Today, Friday Dec 21st 2007, Secretary Condoleezza Rice gave her year-end press conference in which she criticized Taiwan's UN referendum. The text of her remarks are give below. After consultation with ED Wen-yen Chen, we hereby urgently request you to respond right away, by sending a letter / e-mail to the State Department AND White House. A template draft is given below.
For e-mails you can use the following State Department form and e-mail for the White House:
Hardcopies you can send to:
Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Department of State
WASHINGTON, DC 20520
President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
WASHINGTON, DC 20500
For the courageous among you, you can call to the public opinion lines at the State Department and White House and give them a brief message along the lines of the first few sentences in the template letter:
State Department: 202-647-6575
White House: 202-456-1111
PLEASE send messages right away: State and White House need to be flooded by thousand of messages!!
Gerrit van der Wees, Formosan Association for Public Affairs
552 7th St. SE, Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel.: (202) 547-3686, Fax: (202) 543-7891
Text of Rice statement:
"In the Taiwan Strait, for example, the United States remains committed to peace and security. We oppose any threat to use force and any unilateral move by either side to change the status quo. We have a One China policy and we do not support independence for Taiwan.This is ridiculous. 拿飛彈對準台灣的中國不算挑釁，辦公投實現民主的台灣反而是挑起台海危機？
As we have stated in recent months, we think that Taiwan's referendum to apply to the United Nations under the name "Taiwan" is a provocative policy. It unnecessarily raises tensions in the Taiwan Strait and it promises no real benefits for the people of Taiwan on the international stage. That is why we oppose this referendum."
Draft for template letter
To President George W. Bush
And Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Dear Mr. President and Madame Secretary,
We are deeply disturbed by statements regarding Taiwan, made by Secretary Rice in her press conference on December 21st 2007. She states that the United States has “…a One China policy and that we do not support independence.” She also expresses opposition to the proposed referendum to apply to the United Nations under the name “Taiwan”, and even refers to it as “a provocative policy.”
As American citizens of Taiwanese descent we find these statements totally out of line and inconsistent with American basis principles of freedom and democracy. These statements are undermining democracy in Taiwan and are playing into China's hands. Why is the democratic expression of the will of the Taiwanese people "provocative", while you seem to condone China's military threats?
Taiwan has a very special history because after World War II it was occupied by the losing side of the Chinese Civil War. But after Taiwan's remarkable transition to democracy in the 1980s and early 1990s, it is now a free nation that wants to be a full and equal member in the international family of nations.
The US opposition to the referendum goes against the grain of the basic US principles of democracy and human rights, which are enshrined in the US Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" are universal values that the people of Taiwan cherish as much as Americans.
The statements are also undermining a level playing field in Taiwan. By singling out the Democratic Progressive Party's referendum and not saying anything about a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) referendum -- which also supports joining the UN, but under the anachronistic “Republic of China” name – the United States is taking sides in an internal Taiwanese debate and is influencing the election campaign.
Of course the PRC does not like the referendum, but the referendum itself does not disturb peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait: it should be clear that China’s military threats against Taiwan and its relentless campaign to isolate Taiwan internationally are the real source of tension and instability. Why is American diplomacy acting on behalf of an undemocratic, authoritarian state to suppress the right of a free democratic people to express their will peacefully?
The purpose of the referendum is threefold: 1) in order to let the international community know that the Taiwanese people have no intention of letting themselves be subdued by an authoritarian regime in Beijing. 2) to let the world know that the Taiwanese people want their country to be a full and equal member in the international community. 3) to counter the PRC’s relentless pressure to isolate Taiwan and push it into a corner.
So, if the US wants to enhance democracy around the world, it needs to oppose China’s threats more vigorously, and be supportive of Taiwan’s UN referendum and ensure that the people of the island have a free choice on their future.
Looking forward to hearing from you on this important issue,