Thursday, December 31, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
GIO response to Nov. 13 open letter
By Su Jun-pin 蘇俊賓
Friday, Dec 18, 2009, Page 8
關於各位學者在(2009年)十一月十三日發表對於台灣自由民主,司法系統,與兩岸關係的建言, 我已代表政府公開詳細回覆. (註: 第四封的回函相當長,曾以連續兩天刊載回函)
Rather than repeat myself, therefore, I would like to direct the attention of the signatories to examples of the international community’s assessments and public opinion on these matters.
因此,與其重複,我將針對各位提出的建議,引用國際社會與台灣公眾意見逐一答覆如下. (按: 第五封公開信一開始就提到,雖然多次建議,政府也回覆,但是都沒有針對重點回答啊!第五封公開信開頭第二段就提到: We regret to say that the responses received from Government Information Office (GIO) Minister Su Jun-pin (蘇俊賓) did not adequately address the issues raised, nor have we seen any substantive ameliorative steps taken to correct the problems.)
Freedom House: Taiwan a model among new Asian democracies. (自由之家: 台灣是亞洲民主的典範)
Following two decades of governmental and judicial reform, Taiwan has created the most flourishing democratic system and freest press environment among Chinese societies in East Asia. According to the Freedom in the World 2009 survey released by Freedom House(詳見此), we not only continue to rank among the world’s “free” countries but count as a model of success among new Asian democracies. (<--妝笑維,人家也知道啊,但人家的問題是說,台灣的排名倒退啊! 完全沒解釋退步的原因!)
Further, our ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and our enactment of legislation requiring all domestic laws to conform with these covenants, have won the praise of international human rights groups. Undeniably, the Republic of China has evolved into a genuinely free and democratic nation respected as such in the international community — not one in which, as claimed in the open letter, freedom and democracy have eroded.
此外,我們簽署了兩個國際人權公約, 並檢視國內法規是否與國際公約符合, 這種認同國際公約並轉化國內法的作法贏得了國際人權組織的嘉許. 不可否認的, 中華民國已經演化到一個真正的,受到國際社會尊敬的自由民主國家,絕對不是公開信裡宣稱的自由民主被傾蝕的國家.
Transparency International: Taiwan progressing in honesty of government.透明國際(Transparency International) 台灣朝誠實政府邁進
The several cases of suspected corruption on the part of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and officials in his administrative team that have erupted since 2008 have seriously damaged the nation’s international image and destroyed citizens’ trust in and respect for the government.
Since President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) took office in May 2008, his administration has drawn up a new blueprint for cultivating governmental integrity and has energetically promoted reform aimed at enhancing cleanliness of government. According to the Corruption Perceptions Index 2009 released by Transparency International on Nov. 17, 2009, our ranking among the 180 countries surveyed rose to 37th place, illustrating international analysts’ affirmation of our reform efforts.
自馬英九執政以來,馬政府團隊已經建立新的藍圖, 以重建政府清廉. 根據透明國際(Transparency International)在今年十一月十七日公佈的2009年貪腐指數,台灣在全球180個國家的排名已經進步到第37名, 透明國際這個調查結果肯定馬政府的清廉政府的改革.
In the future, enjoying the firm support of our citizenry, this government will join forces with other sectors of society to press forward with anti-corruption reform measures to realize the ideal of clean government and a society founded on trust.
Political and Economic Risk Consultancy: Taiwan’s judicial system fair, independent. 台灣司法系統公平獨立
Regarding the handling of court cases involving the former president, under President Ma’s leadership, this government has put great importance on maintaining the fairness and independence of our prosecutorial and judicial systems and has in no way interfered in their operations in pursuit of any political agenda.
On Sept. 11 this year, the Taipei District Court found former president Chen, as well as his wife, son and daughter-in-law, guilty of several crimes, including money laundering and embezzling money from the presidential state affairs fund, for which they were sentenced to various terms of imprisonment. The latter three had confessed to a number of charges. At a Taiwan High Court hearing on Nov. 24, Chen’s wife, son, daughter and son-in-law pled guilty to charges of perjury. And before the same court on the previous day, a former chairperson of the state-controlled Taipei Financial Center Corp admitted having committed perjury and having given the former first lady a bribe of NT$10 million (US$309,000) in exchange for help in securing the “Taipei 101” chairperson position.
