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Washington DC

Responding to the 22 April 2001 editorial "Straight Talk on Taiwan" in the Washington Post, we sent the following letter to the editor:

Straight Talk on Taiwan ?

The Hague, 22 April 2001

Dear Editor,

While we agree with most of your editorial ("Straight talk on Taiwan", Washington Post, 22 April 2001), it contains one very disturbing misconception.

At the end, you state that "...The United States should continue to make clear that it won't support a Taiwanese declaration of independence or other rash steps." The fact is, Taiwan is already an independent nation. The only remaining question is how it should be recognized internationally: under the outdated "Republic of China" name, or as a new and democratic nation, "Taiwan."

We fully agree with you that it is "...important this time around is to get the principles right." The principles of democracy and self-determination say that the people of Taiwan should determine their own future.

This means that they should be able to shed the "Republic of China" straightjacket imposed on them by the Nationalist regime which came over from China in the late 1940s, and move freely towards a new, democratic and indepedent Taiwan, accepted by the international community as a full and equal member.


Mrs. Mei-chin Chen

Editor, Taiwan Communiqué