Call to the world

China's authoritarian government approved a law on Monday that authorized 'non-peaceful' actions against Taiwan if the island continues minding its own business outside of Beijing's control.

Here is the six-point response made yesterday by Taiwan's democratically elected president. And here is the official call to the world made by Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council. (In reading the documents please note the difference between People's Republic of China, the official name of Communist China, and Republic of China, the official, older name of the government in Taiwan.

China's talk of 'secession' obscures an important fact: Taiwan has never belonged to the PRC. Taiwan has been a self-governing society the entire time the PRC has existed. It has had its own constitution, currency, public institutions, national emblems, and body of law. Since when does a state 'secede' from a nation it was never part of?

The people of Taiwan, like citizens in any democracy, assume that decisions about their future are theirs to make. The free society they have built here testifies to their right to make these decisions. It is time for the people of the world to respect that right.

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