今年的九月十一日,台北法院發現陳前總統與其夫人,兒子與媳婦多項犯罪有罪,包括洗錢收賄等,各被求判處不同年的徒刑. 吳淑珍,陳致中與黃睿靖皆認罪. 此三人在十一月二十四日在高等法院開庭的時候被叛有罪. 就在前一天,陳敏薰也認罪承認以台幣千萬元為代價以鞏固她在台北101的董座職位.
According to the latest Asian Intelligence report issued on Nov. 4 by the widely respected Hong Kong firm Political and Economic Risk Consultancy, Ltd (PERC), it is generally believed that in the Chen Shui-bian case, the court proceedings have been transparent, the evidence against him is convincing and the judiciary has operated independently — not as a political tool of the Kuomintang (KMT).
根據Asian Intelligence (按: 一時找不到台灣的譯名,先不翻譯),由廣受尊敬的香港,政治經濟風險顧問公司,在十一月四日的報告指出, 一般大眾相信陳水扁的案件在法院的程序透明,同時證據顯示陳水扁涉案, 法院獨立運作, 而非國民黨的政治操作.
This illustrates the fairness and independence of our judicial system as appraised by international investigative organizations.
Cross-strait detente: Supported by the people, in line with international expectations.緩和兩岸關係: 受到民眾支持,符合國際預期
This government’s policies concerning Taiwan-mainland China relations have always upheld the Republic of China’s national sovereignty and have insisted on the principle of putting Taiwan first for the benefit of its people. These stances have not changed, nor will they change. Over the past year, based on the “1992 consensus,” the two sides’ inking of nine agreements related to people’s livelihood has steadily expanded the scope of cooperation across the Taiwan Strait and gradually built up goodwill and mutual trust.
政府的兩岸關係政策向來首重台灣主權,並堅持台灣人民優先. 這個立場從未改變,也不會改變. 在過去一年,基於九二共識,兩岸已簽署九個協議,以促進兩岸建立善意與相互信賴. (<--民調顯示正好相反啊! 馬政府自己感覺良善但卻與一般民眾看法相左)
As the representative of a democratic society, in dealing with cross-strait issues, the ROC government will surely take protection of the nation’s sovereignty and promotion of our people’s prosperity as its highest guiding principles. At the same time, it is open to the public’s and the Legislature’s scrutiny. The two sides signed three Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) on Financial Supervisory Cooperation on Nov. 16, and a public opinion poll conducted by TVBS between Oct. 16 and Oct. 18 indicated that 60 percent of respondents believed that such MOUs would enhance the soundness of cross-strait financial interchange, while 53 percent believed that they would have a positive influence on Taiwan’s financial industry. This shows that the signing of the MOUs is supported by the public.
代表民主社會的一員,在兩岸關係事務上,台灣政府向來以捍衛主權,促進人民繁榮為最高指導原則(<--只是不知道是哪個國家的主權啦!哪個戶籍地的人民繁榮啦! 怎麼辦,太噁心我翻不下去了啦!). 在此同時,兩岸事務也對民眾公開,受到立法院備查. 兩岸所簽訂的備忘錄,在民調如TVBS在十月十六至十月十八日之間的調查顯示,百分之六十的受訪者對此表達支持,而且有百分之五十三民眾相信這將帶來正面影響. 這都顯示出簽訂備忘錄受到大眾支持. (<--只用TVBS的調查,阿其他反對的調查怎都不敢講啊?)
As for the cross-strait economic cooperation framework agreement currently under consideration, this government is quite willing to work for a nationwide consensus on this and other cross-strait policies through channels of dialogue and communication such as the Legislative Yuan and party-to-party discussion.
至於兩岸經濟合作架構限在正考慮中,政府願意努力達成共識,透過各種對話與溝通的管道,例如透過立法院與黨與黨協商. (按:這個指的是ECFA, 問題是,行政院長都不接受挑戰啊!只會派其他人,然後其他人又是脫口說出失業XXX,毫無基礎,這有啥屁用啊)
This government’s efforts to improve cross-strait relations have won the support of the majority of our people and created new vistas for Taiwan’s development. During his recent visit to mainland China, US President Barack Obama also expressed support for improvements in cross-strait relations. In addition, we have seen breakthrough developments with respect to our participation in the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, our accession to the Government Procurement Agreement of the World Trade Organization and our participation as an observer at the World Health Assembly.
