LETTERS OCTOBER 6, 2009, 4:53 P.M. ET.
Taiwan Is Safeguarding its Democracy
On behalf of the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan), I would like to comment on a number of mistaken notions contained in the editorial "Rebiya Kadeer and Taipei" (Review & Outlook, Sept. 29).
First, the decision of not allowing Ms. Kadeer to visit Taiwan has been made in accordance with Article 18 of Chapter 4 of the Immigration Act, "Entry of Aliens and Exit of Aliens." This article stipulates that the National Immigration Agency shall prohibit an alien from entering the ROC if he/she is believed to endanger national interests or public security. This does not mean, however, that the ROC government disrespects freedom of expression. Indeed, the documentary about Ms. Kadeer's life has been shown at many venues in Taiwan.
Further, the editorial states that President Ma Ying-jeou was elected to improve Taiwan's economy through closer links with mainland China, but "is misinterpreting that mandate to include closer ties with [mainland] China's authoritarian politics, too." This is a gross misconception.
The Ma administration, it must be stressed, has turned a new page in relations across the Taiwan Strait. Since taking office in May 2008, cross-Strait tensions have eased, and the prospects for lasting peace in the Asia-Pacific region are improving, a trend affirmed by governments around the world. Our cross-Strait policy is premised on safeguarding our sovereignty and putting Taiwan first for the benefit of its people. That means insisting on freedom and democracy in Taiwan while promoting cross-Strait peace and prosperity.
We believe this is the right course to take and that observers who look closely at Taiwan will concur.
Government Information Office
Republic of China (Taiwan)