When US President Barack Obama visits Beijing later this month, he should insist that China dismantle the 1,600 missiles it has targeted at Taiwan, the Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) said.
The group is appealing to Obama to “reaffirm America’s support for freedom, democracy and human rights in Taiwan.”
Obama is attending the APEC summit and is scheduled to hold private bilateral meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) at which Taiwan is thought certain to be discussed.
“We understand that in order to resolve many of the world’s major problems, the US needs to engage China, but the fact is that China has not acted as a responsible stakeholder,” FAPA president Mark Kao (高龍榮) wrote in a letter to the White House.
Kao said that China is causing increasing tension in the South China Sea and East China Sea, and through its mishandling of the democratic developments in Hong Kong.
“Against this background, we emphasize that ‘engagement’ should not be done at the expense of America’s core values: freedom, democracy and human rights, as exemplified by Taiwan,” Kao said.
FAPA, with 54 chapters across the US, has strong bipartisan support in the US Congress.
Kao says in the letter that the US president should remind the Chinese leadership that it is a “core interest” of the US that the future of Taiwan be resolved peacefully and with the express consent of the people of Taiwan.
Not only should Obama insist on the dismantling of the missiles, he should also urge Beijing to renounce the threat of use of force against Taiwan, Kao said.
To safeguard Taiwan and its future, the US needs to more fully embrace its freedom and democracy, Kao said.
“We believe this is the best way to maintain peace and stability in East Asia, and in the best interests of the US,” Kao said.
The letter said that for the past four decades, the US has clung to an outdated “one China” policy that has left Taiwan dangling in international isolation.
“Taiwan has transformed itself into a vibrant democracy and as we saw with the Sunflower movement this spring, the people of Taiwan don’t want to be pushed into an unwelcome embrace with China,” Kao said. “We therefore urge you to move towards a ‘One Taiwan, One China’ policy that warmly welcomes Taiwan as a full and equal member of the international community.”