements and actions by your administration during a politically sensitive time led virtually all observers, American and Taiwanese alike, to reach the unavoidable conclusion that the US government preferred the re--election of the incumbent administration in Taipei,” the letter said.

It added: “As Taiwan-born American citizens who learned to cherish liberty and civil rights after we immigrated, our community has long looked up to the US as a model for democratic self-governance. It therefore pains us to see the US act contrary to its own founding principles by choosing sides in another nation’s democratic elections.”

Mark Kao (高龍榮), president of the Formosan Association for Public Affairs — and one of those who signed the letter — said later that the actions of the Obama administration amounted to an “external distortion” of the political playing field in Taiwan.

He added: “The US needs to be more supportive of our hard-won democracy instead of undermining it. If the US wants to support democracy in East Asia, it needs to ensure that the people of Taiwan have full freedom to choose their future — free from outside interference.”

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