政府極力改善兩岸關係已經贏得多數民眾的支持,也替台灣創造新景象. (按: 這是在說笑話嗎? 明明前幾天天下雜誌的調查才顯示出相反的結果呢!)近期歐巴馬訪中,也曾指出欣見兩岸關係改善. 此外,我們也參與APEC的討論, 加入WTO,並成為WHA的觀察員(<--,別忘了,是自我矮化,在中國准許下才參與的,還鬧出什麼葉金川事件丟人現眼)
In September of this year, we also declared it imperative that Taiwan participate in activities of the UN International Civil Aviation Organization, and that talks be held under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. As such efforts are intimately related to the welfare of Taiwan’s people, our government will continue to pursue these as well as other initiatives to advance the well-being of our nation and people.
Since his inauguration, President Ma has focused on promoting a “second wave” of democratic reform, in the hope that, within his term of office, we can significantly enhance the quality of our democracy — that we can make strides toward democratic excellence through which human rights are more firmly secured, the spirit of rule of law is more solidly embodied, judicial independence and fairness are more deeply rooted, and civil society flourishes with greater vitality. Such aims are shared throughout our society, and we hope that those who, like the signatories of the open letter, care about Taiwan will lend us their support. Let us work together to ensure that Taiwan always stands on the side of freedom, democracy and peace.
自從馬政府就任以來,馬總統已展開第二波民主改造(按: 第二波白色恐怖嗎?),希望在他的任期內,可以顯著提升民主品質,確保人權,維持司法獨立與公平,公民活動蓬勃發展. 這些目標都明確地傳達給社會,我們希望關心台灣的國際友人,例如這些署名學者可以繼續支持台灣.讓我們共同為台灣的自由民主與和平共同努力.(<--最後這段話又出現以前反共復國的文章結論了,好八股啊)
Su Jun-pin is the minister of the Government Information Office.
第一封公開信 與 王清峰的回函
第二封公開信 與 王清峰的回函
第三封公開信 與 蘇俊賓的回函
第四封公開信 與 蘇俊賓的回函
Monday, December 14, 2009
Whether there will be reunification as expected by the mainland side depends very much on what is going to unfold in the next decade.(是否會如對岸預期的統一端看未來十年的發展. 現階段沒有人可以回答這個問題.Emphasis added)
【聯合晚報╱記者陳志平／即時報導】 2009.12.15 11:54 am
"While the "three no's" have eased tensions significantly, Mr. Ma still grapples with the question of where the relationship is going long-term. "Whether there will be reunification as expected by the mainland side depends very much on what is going to unfold in the next decade. This is a question no one can answer at this stage. But as the president of this country, I believe that the 23 million people of Taiwan want to secure one or two generations of peace and prosperity so that people on either side of the Taiwan Strait can have sufficient time and freedom to understand, to appreciate, and to decide what to do."
S在哪裡??? 就已經說是下個十年(next decade)了!! 這是在騙肖耶嗎? 真想罵髒話! 總統府既然出來澄清,希望看到他們發文去WSJ要求更正,不然就只是在愚民!
===updated on 12/15 USA central time===
咖啡館裡馬上有朋友提出這個"更正"要求. 在我還沒看到真正的,由WSJ發布更正啟示之前, 我想到之前陸委會宣稱被外電(華盛頓郵報)的一個"誤解",是關於統獨問題的,轉載如下:
Washington Times 務必更正
七月十六日的華盛頓時報（Washington Times）Ａ十三版「世界新聞」刊登一則訪問陸委會主委賴幸媛的新聞，其中一段話引起我的好奇，賴主委說出「台灣人民贊成政府傾中政策的民意達到前所未有的九十二％高比例」（Reaching an all-times public opinion high,92 percent of Taiwanese agree with the administration’s policy toward China, she said）。
Corrections & Amplifications
In a Nov. 25 interview with The Wall Street Journal Asia, Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou said that, "Whether there will be reunification as expected by the mainland side depends very much on what is going to unfold in the next decades." An earlier version of this article misquoted him as saying "decade."
