As we rally today on behalf of a free, democratic, and prosperous
Taiwan, President Clinton is entertaining Jiang Zemin in the White
House. This Chinese dictator is given red carpet treatment, while
Taiwan's democratically-elected president, Lee Teng-hui, is
officially shunned whenever he steps foot on U.S. soil.
Such actions are shameful, and contrary to America's interest.
Taiwan is becoming increasingly important to the United States,
economically, strategically, and politically. The country's
democracy is a beacon of light and hope in East Asia. Moreover,
Taiwan is the eighth largest trading partner of the U.S., and has
made great strides in the field of health care.
Taiwan should not be punished for these positive developments, but
rather celebrated and encouraged. The outdated and unrealistic
policy of "One China" should be jettisoned, and Taiwanese
membership in the United Nations supported. The U.N. charter
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 the wait
Therefore, the international community in general, and the United
States in particular, should actively assists 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 a recent poll,
nearly two-third of Americans agreed with this position.
Let us stand here today, then, and urge President Clinton to make
clear to Jiang Zemin that the future of Taiwan should be determined
by peaceful means, and that, unlike Hong Kong, whose populace had
little to say in choosing their fate, no one has the right to decide
Taiwan's future but its own people.
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