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  Taiwan Caucus Co-Chairs Dismay at Bush Administraion's opposition to Taiwan UN Referendum


March 5, 2008

President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

As co-chairs of the House Taiwan Caucus we write to you today about a matter of concern to us.  On March 22, Taiwan plans to hold a referendum on the issue of joining the United Nations under the name "Taiwan."

We believe that Taiwan's referendum is a great exercise in democracy.  We are pleased by the great strides towards democracy that Taiwan has made in the past few decades and see this referendum as a milestone along their journey.

We are, therefore, disturbed by the fact that over the last few months of 2007, several senior officials of your Administration made statements in which they expressed opposition to Taiwan's planned referendum, calling it "provocative" and "a mistake."  The United States' repeated high-volume opposition to the referendum casts doubt on our willingness to stand up for democracy, and undermines our position as a champion of democracy in East Asia.

We urge the Administration to remain silent on this issue for the remainder of the ongoing presidential election campaign in Taiwan.  The US should not be perceived as taking sides, and should let the democratic process in Taiwan run its course.  

Since its inception, the United States has been the foremost champion of liberty and democracy in the world. Only by standing firmly with democratic Taiwan will we uphold our principles in promoting freedom worldwide.


SHELLEY BERKLEY, Co-Chair, House Taiwan Caucus

Steve Chabot, Co-Chair, House Taiwan Caucus

Dana Rohrabacher, Co-Chair, House Taiwan Caucus

Cc: Secretary Condoleezza Rice


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