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    Taiwanese American Organizations Write to President Chen Shui-bian

 

For immediate release - February 13, 2003

“PRESIDENT CHEN: REAFFIRM THE REALITY THAT THERE ARE

TWO SOVEREIGN STATES ACROSS THE TAIWAN STRAIT”

 

In a February 13 letter to President Chen Shui-bian, the joint Taiwanese American organizations write: “We are in complete agreement with you that, today, two separate, sovereign countries, i.e., Taiwan and China, exist on either side of the Taiwan Strait. It is clear that there is no such thing as a “divided China” today. Your Taiwan Government Information Office must be told to implement this policy, and consistently present Taiwan as a sovereign state in all its publications, websites, etc.”

 

The campaign was triggered by a long-time thorn in the eyes of Taiwanese Americans where the National Geographic Society continues to show both Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China with the same color on its maps and publications, despite the fact that there are two separate, sovereign countries existing on either side of the Taiwan Strait.

 

During the past weeks, National Geographic responded to letters from the Taiwanese American community on this subject by stating, “Taiwan is shown in the same color as China because the government on Taiwan claims to be an entity of China.”

 

The letter of the organizations reminded President Chen of his straightforward statement of August 3, 2002, “Taiwan and China standing on opposite sides of the Strait, there is one country on each side.  This should be clear.”

 

The letter insists, “We are in complete agreement with you that; today, two separate, sovereign  countries, i.e., Taiwan and China, exist on either side of the Taiwan Strait. [If you instruct the GIO to implement this policy] then and only then will we be able to see a Taiwan that has truly “stood up” take its place in the community of nations.”

 

“Clarity about the nature of the sovereignty the people of Taiwan exercise over their democratic country is absolutely necessary if Taiwan is to be recognized as a full member of the international community,” states Ming-chi Wu, Ph.D., FAPA President.  “We will not rest until Taiwan is accepted as Taiwan, a nation that has stood up after so many long years of struggle against colonialism and KMT imposed martial law.”

 

 

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February 13, 2003

Mr. Chen Shui-bian

President, Taiwan

Office of the President

122 Section 1, Chung-chin South Road

Taipei, TAIWAN

 

 

Dear President Chen,

 

We -the joint Taiwanese American organizations- write to you today about an issue of concern to us.

 

Several of us have been in correspondence with the National Geographic Society (NGS) regarding its manner of designating Taiwan on their maps.  We are upset by NGS’ showing Taiwan with the same color as China.

 

In its response, NGS stated, “Our maps try to reflect political reality at the time of publication.  Taiwan (also known as the Republic of China) recognizes a “divided China” as a political reality; it no longer claims to represent the Chinese mainland.  The government on Taiwan claims that China is “two equal entities under divided rule and not subordinate to each other.”  Taiwan controls the area it claims as a separate entity and administers to its 22 million citizens from Taipei, so we show a country capital symbol for Taipei and show TAIWAN in country type.  Taiwan is shown in the same color as China because the government on Taiwan claims to be an entity of China.”

 

Mr. President, you and your administration have repeatedly stated that Taiwan no longer maintains that there is only “One China” and that “One China” is an issue that both sides of the Taiwan Strait can discuss without any preconditions. In recent statements, you have been quite clear about the separate sovereignty of Taiwan.  On August 3, 2002, you declared, “Taiwan is not a part of any other country, nor is it a local government or province of another country. Taiwan can never be another Hong Kong or Macau, because Taiwan has always been a sovereign state. In short, Taiwan and China standing on opposite sides of the Strait, there is one country on each side. This should be clear.”

 

You went on to later say, “If I were to deny that the ROC is a sovereign state, I would no longer be qualified to serve as president. Neither the ROC nor the PRC is subordinate to the other. I want to make it clear that Taiwan is not a part of, a local government of, or a province of any country. This is a fact of history. We want to emphasize to the international community that, as a sovereign state, the ROC cannot be downgraded, treated as a local government, or marginalized by anyone.”

We are in complete agreement with you that, today, two separate, sovereign countries, i.e., Taiwan and China, exist on either side of the Taiwan Strait.


It is clear that there is no such thing as a “divided China” today. Your Taiwan Government Information Office must be told to implement this policy, and consistently present Taiwan as a sovereign state in all its publications, websites, etc.

 

Then and only then will we be able to see a Taiwan that has truly “stood up” take its place in the community of nations.

 

Sincerely,

 


- Formosan Association for Public Affairs

- Taiwanese American Citizens League

- North America Taiwanese Women’s Association

- Taiwan Women

- North America Taiwanese Engineer’s Association

- Taiwanese Association of America

- Formosan Association for Human rights

- Intercollegiate Taiwanese American Student Association

- North America Taiwanese Medical Association

- Taiwan Hakka Association for Public Affairs in North America

- World United Formosans for Independence

- Dr. Kang-lu Wang Memorial Foundation

- Professor Chen Wen-Chen Memorial Foundation

- Formosa Foundation

- North American Taiwanese Professors Association

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