An open letter to Wang Jin-pyng
Sunday, May 23, 2010, Page 8
Dear Mr Speaker, Wang Jin-pyng (王金平),
As strong supporters of a free and democratic Taiwan, we would like to call your attention to a number of concerns we have regarding the ongoing negotiations between the Taiwanese and Chinese governments to arrive at an economic cooperation framework agreement.
While in principle, an economic agreement between the two countries would be laudable, it concerns us that there has been a lack of transparency and legislative checks and balances on the part of the government in Taiwan: Media and civic groups have complained about the secrecy of the negotiations and the fact that there is no clarity on what the agreement would entail or what impact it would have on Taiwan’s economy, in particular its agriculture sector, small and medium-size industries and the labor force.
Furthermore, the Legislative Yuan appears to be sidelined in the decisionmaking process, which does not bode well for the country’s young democracy. Against this background, we urge you to emphasize that you attach great importance to checks and balances in a democratic system. It is also imperative that the Taiwanese government seeks a democratic consensus on this important decision through a public referendum of all people in Taiwan before the agreement is signed.
此外,立法院顯然被屏除在決策過程外,這對年輕的民主國家並非好事. 在這種背景條件之下,我們極欲強調您(指立法院)在民主體制下身負審查與制衡的重要性. 同樣的,台灣政府面對重要決策時,協約簽訂前以公投,民主的方式尋求人民共識也茲事體大.
Many in Taiwan and abroad are also concerned about the impact of closer economic ties on Taiwan’s de facto independence and sovereignty: They feel that closer economic ties will give the government in Beijing leverage to push Taiwan into further political isolation. This would make it increasingly difficult for the people of Taiwan to maintain their freedom, basic human rights and democracy, as well as to determine their own future. The problem is, of course, that China unjustifiably claims sovereignty over Taiwan and doesn’t recognize its right to exist as a free, democratic and independent nation.
許多台灣與海外人士也非常憂心發展與中國更緊密的經濟關係會對實質獨立的台灣在主權上有不良的影響: 她們擔心更傾中將使得北京政府利用此而進一步在政治上孤立台灣. 這將使得台灣人民要維持自由,人權,與民主更加困難,也勢比使得台灣人自己決定台灣未來的可能性更低(按:我是意譯,因此加入一些連結語句).當然,根本問題是,中國不切當的宣稱對台灣擁有主權,而不承認台灣是個自由民主與獨立的國家.
If Taiwan increasingly moves into the sphere of influence of a still very undemocratic China, this will have a negative impact on democracy and human rights in Taiwan itself and on its role as a beacon for democracy in East Asia. We feel that the present approach by the Ma administration is too much predicated on China having a say in how Taiwan relates to the rest of the world.
In our view, Taiwan should be accepted in its own right and be able to sign free trade agreements with other nations without going through China.
We may also refer to recent statements by two of Taiwan’s strongest supporters in the US Congress, who are very critical of the proposed agreement: In a briefing on April 28, Congressman Robert Andrews referred to it as a “cage” for Taiwan from which it will be difficult to escape, while Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen referred to it as a “Trojan Horse,” one gift-horse Taiwan should not allow in because Beijing is using it as a political tool with the ultimate goal of absorbing Taiwan.
我們也認為最近美國兩位友台議員發表的聲明殊關重要: 在4/28日一個簡短聲明中Robert Andrews 議員認為
Mr Speaker, we hope you will agree with us that maintaining a free and democratic Taiwan is essential, not only for the people of Taiwan, but also for the cause of freedom and democracy in East Asia as a whole. We thus urge you to take a critical look at the proposed trade agreement and ensure that the economic, political and strategic interests of the Taiwanese people are fully safeguarded.
Looking forward to hearing from you,
Former chairman, American Institute in Taiwan
Formosan Association for Public Affairs, Washington
Gordon G. Chang
Author, The Coming Collapse of China
Professor of economics,
City College of New York
Associate professor of political science, China and Taiwan studies,
University of Lyon
Chairman, Taiwan Corner, Copenhagen
June Teufel Dreyer
Professor of political science,
University of Miami
Norman W. Getsinger
US Foreign Service (retired); Graduate program,
The George Washington University
Executive director, Formosa Foundation, Los Angeles
Michael Rand Hoare
University of London
Thomas G. Hughes
Former chief of staff to the late Senator Claiborne Pell, Washington
Richard C. Kagan
Professor emeritus of history, Hamline University; author, Taiwan’s Statesman: Lee Teng-hui and Democracy in Asia
Jerome F. Keating
National Taipei University (retired); co-author, Island in the Stream, a Quick Case Study of Taiwan’s Complex History
Hon. David Kilgour
Former member of parliament and secretary of state for Asia-Pacific, Canada
Associate professor, School of Political Studies,
University of Ottawa
Associate professor, School of International Relations,
University of Southern California
Victor H. Mair
Professor of Chinese language and literature,
University of Pennsylvania
Associate professor of political science,
Terence C. Russell
Associate professor of Chinese, Asian Studies Centre,
University of Manitoba
Associate professor of international trade, Overseas Chinese University; chair of Austrian Association of East Asian Studies; editor, Journal of Contemporary Eastern Asia
York Centre for Asia Research, Toronto
Professor of law,
John J. Tkacik Jr
Former senior research fellow, The Heritage Foundation; former officer at the Taiwan Coordination Desk, US Department of State, Washington
Lauder professor of international relations,
University of Pennsylvania
Vincent Wei-cheng Wang
Professor of political science,
University of Richmond
Gerrit van der Wees
Editor, Taiwan Communique, Washington
Professor emeritus, London School of Economics
President, DC Asia Advisory; former deputy assistant to the US vice president for national security affairs.