這件事算是落幕了! 給兩邊都拍拍手一下! 還有,陸委會是不是該去函要求華盛頓郵報要求更正呢?
Taiwan's Détente Gamble
Ma Ying-jeou's vision for making peace with China through trade, defense and democracy. DECEMBER 14, 2009, 6:58 A.M. ET
By Leslie Hook
Taiwan knows better than most countries what it's like to lie in the shadow of a rising China. Just 100 miles off the mainland's coast—where 1,500 missiles stand aimed and ready to fire—the island is home to a vibrant democracy whose 23 million cast their ballots last March for a president promising détente with Beijing.
That man is Ma Ying-jeou, a Hong Kong-born, U.S.-educated lawyer belonging to the same Kuomintang that lost the civil war to Mao Zedong's army 60 years ago. Mr. Ma has taken a conciliatory approach to Beijing, playing down the differences (technically each side claims the other is part of its territory) and emphasizing their common culture, while trying to sell his constituents on the benefits of economic opening with China.
When I met him at the presidential office last month he had a crisp handshake and dark circles under his eyes—he had been jetting around on Air Force One to stump for KMT candidates in the Dec. 5 local elections. But he brightened when he talked about engaging Beijing. "To defend Taiwan, military means is one of the means we are going to use, and it may not be the most important means. We also depend very much on the soft power of Taiwan to engage the Chinese mainland."
For Mr. Ma, "soft power" has meant direct flights between Beijing and Taipei, direct postal links and cargo shipments, and making it easier for mainland tourists to come visit. Next week delegations from Beijing and Taipei will meet in Taichung, in central Taiwan, for a fourth round of official cross-Strait talks, and they are expected to sign agreements on double-taxation, certification standards, fishing crews, agricultural quarantines and the like. There's a lot to be proud of.
"I don't know whether you have taken a cross-Strait flight before? No?" he asks with a slight grin. "If you did then you would probably see how convenient it is compared to barely a year and a half ago [when travelers had to stop over in Hong Kong or Macau]. Also everybody feels relaxed, people even on the other side of the Strait. And we'll continue the current state of affairs, easing tension across the Taiwan Strait, and trying to forge a closer relationship in economic and other fields." He's not kidding about the relaxed atmosphere in Taipei—earlier I strolled into the presidential office without even a cursory bag inspection or ID check.
Mr. Ma has built his diplomacy around what he calls the "three no's"—no unification during his term in office, no pursuit of de jure independence, and no use of force to resolve differences across the Strait. This has been successful in large part because it contrasts with the policies of his predecessor Chen Shui-bian, who fought tooth and nail for Taiwan's acceptance as a regular member of the international community. Mr. Chen's relations with Beijing were full of spats, some petty, some not. At one point he rolled out postmarks promoting Taiwanese membership in the United Nations; Chinese post offices promptly returned any mail bearing those postmarks.
While the "three no's" have eased tensions significantly, Mr. Ma still grapples with the question of where the relationship is going long-term. "Whether there will be reunification as expected by the mainland side depends very much on what is going to unfold in the next decade. This is a question no one can answer at this stage. But as the president of this country, I believe that the 23 million people of Taiwan want to secure one or two generations of peace and prosperity so that people on either side of the Taiwan Strait can have sufficient time and freedom to understand, to appreciate, and to decide what to do."
Which is where the U.S. comes in. Mr. Ma's critics charge him with jeopardizing Taiwan's democratic integrity and underestimating the lengths to which the mainland is willing to go to "reclaim" the island. But on one score at least he's clear-eyed on the threats facing Taiwan, particularly as China pumps money into a rapid military buildup. "The relaxed tensions [across the Strait] depend very much on the continued supply of arms from the United States to Taiwan," Mr. Ma explains. "Certainly Taiwan will not feel comfortable to go to a negotiating table without sufficient defense buildup in order to protect the safety of the island."
Under the terms of the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, the United States is obligated to come to Taiwan's defense if the island is attacked—a scenario that used to dominate threat assessments of the region, but now seems unlikely. With President Obama in the White House, does Mr. Ma ever worry about the U.S. commitment to security in the Asia-Pacific region?
