On the following pages we present views and commentaries on Taiwan's international relations, initiatives in the U.S. Congress, and Taiwan's quest for membership in the United Nations. You will find news items and background information on recent, current and upcoming events which touch Taiwan, its people, society, political system, relations with other nations, and quest for international recognition, including membership in the UN.
Taiwan Independence Party (TAIP) celebrates International Human Rights Day in Kaohsiung. On 10 December 1996, the newly-formed Taiwan Independence Party held a major gathering in the southern port-city of Kaohsiung to celebrate Human Rights Day, and to commemorate that in 1979, the Kuomintang authorities broke up the first human rights gathering and arrested dozens of opposition members. The 1979 Kaohsiung Incident became a turning point in Taiwan's history.
Women's Rights leader murdered. On 1 December 1996 Mrs. Peng Wan-ru, a long-time activist in Taiwan's feminist movement and the director of the Women's Division of the Democratic Progressive Party, was raped then killed in the souther port-city of Kaohsiung. This killing was not only a despicable crime but also a cruel reminder that violence against women is very much a living issue in Taiwan.
Washington receives "Butcher of Beijing." During the second week of December 1996, Chinese Defense Minister Chi Haotien visited the United States and was received in Washington by the Clinton Administration and by Democratic members of Congress. Republicans boycotted the general, who was referred to as "Butcher of Beijing" for his role as chief of staff during the military crackdown on the Tiananmen student protest of May-June 1989.
Mandela announces cutting diplomatic ties with "ROC." On 28 November 1996, South African President Nelson Mandela indicated that he would cut South African ties with the "Republic of China" authorities in Taipei, and establish diplomatic relaties with the Peoples' Republic of China authorities in Beijing. We present arguments for a dual recognition policy of Taiwan and China.
In the third week of November 1996, President Clinton attended the APEC meeting in Manila and met Mr. Jiang Zemin there. Also, Secretary of State Christopher travelled to Beijing to meet with his Chinese counterpart. The Taiwanese-American community has written to President Clinton to ensure that he doesn't give anything away with respect to Taiwan's future.
AIT director probed over fund-rasing. On 28 October 1996, Newsweek magazine reported that Mr. James C. Wood, the director of the American Institute in Taiwan -- the organization representing the US to Taiwan -- was being investigated for soliciting campaign contributions from businessmen in Taiwan. Mr. Wood's appointment in December 1995 caused an uproar because of his lack of background in East Asia. In the Taiwanese community Mr. Wood has become (in)famous for his ham-handed approach.
Tempest in a teapot. In the beginning of October 1996, the Chinese created a tempest in an East Asia teapot by agitating against the establishment of a lighthouse at the Senkaku / Tiaoyutai Islands by a Japanese rightwing group. A look at the map and a study of history shows that the Chinese have no business there. The matter should be worked out between Taiwan and Japan on the basis of mutual respect and agreement on fishing rights.
China helps Pakistan with secret missile factory. On 25 August 1996, the Washington Post reported that U.S. intelligence agencies had concluded that China is involved in helping Pakistan to secretly build a medium-range missile factory, designed to produce M-11 type missiles with a range of 185 to 200 miles. The Chinese assistance to Pakistan is a clear violation of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), which China has repeatedly pledged to observe, but appear to have broken for the third time in a row. The previous two occasions were shipment of M-11 technology to Pakistan in 1993 and the sale of ring magnets earlier this year.
On May 30 1996, U.S. Congressman Sherrod Brown (D-OH) made a statement in the U.S. House of Representatives urging the United States and other democratic nations to discard the outdated "One China" policy and accept the reality of "One Taiwan, One China."
On 9 May 1996, Republican Presidential candidate Robert Dole gave a speech outlining his Asia policy, at the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) in Washington D.C. Read the response from the Taiwanese community in the United States.
On 23 March 1996, Taiwan held the first direct presidential elections in its 400 years of history. These were held under dark, threatening Chinese clouds. Read the Presidential election results, including a brief analysis. Also, take a look at our chronology of recent events, for an overview of the events in 1995 and 1996, leading up to the missile crises in the Taiwan Straits and the March 1996 Taiwanese presidential elections.
On Monday, 18 March 1996, Taiwanese Americans and Canadians from all across North America converged on Washington D.C., to hold a March on Washington to protest the provocative and irresponsible Chinese military exercises, and to rally support for Taiwan. Glance through our picture album, and take a look at some of the images and impressions.
On 7 March 1996, a Resolution on Taiwan's Safety and Security was introduced in the U.S. Senate , in which the U.S. states it views the missile tests as a threat to the peace, security, and stability of Taiwan, and calls on Chinese to stop the bellicose actions immediately. The Senate Resolution was passed by a 97 - 0 vote on 22 March 1996.
Also on 7 March 1996, a similar Resolution was introduced in the House of Representatives, stating that U.S. military forces should defend Taiwan in the event of an invasion, missile attack, or blockade by China. The House resolution was passed by a 369 - 14 vote on 19 March 1996.
An article titled "Taiwan's Quest for Respect." On 19 February 1996 professor Lucian Pye of M.I.T. published an excellent article in the New York Times, titled "China's Quest for Respect." It inspired us to put our thoughts on paper, in order to help Americans, and others, understand why we Taiwanese are longing to be fully recognized as a free, democratic, and independent country.
On 24 January 1996 the New York Times reported that China has completed plans for missile attacks on Taiwan in the weeks after the 23 March Presidential elections. Read A Taiwanese- American Appeal for a clear response from the international community to these threats.
On 2 December 1995, Taiwan held parliamentary elections for the 164-seat Legislative Yuan. The results show that the Taiwanese did not let themselves be intimidated by the Chinese military threats. Read our analysis.
Let Taiwan Join the UN. On 24 October 1995, some 1,000 Taiwanese from Taiwan, the United States, Canada, and Europe marched in a colorful procession through the streets of New York. Businessmen, monks, housewives, professors, students, children all joined in a festive rally to urge the international community to accept Taiwan as a full and equal member of the international family of nations, and let Taiwan join the UN. As a symbol of their affinity to Taiwan and its soil, many of them wore straw farmer's hats.
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Last modified: 31 October 1997