5.12.2006

Letter Protesting Taiwan's Continuing Unequal Treatment by the United States

Dr. Jerome Keating has put together a letter to protest against the treatment of the Taiwan President Chen Shui-Bian by the US. To sign the protest letter, please go here.

Letter Protesting Taiwan's Continuing Unequal Treatment by the United States
Wednesday May 10, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

We the undersigned strongly protest the ill-advised actions of the Department of State in refusing Chen Shui-bian, President of the Republic of China, Taiwan, appropriate transit stops in the United States as befitting the rank and position of the democratically elected president of one of the United States oldest allies in Asia.

As a consequence, this refusal has endangered the President of Taiwan and relations with the U.S. The President could not accept the snub and thus changed his flight pattern to Paraguay and Costa Rica. This change forced him, his entourage, and the crew to fly for nearly 35 continuous hours. In addition, when his route was later revealed, China used its influence to prevent Chen's plane from landing and refueling in Lebanon.

Taiwan became a true democracy in 1996. Since that time its people have freely elected their president with Lee Teng-hui being elected in 1996 and Chen Shui-bian, the current president, being elected in 2000 and re-elected in 2004. Ironically since becoming a democracy it has been increasingly difficult for the Presidents of democratic Taiwan to receive fair and equal treatment as regards entry visas, visits to, and even transit stops in the U.S.

The refusal to allow Chen's plane to have a respectable transit stop in the U.S. where he could disembark was not just a diplomatic snub. It also was a personal attack. The State Department spokesperson would only refer to President Chen with forms of the pronoun" he" and not his proper title of President. Such actions are undiplomatic, spiteful, and petty.

The Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), enacted on April 10, 1979 when Taiwan was not a democracy, was established to maintain peace and security in the Western Pacific. As China consistently increases the number of missiles (over 800) it has aimed at Taiwan; the State Department rewards it with VIP treatment.

That same TRA states clearly in the very first paragraph regarding U.S. policy that that policy will be to "preserve and promote extensive, close and friendly commercial, cultural, and other relations with Taiwan." Now, when Taiwan has become the most promising developing democracy in Asia, it is all the more ironic that instead of promoting "extensive, close, and friendly" relations with this democracy, the State Department treats it like a pariah.

For what reason has the State Department contradicted the express policy of the TRA and refused to treat Taiwan's president with respect? These U.S. actions border on hypocrisy, insincerity, and selective favoritism, particularly at this time when the U.S. frequently accommodates and receives as guests the leaders of the dictatorial and autocratic one-party state of China, one of the greatest abusers of human rights in Asia and the world.

The opposition party in Taiwan, the Kuomintang, is presenting the argument that the U. S. is not a dependable partner, that Chen is not respected by the American government, and finally that China would be a better partner with Taiwan. The denial of transit rights is not just inept scheduling. It has much wider implications for the reputation of the United States as a supporter of democratic governments and leaders.

President Bush's diplomatic goal is to maintain the status quo between Taiwan and China. But by humiliating Taiwan, the U.S. unhinges the status quo from neutrality to a positive acceptance of China's policies of downgrading Taiwan's stature in international affairs. The U.S. is bending the status quo in favor of a China that claims it has the right to invade Taiwan if the island's government does not become "part" of China. This is not the way to a peaceful solution of the Taiwan/China problem. This is wrong, short-sighted and against the principles of democracy. Have we no shame?

Jerome F. Keating Ph.D., National Taipei University of Education Taipei, Taiwan

Richard C. Kagan Ph.D. Hamline University, St. Paul, MN

Richard F. Adler BSME, JD, Taipei, Cotra Enterprise Co.Ltd

Hanna Zaborska - Shen, Polish Compatriot Movement, Taipei, Taiwan

Russell Hsiao L. C., Taiwan Foundation for Democracy

Kiel Downey, Taiwan Foundation for Democracy

Michael Chen,Ph.D., University of Chicago

Malcolm Higgins BSc University of Warwick, UK

Elaine Salt, Taipei, Taiwan

Michael Turton Chaoyang University, Taichung

James Ascencio, M.A., Ming Chuan University, Taipei, Taiwan

Curtis Smith, Taipei City Honorary Citizen Taipei Archives Committee

Mark Arnold, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.

William R. Stimson, Ph.D. Taichung, Taiwan

Dan Bloom, Writer, Chia-yi, Taiwan

Stuart Saunders, B Sc (UNSW), EsDesign, Neihu, Taiwan

John F. Guinane, San Jose, CA

Paul Y. Shea, Ph.D. Retiree, Hughes Aircraft Co.. Irvine, CA 92606-2600

Kimberly Hsieh, YMCA of Taiwan

Stan Yang, PhD., Unicare Biomedical, Inc. Laguna Hills, CA 92653

Wencheng Lin, President , The Pacific Times( Los Angeles)

Mark Miller, Applied Materials, Taiwan

Raymond F. Wu, Attorney at Law, Los Angeles, CA.

Emily Murray, NeiHu, Taiwan and Vancouver, Washington

Runsun Pan, PhD , National Center for Macromolecular Imaging Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA

Paul Cox, Winkler Partners Law Firm, Taipei, Taiwan

Strong C. Chuang Ph.D. Purdue University Chairman, World United Formosans for Independence-USA Chapter

Ming-Chung Chen M.D. Chicago

Jennifer Wen-Jia Tsao, MSc, Taipei, Taiwan

Eugene Keh-chun Yang , Associate Professor, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan

Albert Tsai, Ph.D., Yardley, PA

Dr. Luby Liao, Math/CS Department, University of San Diego

Whuey-wen Hartman, Woodland Hills (Los Angeles), Ca.

Loo-Fei Hwang Taipei, Taiwan

Mark B.Wilkie Dip Sec M, B.A. HC Ed Tr. Douliou, Taiwan

The above names are just a sampling of those who quickly signed this letter within a brief 10 hour period of notification. We seek means for others to share their expression of support for democratic Taiwan. We urge all Taiwanese organizations and university associations in the United States to voice their discontent to their Congressmen. We likewise urge all Taiwanese around the world to voice their anger. Feel free to use the ideas expressed above or use words of your own choosing. It is time that democratic Taiwan no longer should have to use the servant's entrance to visit the United States. It is time that democratic Taiwan no longer should peer in the window (as in Animal Farm) while the officials of the People's Republic of China feast in the main dining hall. Post this everywhere; show your strength.

1 comment:

Owen said...

Thanks!! It's done.