He is quick to dismiss any differences, saying that "we feel quite at ease" with Mr. Obama's November visit to the region. "I think his policies toward this part of the world have not deviated from those of the past President of the United States," he explains. "And he also told his [Chinese] host that he would continue to sell arms for the defense to Taiwan."
It will soon be clear whether Mr. Obama will deliver on that: Taiwan is waiting for the State Department to notify Congress about a pending arms package that includes Black Hawk helicopters, submarine designs and an upgrade to the Patriot missile defense system—items first announced under the Bush administration in 2001. Mr. Ma seems in no hurry: "They are already in the pipeline. A few years is not unreasonable."
The more urgent task, as far as Mr. Ma is concerned, is opening up Taiwan's economy to China so that the two sides can strengthen their trade ties—and Taiwanese voters can enjoy the economic benefits of the rapprochement. Mr. Ma's signature project is the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, an all-encompassing treaty that would cover tariff reductions, market access and economic cooperation in areas like intellectual-property enforcement.
The ECFA, as it is known, has proved a tough sell: The opposition Democratic Progressive Party says the deal will "steal" millions of Taiwanese jobs and flood Taiwan with cheap Chinese imports—arguments that resonate deeply in Taiwan's agricultural south. This is part of the reason the Democratic Progressive Party saw solid gains in the Dec. 5 local elections. Their arguments are bolstered by the fact that so far, despite the cross-Strait flights and the new, "relaxed" atmosphere, Taiwan's exports to China have actually fallen as a share of China's total imports this year as compared to last year. That's not necessarily Mr. Ma's fault—demand for Taiwan's exports plummeted during the global financial crisis—but the timing is not helpful politically.
Mr. Ma is not exactly a free-trader. He boasts that he has maintained all restrictions on agricultural imports and kept Chinese workers out of the country—two key voter concerns. But he understands Taiwan will suffer badly if it doesn't open up. "As the pace of regional economic integration continues to increase, we are afraid that Taiwan might be left in the cold and marginalized."
He's on a tight deadline, too. "In our case there is an urgency in the sense that when the Asean-mainland China [free trade agreement] comes into existence [in January] it will affect some of our exports to the mainland," because certain goods from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian nations will enter China tariff-free. He cites petrochemicals, machinery, auto parts and some textiles as items of particular concern to Taiwan.
The ECFA is not only about trade with China; Mr. Ma hopes it will solidify trade ties with other countries as well. Taiwan wants to sign free-trade agreements with major economies like the U.S., Japan and Korea, he explains, but can't because "the mainland has always obstructed our efforts to make such an agreement."
Taiwan is also trying to figure out how to benefit from China's growing economy without getting stung by its political system, or flooded with RMB. Mr. Ma says it is important to open up to China in a "very cautious fashion." "We have already allowed mainland business to invest in Taiwan, but only in roughly 100 items or so."
In terms of opening the financial sector, he says the two sides have "by and large" agreed to let each other's banks come in, "but under different conditions." The ECFA will contain some provisions to "make sure the financial order in this country will not be disrupted as a result."
He is also confident Taiwan's institutions will prove resilient in the face of any untoward influence from Beijing. "We have more than 70,000 business firms investing on the Chinese mainland, employing millions of Chinese workers. They could have used that to, you know, interfere in our politics or whatever, and so far that's not that prominent. This is a very democratic and transparent society. Anything of that sort would certainly be reported and affect the cross-Strait relations."
Ultimately Mr. Ma thinks opening up will develop its own momentum—and repercussions for China. "We have already transformed Taiwan from a poor, agricultural, relatively not-so-free society into a modern economy, with model democracy. And that has tremendous impact on the Chinese mainland, when they are also struggling to have more economic freedom and possibly political freedom."
Chinese tourists who visit Taiwan are a central part of his vision. "Not everyone is so impressed with the scenery," he begins modestly. "But they are very impressed by the society. It's really a free society. It's a society [where] individuals respect each other's rights and privacy, and the right to freedom of speech, and all that. And they also admire some of our democratic institutions, although sometimes they may feel that it's a little bit chaotic."
He sees this as a historic opportunity: "I want to create a situation where the two sides could. . . see which system is better for the Chinese culture, for the Chinese people." It's a dream his counterparts in Beijing don't share: China's leaders are a long way from embracing Taiwan's democratic experiment, and they have proved quick to grasp the potential threat of democratic influence from Taiwan, placing specific restrictions on Chinese tourists who go there.
