My friends, it gives me great pleasure to salute all of you who are gathered
here today at this historic event. Though I cannot be with you in person, I am
with you in spirit.
This rally will long be remembered as the day when the people of Taiwan
stood together and said "No" to China, sending a firm message to the
whole world that the "One Country, Two Systems" approach which the PRC
spelled out for Hong Kong should not be applied to your island nation.
China, the United States and the rest of the globe should understand and
acknowledge that the transfer of Hong Kong to the PRC offers no parallel with
Taiwan's future. While the Hong Kong territory was leased by Great Britain from
China for 99 years, Taiwan is an independent and sovereign country, and no
treaties exist between the PRC and Taiwan which determine the future of your
One Treaty does come to mind, however: The United Nations Charter, which
proclaims the right of self-determination for peoples throughout the world. The
citizens of Taiwan have been waiting far too long to exercise this right, and
today I join you in declaring that wait must end.
Therefore I urge the international community in general, and the United
States in particular, to actively assist Taiwan in exercising its universal
right of self-determination by recognizing Taiwan's independent status and by
pressing for its admission into various international organizations as a full
participant. In recent polls, nearly two-third of Americans supported this
In conclusion, let us stand here today and tell the world that the future of
Taiwan should be determined by peaceful means, and that, like Hong Kong whose
populace had little say in choosing their fate, no one has the right to decide
Taiwan's future but its own people.