Wed, Aug 21, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan-US groups express concern over China drift

By William Lowther  /  Staff reporter in WASHINGTON

A group of 21 Taiwanese-American organizations on Monday accused President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of leading the nation on a “gradual drift into the shadow of China.”

In an open letter to Ma — published on the Internet and sent to members of the US Congress — the organizations charged that under Ma’s administration, Taiwan had moved “in the direction of a repressive China at the expense of freedom and democracy.”

The letter was to be delivered to Ma during his six-hour stopover in Los Angeles before he returned to Taiwan following a five-country visit to Caribbean and South American allies.

Ma has cut short his visit by a day to be back in Taiwan because of a tropical storm.

The organizations said they wanted to “express concern” about recent actions and decisions by the Ma government, and to support recent protests organized by civic groups in Taiwan.

They said Taiwanese were taking to the streets to oppose Ma’s “wrong-headed policies and heavy-handed practices.”

The letter cited opposition to the signing of the cross-strait service trade agreement with China, construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao District (貢寮), New Taipei City (新北市), and the forced demolition of homes in Taipei and Miaoli.

It said Taiwanese were “angry and upset about the incompetence of your government” and that Ma’s policies were reminiscent of the days of martial law.

“We urge our friends and families in Taiwan to continue the pressure for justices, freedom and democracy,” it said.

“We appeal to the United States government and Congress to pay close attention to the developments in Taiwan and to support those who fight for freedom,” the letter said.

“A stable and democratic Taiwan can only be ensured if the people have a fully free choice in running their own lives,” the letter concluded.

The letter was signed by the Wang Kang-Lu Memorial Foundation, the Formosan Association for Human Rights, the Formosan Association for Public Affairs, Friends for Taiwan, the North American Taiwanese Professors’ Association, two branches of the North American Taiwanese Women’s Association, the North American Taiwanese Engineers’ Association, the Professor Chen Wen-Chen Memorial Foundation and the Taiwan Hakka Association for Public Affairs.

It was also signed by the Taiwanese American Center, eight separate branches of the Taiwanese Association of America, the World Taiwanese Congress and World United Formosans for Independence.

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