As with any country grappling with China's rise, the success of engagement will turn on how well Mr. Ma knows China. In Taiwan he is seen as being quite Chinese—he speaks Mandarin better than Taiwanese dialect, for example. But critics say he's too naive about the country he is dealing with. All of the various engagement efforts are, in essence, a bet that Beijing will turn out to be a reliable negotiating partner—a partner that can be trusted to, say, move its missiles away from the coast, or allow the full quota of mainland tourists to leave the country.
Mr. Ma is open to the idea that both sides have a lot to learn about each other. "The people on the Chinese mainland do not quite understand my policy," he muses as our interview goes into overtime, referring to his "three no's." "Sometimes they don't understand why we don't want unification. I said, well, it's quite obvious that conditions for unification are not ripe. And we don't even know each other that well."
Ms. Hook is an editorial writer for The Wall Street Journal Asia.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
An open letter to Taiwan’s president
Friday, Nov 13, 2009, Page 8
Dear President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九),
During the past year, we, the undersigned — scholars and writers from the US, Canada, Asia, Europe and Australia — have publicly expressed to your government our concerns about a number of trends and developments in Taiwan. On Nov. 6, 2008, and again on Dec. 2 in letters to Minister of Justice Wang Ching-feng (王清峰), we focused on the issues of erosion of justice, significant flaws in the judicial system and judicial abuses against members of the democratic opposition.
On Jan. 21, 2009, and again on May 21, we addressed two open letters to you, Mr. President, expressing concern about the fairness of the judicial system, as well as erosion of press freedom and democratic checks and balances.
We regret to say that the responses received from Government Information Office (GIO) Minister Su Jun-pin (蘇俊賓) did not adequately address the issues raised, nor have we seen any substantive ameliorative steps taken to correct the problems.
很遺憾的,我們必須說,雖然新聞局長蘇俊賓撥冗回覆[版主註:詳見response to No. 3 and open response to No.4],但其給我們的回函並沒有針對問題核心回覆,而我們也未見到台灣政府拿出具體行動解決問題。
Since then, a number of developments have taken place — some positive and some negative — which prompted us to write to you again to express our views on these issues. We wish to reiterate that we raise these points as strong international supporters of Taiwan’s democracy who care deeply about the country and its future as a free and democratic nation.
We also emphasize that we do not take sides in internal political debates, but do have Taiwan’s international image and credibility as an international partner in mind. Because of the hard work and perseverance of the Taiwanese people, Taiwan was able to make the transition to democracy two decades ago.
我們也必須重申,我們並非支持特定(藍綠)陣營,但是我們關切台灣的國際形象與信譽. 因為台灣好不容易經過20年的努力才轉型成為一個民主國家. [註:美國務院的人權報告]
We applaud this achievement and strongly believe that this basic fact, democracy, is the strongest card Taiwan can play in building and strengthening its relations with other countries around the world and the strongest protection against outside interference in Taiwan’s internal affairs.
We are sure that you would agree with us that Taiwan’s young democracy can only grow and prosper if it is nurtured through good governance, accountability and transparency based on the fundamental principles of freedom, democracy, justice and human rights. This would also adhere to both the letter and spirit of the two UN human rights covenants signed by you and ratified by the Legislative Yuan, and be enhanced by the implementation of these covenants into national law in accordance with the advice of the International Commission of Jurists.
我們相信您也同意台灣的民主還未臻成熟(young democracy),台灣民主能夠繼續茁壯則有賴政府透明的制度對於民主,司法與人權的規範. 這也符合台灣今年簽署且經立法院核准的的兩項聯合國人權條款的內容和精神, 進一步依照國際法律協會的建議，將其制定為法律，並且在台灣實行。
During the past two decades, Taiwan has made major progress in each of these areas. It thus has been a disappointment for us to see an erosion of justice, a weakening of checks and balances in the democratic system and a decline in press freedom in Taiwan.
These trends are reflected in the significantly downward ratings Taiwan received in the annual reports of international organizations such as Freedom House and Reporters without Borders.
