Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Third Scholars Letter, Addressed to President Ma

The third letter from the group of scholars...

DEAR PRESIDENT MA

We the undersigned, scholars and writers from the US, Canada, Europe and Australia, consider ourselves long-time supporters of a democratic Taiwan. We write to express our concern regarding the erosion of the judicial system in Taiwan during the past few months.

On two previous occasions we have publicly expressed our concerns to Justice Minister Wang Ching-feng (王清峰), but the minister’s responses are troubling in their persistent failure to acknowledge that there even is a problem, and in their attitude of denial that the judicial process is flawed and partial. We trust that our raising our concerns with you as president will be treated as advice from international supporters of Taiwan’s democracy who care deeply about the country and its future as a free and democratic nation.

First we may mention the fact that your administration has not yet acted upon recommendations — made both by Freedom House and Amnesty International — to conduct an independent inquiry into the events surrounding the visit of Chinese envoy Chen Yunlin (陳雲林), and in particular the police behavior and infringements on basic freedoms. The establishment of a scrupulously neutral commission is essential if there is to be a fair and objective conclusion on the disturbances that occurred during the Chen Yunlin visit.....

(Complete text in Taipei Times)

UPDATE: Taiwan Documents is hosting the letter permanently. Too late for publication of the letter, Prof. Michael Yahuda of George Washington University also signed.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is it coincidence that several of the signatories read like "whos who" list of anti-China hacks and pundits?

Gordon Chang
June Teufel Dreyer
Jerome Keating
David Kilgour
John Tkacik
Arthur Waldron

Anonymous said...

I don't think supporting Taiwan necessarily has to equate being anti-China. The only people who subscribe to this type of inductive reasoning are the Chinese nationalists on either side of the strait who wish to see Taiwan undemocratically annexed into China and feel support for Taiwan, Taiwan's right to self-determination, and the acknowledgement of Taiwan's particularities are a threat to their Chinese nationalist construct.

Arty said...

Sometime you just have to give to those western scholars (I am sometime really ashamed have to call them colleagues). They seem to forget most of the mass genocide, injustice to the innocents, colonization of the world, etc. for the last 200 years plus were done in the name of civilized/logic western cultures.

As long as Ma follows the "Law of the land," he has cross any boundary I consider undemocratic. What's a flawed justice system? I can argue that American justice is equally flawed in different ways. It is like criticizing how Japanese college tenure system is flawed system, and the American way is the ONLY way when both systems are capable of producing equally talented thinkers.

A President shows disregard to the laws, and keep issuing executive orders or simply ignore court orders because he can is more damaging to a democracy. And I don't see those scholars keep writing similar letters. They might not have writen one to Chen, but at least one to Bush. wink wink...

Although, Ma could be more aggressive in his policy making and probably need his balls reattached. You don't react as an president, you ACT.

Michael Turton said...

It's probably not a coincidence that people who object to China's authoritarianism and expansionism would support a democratic Taiwan.

Anonymous said...

In response to Arty...

Are you anti-Western?

"Sometime you just have to give to those western scholars (I am sometime really ashamed have to call them colleagues). They seem to forget most of the mass genocide, injustice to the innocents, colonization of the world, etc. for the last 200 years plus were done in the name of civilized/logic western cultures."

1.So what you are saying is because something horrible was done in the past, it is ok to do it again.
2.Most of these "?Western?" scholars have signed the letters precisely because they have learned from the past and are applying that knowledge in the present.
3. You forget that many of the most notorious acts of cruelty of the last 200 years occurred in the east. China under Mao, Russia under Stalin, Cambodia, Japan during the second world war, and then there is Burma, which is currently persecuting many ethnic groups inside the country in an attempt to exterminate them.

Your comment about Bush is silly. Many scholars and millions of people have written tonnes of letters, books, made movies, thrown shoes, and have raised objections in a whole plethora of other ways against Bush. Furthermore, are you saying because Bush was an obstacle to freedom, it is ok for Ma to be the same?

I can shred the rest of your ridiculous post quite easily, however, I know it won't make an ounce of difference in your narrow minded mind, and I need to get on with real life.

I big problem with Taiwan, and with you it seems, is the lack of self-criticism. At least the "West" has that one down good.

Just wake up.

What you seem to lack, is the ability to self criticize.