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Sunday, October 31, 2004

China Post > Taiwanese-Americans protest Powell sovereignty remark

2004/10/30
By Chris Cockel The China Post, Washington D.C.
Fourteen Taiwanese-American organizations on Thursday wrote a joint letter to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell to protest remarks he made in Beijing on Oct. 25 about Taiwan's sovereignty and the nature that a cross-strait settlement might take. The organizations, all pro-Taiwan independence groups, also placed a full page advertisement in the conservative Washington Times newspaper on Friday, in which they urged Secretary Powell to correct his "erroneous" comments.
"Mr. Secretary, you are wrong!" reads the advertisement's headline.

In their letter, the Taiwanese Americans voiced their dismay over a remark Powell made in an interview with Hong Kong's Phoenix TV in which the secretary said that Taiwan is "not independent," nor does it "enjoy sovereignty as a nation."

"Clearly, sovereignty resides in the people of Taiwan. Taiwan's sovereignty and de facto independence is an incontestable reality," states the letter.

Please see REMARK on page



The groups' Washington Times advertisement points out that under the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), Taiwan, officially called the Republic of China (ROC), is treated like "any other sovereign state."

They also note that under the so-called "six assurances," laid out by President Ronald Reagan in 1982, the U.S. pledged not to take a "position on the question of Taiwan's sovereignty."

Also on Oct. 25 in a separate interview with CNN International, Powell made a remark suggesting that "reunification" is a desirable solution to the cross-strait impasse and one "that all parties are seeking."

As Taiwan has never been ruled by the government of the People's Republic of China (PRC) on the mainland, the island could not "reunify" with the PRC, as Powell apparently suggested, state the Taiwanese-Americans in their advertisement.

"The overwhelming majority of Taiwan's people do not seek any form of union with the PRC," the groups stress.

"We ask that the United States affirm its support for democracy, self determination and respect for sovereignty for the people of Taiwan," the advertisement concludes.

Wu Ming-chi, president of the lead sponsor of the letter and the advertisement, the Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA), noted on Thursday in a press release, "Powell's statements contradict the decades-long U.S. policy towards Taiwan.

"The U.S. silently recognizes Taiwan as an independent country and firmly upholds its commitment to Taiwan's security."

Wu added, that the U.S. helped Taiwan resist "the 'Red China' threat" during the Cold War, and provides the island with defensive military hardware, despite Beijing's protests.

With the majority of people on Taiwan, according to Wu, rejecting "unification" with mainland China as well as the so-called "one country, two systems" model as applied to Hong Kong, "it would be against the will of Taiwan's people if Powell prejudges 'reunification' as the eventual outcome for Taiwan," he said.

"Powell's unfortunate statements exactly one week prior to the (U.S.) presidential elections have caused uproar among Taiwanese Americans," said Wu, hinting that the secretary's remarks may hurt President George W. Bush at the ballot box.


Fourteen Taiwanese-American organizations on Thursday wrote a joint letter to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell to protest remarks he made in Beijing on Oct. 25 about Taiwan's sovereignty and the nature that a cross-strait settlement might take. The organizations, all pro-Taiwan independence groups, also placed a full page advertisement in the conservative Washington Times newspaper on Friday, in which they urged Secretary Powell to correct his 'erroneous' comments.
'Mr. Secretary, you are wrong!' reads the advertisement's headline.
In their letter, the Taiwanese Americans voiced their dismay over a remark Powell made in an interview with Hong Kong's Phoenix TV in which the secretary said that Taiwan is 'not independent,' nor does it 'enjoy sovereignty as a nation.'
'Clearly, sovereignty resides in the people of Taiwan. Taiwan's sovereignty and de facto independence is an incontestable reality,' states the letter.
Please see REMARK on page
The groups' Washington Times advertisement points out that under the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), Taiwan, officially called the Republic of China (ROC), is treated like 'any other sovereign state.'
They also note that under the so-called 'six assurances,' laid out by President Ronald Reagan in 1982, the U.S. pledged not to take a 'position on the question of Taiwan's sovereignty.'
Also on Oct. 25 in a separate interview with CNN International, Powell made a remark suggesting that 'reunification' is a desirable solution to the cross-strait impasse and one 'that all parties are seeking.'
As Taiwan has never been ruled by the government of the People"

5 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. It is naive to believe that U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, the articulate, carefull to a fault, understated spokesman for American foreign policy made his comments to Chinese government officiasls last week without careful consideration. Powell is speaking for the Bush administration. At its most innocuous these statesments were a trial balloon for a shift in American policy. At their worst they represent a shift in policy towards a new, more overtAmerican appeasement of the Peoples Republic of China. The U.S. under President Bush has tended to play both sides against the middle. He has offered to sell advanced, high proce weapons to Taiwan while affirming the one Cchina policy to the Peoples Republic of China. Either way Americans and Taiwanese of all stripes must speak up loudly in defense of Taiwan and the Republic of China. These entities have remained consistant allies of the United States more many years. Taiwan has been an American ally since the end of the fifty year Japanese occupation of Taiwan at the end of World War II. The Republic of China has been an American ally since its inception nearly seventy years ago. Americans and Taiwanese concerned with the welfare of Taiwan must now loudly advocate Taiwanese self determination. Independence must be an option for the Taiwanese people. If democracy and self determination are good enough for Iraq, a nation which has never been an ally of the United States democracy and self determination are good enough for the people of Taiwan. The Peoples Republic of China and the United States must both be made to accept the reality that Taiwan (The Republic of China on Taiwan) have existed independently since 1949. The Peoples Republic of China can accept the bad news if the world stands up for an existing democracy. Fear of China's economic power must to force the nations of the world to shy away from an issue of simple justice.

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