January 31, 2006
Taiwanese-Americans support President Chen Shui-bian's call
for abolishment of "Unification Council"
January 29th, 2006, Taiwan president Chen Shui-bian
announced that he was considering scrapping the "Unification
guidelines" and "National Unification Council", two relics
from the time Taiwan was ruled by the Chinese Kuomintang
Party, which until the present day still advocates
unification with China. President Chen emphasized that
Taiwan is now a democracy and that the future of the island
should be decided by the Taiwanese themselves. He also said
he would like to see Taiwan join the United Nations under
the name "Taiwan."
Taiwanese-Americans, we wholeheartedly support President
Chen's proposals: it is a long-overdue step which would move
Taiwan forward on the road towards being a normal country,
and towards acceptance in the international community as a
full and equal member.
thus surprised at the State Department's pronouncement on
January 30th, in which it reiterated its worn-out "One
China" policy. That policy was devised more than 30 years
ago in response to a situation in which two repressive
regimes -- the Chinese Nationalists and Communists -- both
claimed sovereignty as government of China.
Taiwan's transition to democracy in the late 1980s and early
1990s, the situation has changed drastically: there is now
a free and democratic Taiwan, which is represented by a
democratically-elected government, striving for
normalization of its relations with the international
insisting on its anachronistic "One China" Policy, and by
stating that the US "does not support Taiwan
independence" and that a resolution needs to be found that
is " ...acceptable to people on both sides of the Taiwan
Strait", the State Department is actually standing in the
way of a peaceful resolution: it inhibits creative thinking
about Taiwan's future, and gives a Communist China a say in
decision-making on a democratic Taiwan's future that should
be made solely by the Taiwanese people themselves. Imagine
if someone had suggested in 1776 that the future of the
American colonies should be " ...acceptable to people on
both sides of the Atlantic."
conclusion, we thus urge the United States government to
help safeguard the safety and security of Taiwan, and
to gradually work towards normalization of relations with
the democratically-elected government on the island.
In the UN
context we should work towards full membership of Taiwan on
the basis of the right to self-determination as contained in
the UN Charter, while we should also urge the People﹊s
Republic of China to enter into a dialogue with Taiwan in
order to arrive at a peaceful resolution of the decades-old
conflict and strive for mutual recognition.
information, contact: Iris Ho or Gerrit van der Wees at