Fri, Dec 16, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Independence advocates thank Donald Trump

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Independence advocates rally outside the American Institute in Taiwan yesterday, calling on Washington to upgrade the office to a US embassy.

Photo: Jason Pan, Taipei Times

A coalition of civic organizations and independence advocates yesterday held a rally in front of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) to thank US president-elect Donald Trump for his support and urge Washington to upgrade the AIT to an embassy.

The demonstrators said they represented the aspirations of a majority of Taiwanese who wanted to thank Trump for speaking the truth when he accepted a telephone call from President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and referring on Twitter to Tsai as the president of Taiwan, who was elected by the people in a democratic vote.

“We are not here to protest, but to congratulate [US] president-elect Trump, and to celebrate the start of a new Taiwan-US relationship. Trump, by his words and actions, has accorded Taiwanese dignity and respect,” Taiwan Independence Party Chairman Huang Kuo-hua (黃國華) said.

“Trump recognizes that Taiwan is an independent, sovereign nation deserving of US support, as both nations share the same values of maintaining a democratic society, respect for the rule of law and freedom of speech, and pursuit of liberty and happiness,” he said.

Huang added that Taiwanese support Trump because he has pushed Taiwan onto the world stage, praising the US president-elect as a “strong-willed leader” who has the “vision, audacity and moral courage” to stand up to China and shatter the “one China” fallacy.

Taiwanese National Party Chairman Tsua Gim-liong (蔡金龍) urged Trump and his advisers to put into action the process for normalizing relations between the two nations by upgrading the AIT into the “US embassy in Taiwan,” with both nations exchanging ambassadors in Taipei and Washington.

“The new US government under Trump’s leadership will usher in a new era in Taiwan-US relations, where the old diplomatic ties in the 1950s and 1960s will be restored. In those days, Taiwan was a staunch military and economic ally of the US — a loyal, steadfast bulwark in the fight against communist China,” Tsua said.

Huang and Tsua, accompanied by about 50 members from affiliated pro-Taiwan groups, presented a statement with their requests, which was received by AIT spokesperson Sonia Urbom.

The demonstrators unfurled a US flag and a “Taiwan Republic” flag — a green-and-white banner with an image of Taiwan in the center — and presented a plaque bearing the words “US Embassy in Taiwan” in English and Chinese (美國駐台灣國大使館) for the AIT to put up in its front entrance.

They sang the US national anthem to mark the friendship and respect between Taiwanese and Americans, and then sang Taiwan the Green (台灣翠青) by Taiwanese composer Tyzen Hsiao (蕭泰然), which has long been proposed as a new national anthem.

Other groups that attended the rally included the Taiwan Autonomy Alliance, the Nation-Building Forum, the 908 Taiwan Republic Campaign and the Taiwanese National Congress.

Brian Qo (吳崑松), of the Taiwan Autonomy Alliance, said that it took Trump to put Taiwan in the international media’s spotlight by making it clear that Taiwan is not part of China, that Taiwan is not the Republic of China, but a separate country with a democratic society and its sovereignty belongs to Taiwanese.

Another participant, Lai Fu-jung (賴富榮), said it was time to end China’s bullying and Trump was the man with courage to end the lie that is the “one China” policy.

He said he looks forward to the day when Taiwan and the US can restore diplomatic ties and he can visit the US embassy in Taipei.

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