Pro-independence groups urge US to stand by TRA

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Apr 11, 2012 - Page 3

Pro-independence groups yesterday urged the US to firmly stand by the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) and its commitments, marking the 33rd anniversary of the US law.

Led by 908 Taiwan Republic Campaign convener Peter Wang (王獻極), about 100 representatives of civic groups gathered in front of the American Institute in Taiwan’s (AIT) office in Taipei to commemorate the anniversary of TRA being signed into law.

They also submitted a letter to US President Barack Obama.

The law, which defines the US’ position on Taiwan and relations between Americans and Taiwanese, was signed into law by then-US president Jimmy Carter on April 10, 1979, after the US established official diplomatic relations with China.

In the letter, the independence supporters expressed appreciation for the US’ efforts to help maintain stability across the Taiwan Strait, but also showed concern about the US’ “obvious support” for President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) during the recent presidential election campaign and talk of “the US abandoning Taiwan.”

The groups called for Washington to stand by the TRA and call on the 48 signatory countries of the Treaty of San Francisco to initiate a referendum for Taiwanese to determine their future.

They also said the Republic of China government-in-exile does not hold legitimacy over Taiwan’s sovereignty.

Four representatives met with AIT spokesperson Chris Kavanagh, who pledged to deliver the letter to Washington, telling the representatives that the TRA was as important to the US as it was to Taiwan.