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China at 50

Message from Taiwan to China at 50

Washington, 25 September 1999

The Washington Post, in its September 25th issue, carried an important ad, placed by Taiwan's County Magistrate of Taoyuan County, Ms. Annette Lu Hsiu-lien. Below is the text of the message:

Message to the PRC from the People of Taiwan

As Beijing celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the PRC today, the people of Taiwan, while still recovering from the recent devastating earthquake, express our sincere greetings on her birthday.

The conflict between China and Taiwan is a relic of the past half-century, of the confrontation between the Communists and then Nationalists. Since Taiwan’s government has given up claim to sovereignty over China and its president is democratically elected by the Taiwanese people, old enmities need not continue. The time for reconciliation is here.

Indeed, Taiwan and China have a unique relationship among all nations in the world. We are distant cousins and close neighbors, sharing cultural and linguistic ties. Yet we have developed completely independently from each other. While Taiwan has grown into flourishing democracy with its thriving free market economy, China remains an authoritarian one-party system with extensive state control over the economy and people’s lives.

In the coming century, each nation’s power will be based upon the well-being of its people rather than upon military force or old concept of territorial sovereignty. China will never become a leading nation in the modern world by bullying Taiwan and exploiting her tragedy, or by manipulating the benevolence of the international community and efforts to send earthquake relief, in order to asset territorial sovereignty over Taiwan. Instead, Taiwan and China should join together to enhance their people’s economic, political, and social development.

Taiwan reaches out to China in peace with sincere hope that we may leave behind past animosity and work together toward sustainable development; as distant cousins and close neighbors, we should coexist in harmony without hatred, without war.

The time for peaceful coexistence is now.

Hsiu-lien Lu President, Institute for National Development, Taipei, Taiwan

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