Washington Times


Taiwan needs U.S. support

Letter to the editor
May 15, 2005

Don Feder is correct in warning Americans about China ("What China wants," Commentary,Monday). China's attempts to isolate Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian for the past few years are acts, at best, of brutal interference in social-political harmony in Taiwan. In effect, China tried to undermine Saturday's upcoming voting in Taiwan for the legal right to hold a referendum on the constitution, which China views as moving toward independence, and therefore illegal.

The right of referendum is one way to achieve a peaceful transition from a totalitarian government to a democratic one in Taiwan and is one of human rights for which the Taiwanese people have been working. The Bush administration should have been supporting it, but has not.

More to the point, what does Taiwan want? The Taiwanese need support to decide their own future without depending on the United States. Taiwan does not want to wait until the United States has to send troops when China attacks. It will be too late then. Taiwan needs national defense, but not to the point of exhausting its resources. Taiwan wants to work with international communities for a peaceful world, especially in Asia.

What Taiwan needs is moral support, loud and clear, from the Bush administration that the United States supports democracy in Taiwan. It needs to know that the United States supports an open society, that it respects human rights and that the people can coexist in harmony. This support is similar to what President Bush expressed during his trip to the countries of the former Soviet Union.

Winchester, Mass.