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Friday, March 25, 2005

Taiwan's Right to Freedom

Frank Chang-ting Hsieh, premier of the Republic of China (Taiwan), writes in the Washington Post:

Tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Taiwanese will take to the streets in our country to peacefully express their opposition to China's most recent threat to the freedom of Taiwan. This month the National People's Congress passed a so-called 'Anti-Secession Law' that threatens the use of military force against our country. The demonstrators will mobilize to oppose the idea that China has a 'right' to use force to subjugate the people of Taiwan -- and they will protest the notion that some 2,900 unelected and unaccountable Chinese 'parliamentarians' have the right to determine the future of the 23 million people of Taiwan. The escalation in China's campaign of intimidation is especially perplexing because it comes after a period of improvement in cross-strait relations. For example, direct charter flights between Taiwan and China have been resumed after a long hiatus. Indeed, for the past five years my government has been offering one olive branch after another to Beijing.
I believe strongly that we must support Tiawan's independance from China. Perhaps someday the slow process of change that is occurring in mainland China will have gone far enough for peaceful reconciliation. That day still seems a long way away to me though, and reunification by force is not something we should allow to happen.


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