Saturday, April 11, 2009

Joint Statement on the TRA

FAPA passed around this joint statement on the Taiwan Relations Act:


Joint Statement of the Taiwanese-American Organizations
on the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act

As Taiwanese-American organizations we hereby express our appreciation to the U.S. Government and Congress, as well as to our fellow Americans for the passage of the Taiwan Relations Act on April 10th 1979.

The TRA has provided the legal basis for the U.S. commitment to Taiwan's defense against an authoritarian China through its clauses on the provision of defensive arms to Taiwan, and maintenance of U.S. capacity to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or the social or economic system, of the people of Taiwan.

The TRA also contains an important human rights clause, reaffirming "the preservation and enhancement of the human rights of all the people on Taiwan" as objectives of the United States. This clause was particularly important in 1979, when the Taiwanese still languished under the KMT's martial law, but equally relevant today, when we are witnessing an erosion of human rights and justice on the island.

Furthermore, the TRA states that it is U.S. policy that the future of Taiwan be determined by peaceful means. In the age of democracy this means that the people on the island should be able to determine their own future, free of coercion and threats, in particular from neighboring China. In the present situation, the U.S. needs to stand up more firmly, and prevent China from bullying Taiwan into submission.

Since the enactment of the TRA, thirty long years have elapsed. During this period, Taiwan transformed itself into a vibrant democracy, successfully conducting four direct presidential elections. Moreover, the great majority of the island nation’s inhabitants have come to identify themselves as Taiwanese rather than Chinese. Therefore, as we applaud the role of TRA in maintaining peace and security of the Western Pacific, benefiting both the U.S. and Taiwan, we make the following appeal:

We call upon the Obama Administration and US Congress to break out of the stranglehold of the outdated "One China" policy, and move towards normalization of relations with Taiwan, and help Taiwan become a full and equal member of the international community.

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Anonymous said...

Interesting that the TIers are comemorating the TRA as that document was a bone thrown to the KMT to soothe them over recognition of the PRC. If TIers want to thank anyone for the TRA, they should thank the KMT, for it was their lobby that got it passed.

Anonymous said...

But the TRA wouldn't have even been necessary if Chiang Kai-shek had accepted a regular UN seat for Taiwan instead of leaving the UN. If Taiwan had a UN seat, it would've given a legitimacy to Taiwan that today would be very difficult to assail.

Today, pundits in the US mumble something about status quo, wave hands and cite something about "real countries" and conclude that Taiwan is not real. And they use circular logic and cite the US's long policy of ambiguity and Taiwan not being recognized by the UN or other countries, and the circle jerk completes its full cycle one more time.

Dixteel said...

On the surface TRA looks like just a bone thrown to KMT, but a closer examination in its content and wording will reveal that it's much more than that.

Anonymous said...

"On the surface TRA looks like just a bone thrown to KMT, but a closer examination in its content and wording will reveal that it's much more than that."

I believe that a closer examination of the TRA confirms it is indeed bone thrown to the KMT. The TRA does not obligate the US to do anything for Taiwan other than selling weapons at the sole discretion of of the US. It's like an agreement for me to defend you if I feel like it.

Dixteel said...

Ah, but anon, is it for KMT, or for Taiwan?