June 18, 2003
URGES BUSH TO MORE PROACTIVELY SUPPORT TAIWANESE
SELF-DETERMINATION AND FURTHER OPEN THE DOOR ON INDEPENDENCE
June 18, 2003, the President of the Formosan Association for
Public Affairs (FAPA), Ming-chi Wu, wrote to President Bush,
asking him to clarify U.S. policy towards Taiwan and to more
proactively support Taiwanese self-determination. The letter
comes in the wake of President Bush's meeting on June 1, with
PRC President Hu Jintao. A senior Administration official
quoted Bush as saying that President Bush did not
"support Taiwan independence."
shares the concern that PRC officials may misinterpret this
statement and claim that the U.S. is actively opposed to
Taiwanese independence, when in fact Bush Administration
officials have previously stated that any cross-strait issues
must be negotiated in a peaceful way and with the express
consent of the people of Taiwan. The U.S. must make its
position on Taiwan clear.
letter reminds the Bush Administration that the United States
must in principle support the right of the Taiwanese people to
self-determination. FAPA agrees with Former Senate Foreign
Relations Committee chair Jesse Helms who stated in April of
2001, "As a revolutionary nation ourselves, the U.S. has
little moral authority to foreclose [the] option [of
independence] to the 23 million free people who live in
letter states: "A basic principle of democracy, as so
forcefully posited by our Founding Fathers in the Declaration
of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, is the right of a
people to decide their own future - the right of
president Ming-chi Wu, Ph.D., states, "The United States
must stand by its basic principle of independence through
self-determination. Only the people of Taiwan have the right
to determine the future of Taiwan!"
George W. Bush
June 18, 2003
Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Americans from across the country join me in thanking you for
your continued strong support for the safety and security of
democratic Taiwan. I
can assure you that our own thanks is echoed across Taiwan
itself by the citizens there who are so rightly proud of their
long struggle to build a human rights respecting democracy and
who are determined to retain this painfully won political
know how strongly you support democratic development around
the globe. A
basic principle of democracy, as so forcefully posited by our
Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence and the
U.S. Constitution, is the right of a people to decide their
own future, the right of self-determination. Taiwanese
Americans firmly believe that the citizens of Taiwan have this
right and we also believe that the United States should
support it. China's
self-appointed leaders have constantly tried to get the United
States to agree to their "One China Principle,"
which denies this right to the people of Taiwan by claiming
Taiwan is already an integral of the PRC.
you well know, the United States has never accepted this
Chinese position. All
that the three U.S.-China communiqué
do is "acknowledge" China's claim; never has the
U.S. "recognized" it.
Instead, our U.S. "One China Policy" is that
there should be a peaceful resolution of the Taiwan Strait
issue with the U.S. supporting no predetermined outcome,
leaving it up to the two sides to decide what a "future
one China" might be.
The U.S. has also noted that, because Taiwan is a
democracy, the people of Taiwan must consent to any negotiated
outcome of the Taiwan Strait issue.
thus comes as an unwelcome surprise to our community, and the
citizens of Taiwan, to hear a "senior official" give
a background briefing regarding your June 1, 2003 meeting with
President Hu Jintao of the People's Republic of China and
state, "On Taiwan, the President repeated our policy of a
one-China policy based on the three communiqué,
the Taiwan Relations Act, no support for Taiwan independence.
The Chinese basically accepted that, and said, okay,
that's positive. They did say that they have concerns about forces on Taiwan
moving towards independence.
The President said, we don't support
believe the Chinese leaders will misinterpret this statement
and claim that the United States is actively opposed to
Taiwanese independence. We
do not believe this is your intent.
United States must stand by its own fundamental principles,
including the right of a people to self-determination. Former
Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair Senator Jesse Helms
elaborated on the right of self-determination for the people
of Taiwan on April 21, 2001: "[...]; as a revolutionary
nation ourselves, the U.S. has little moral authority to
foreclose that option [of independence] to the 23 million free
people who live in Taiwan."
believe that Taiwan is a model for citizens in other
autocratic states to emulate.
The United States, under your leadership, actively
endorses the movement toward democracy as the one clear way to
root out terrorists and their breeding grounds.
U.S. support for the right of self-determination of the people
of Taiwan would give heart to those engaged in such struggles
around the world.