They are also reflected in the expressions of concern by international scholars and friends of Taiwan related to the flaws in the judicial proceedings against former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and the apparent lack of neutrality in the continuing “investigations” and indictments of other prominent members of the former DPP government. We thus appeal to you again to ensure that measures are taken to ensure the impartiality and fairness of the judiciary.
Good governance, accountability and transparency based on the fundamental principles of freedom, democracy, justice and human rights are all the more essential now that your government is moving Taiwan on a path of closer economic ties with China. We believe that a decrease of tension across the Taiwan Strait would indeed be welcome, but emphasize that this should not be done at the expense of the hard-won democracy and human rights in Taiwan itself.
Thus, the process of improving relations with your large neighbor across the Taiwan Strait needs to be an open, deliberative and democratic process, in full consultation with both the Legislative Yuan and the democratic opposition, and fully transparent to the general public.
We are thus pleased to hear that officials of your government have stated that any agreement with China would need to have both a domestic consensus, including approval by the Legislative Yuan, and acceptance by the international community.
We trust this process will be open and consultative in ways that respect the democratic traditions begun so promisingly two decades ago. Indeed, we emphasize that a country can only grow and prosper if it has diversified ties — economically and politically — to other countries.
Too close an embrace with one neighbor will expose that country to the risks of volatility in the neighboring country, in particular if that neighbor remains authoritarian and openly disrespectful of Taiwan’s democratic achievements.
Mr. President, we wish to emphasize again that, as international scholars and writers who have followed, supported and applauded Taiwan’s impressive transition to democracy, we feel strongly that Taiwan should be more fully accepted by the international community as a full and equal partner.
This can only be achieved if Taiwan ensures that its democratic achievements are safeguarded, that its sovereignty, human rights and fundamental freedoms are protected, and that the democratic fabric of society is strengthened so the country is ready to meet the challenges ahead.
NAT BELLOCCHIFormer chairman, American Institute in Taiwan
COEN BLAAUWFormosan Association for Public Affairs, Washington
GORDON CHANGAuthor, “The Coming Collapse of China”
EDWARD FRIEDMANProfessor of political science and East Asian studies, University of Wisconsin
PETER CHOWProfessor of economics, City College of New York STEPHANE CORCUFFAssociate professor of political science, China and Taiwan studies, University of Lyon
MICHAEL DANIELSEN Chairman, Taiwan Corner, Copenhagen
JUNE TEUFEL DREYER Professor of political science, University of MiamiJOHN TKACIKFormer senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation and former officer at the Taiwan Coordination Desk, Department of State, Washington
TERRI GILESExecutive director, Formosa Foundation, Los Angeles
MICHAEL RAND HOAREEmeritus reader at the University of London
CHRISTOPHER HUGHESProfessor of international relations, London School of Economics and Political Science
THOMAS HUGHES Former chief of staff to the late senator
Claiborne Pell, Washington
BRUCE JACOBS Professor of Asian languages and studies, Monash University
RICHARD KAGAN Professor emeritus of history, Hamline University
JEROME KEATING Associate professor, National Taipei University (retired).
David KilgourFormer member of parliament and secretary of state for Asia-Pacific (2002-2003), Canada
ANDRE LALIBERTE Associate professor, School of Political Studies, University of OttawaDANIEL LYNCH Associate professor, School of International Relations, University of Southern California
LIU SHIH-CHUNG Visiting fellow, The Brookings Institution, Washington
VICTOR MAIR Professor of Chinese language and literature, University of Pennsylvania DONALD RODGERS Associate professor of political science, Austin College
CHRISTIAN SCHAFFERER Associate professor, Department of International Trade, Overseas Chinese Institute of Technology, chair of Austrian Associationof East Asian Studies
SCOTT SIMON Associate professor, University of Ottawa, Canada
MICHAEL STAINTON York Center for Asia Research, TorontoPERRY LINK Professor emeritus ofEast Asian Studies,Princeton University
PETER TAGUE Professor of law,Georgetown University
ARTHUR WALDRON Lauder professor of international relations, University of Pennsylvania
VINCENT WEI-CHENG WANG Professor of political science, University of Richmond
GERRIT VAN DER WEES Editor of “Taiwan Communique,” Washington
STEPHEN YATES President of DC Asia Advisory and former deputy assistant to the US vice president for nationalsecurity affairs.