Express consent of People of Taiwan

 

For Immediate Release                                                                June 18, 2003

FAPA URGES BUSH TO MORE PROACTIVELY SUPPORT TAIWANESE SELF-DETERMINATION AND FURTHER OPEN THE DOOR ON INDEPENDENCE

On 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."

FAPA 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.

The 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 Taiwan."

The 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 self-determination."

FAPA 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!"

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President George W. Bush                                         June 18, 2003

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20500

 

Dear Mr. President,

Taiwanese 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 freedom.

We 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. 

As 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.

It 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 independence."

We 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.

The 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."

We 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.  

Clear 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.

Sincerely,

Ming-chi Wu, Ph.D.

President, FAPA

 

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