We think that Taiwan's referendum to apply to the United Nations under the name 'Taiwan' is a provocative policy. It unnecessarily raises tensions in the Taiwan Strait, and it promises no real benefits for the people of Taiwan on the international stage.
US Secretary of State
Dear Secretary Rice:
Like many Americans living in Taiwan I think your recent statement is a provocative action. It unnecessarily raises tensions between the democratic ideals we cherish and the policies of your administration. The statement promises no real benefits on the international stage for the people of America, Taiwan, or even China.
The moment was not worthy of you, Ms Rice. History has recorded your name already as a crucial player in the advancement of democracy. You were your country's Russia expert during the fall of the Soviet empire. The people of central and eastern Europe did not achieve democracy in those years because America sent mixed messages. Your motto then was peace through strength, not status quo.
Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.
Compromise is inevitable in day-to-day governing. But it becomes betrayal when it gives away too much. Your statement, a payoff to Beijing after its help with North Korea, does just that. To say Taiwan's referendum is not helpful to you, to say you don't support the move, is one thing. To say you oppose Taiwan holding one is another. It gives away too much.
China's abusive leadership needs to understand that your country's commitment to democracy is not a chip to be traded. It needs to understand that the rights of free people, in Taiwan or elsewhere, are not the property of others to trade.
Please inform your counterparts in Beijing that they will have to collect America's IOUs with different currency.
Photo: Banner at Taipei Main Station
© Alton Thompson