Letter to Prisident Bill Clinton
June 25, 1998 Taipei, Taiwan
President Bill Clinton
United States of America
care of: American Institute on Taiwan
Dear President Clinton:
This letter represents the position of the following numerous civic organizations and political leaders in Taiwan, as listed below, and we strongly believe that it conveys the public opinion of the majority of the population of Taiwan. The activity in which this letter is presented has been spearheaded by the Taiwan Association of University Professors.
We recognize the rationale and reasonableness of friendly relations between the United States of America and the Peoples Republic of China, which are major powers and population segments of the world. We wish the best for your friendly meeting with President Jiang Zemin in Beijing on June 27, 1998. Likewise, there is no useful reason for animosity between China and Taiwan.
However, we state here unequivocally that it is the right of the people of Taiwan--not of the People‘s Republic of China and not of the United States--to determine the future of Taiwan. This is the moral imperative even if the 1.2 billion people of China far outnumber the 22 million people of Taiwan. We stand for the establishment of the Republic of Taiwan to represent the people of Taiwan and the territory that is their homeland. China has no right to claim sovereignty over the people of Taiwan.
The right of national self-determination was proclaimed by American President Woodrow Wilson in the wake of World War One. It gave legitimacy to United States foreign policy and hope to the colonized peoples of the world. The right of
self-determination has long been enshrined in the conventions of the United Nations, and has been upheld in the recent plebiscites of the Baltic nations and the former Yugoslavia. The human rights policies of American President Jimmy Carter likewise helped freedom of speech to assert itself in Taiwan in 1978, such that the demand of the Taiwanese people for self-determination was finally heard despite decades of martial law under the Chiang Kai-shek regime on Taiwan. We saw that the United States even intervened militarily to roll back Iraq’s 1990 violent takeover of Kuwait. As democracy has been increasingly realized in Taiwan since 1991, the demand for self-determination has become manifest and is in the main only restrained by the bullying threats of the Peoples Republic of China.
Whether or not your administration supports the establishment of the Republic of Taiwan, this is our inalienable right. It is an undeniable reality that the present government on Taiwan exercises administration over its own population and territory, with independent foreign affairs and military direction. It thus meets the international standards for a sovereign state, despite China’s claims to the contrary. It is a major economic power and partner in world trade. Our right to self-determination is also an historical heritage. The Chinese government in Beijing has not had control over Taiwan since 1895. We expect the United States to merely acknowledge this reality.
This statement, endorsed by the following organizations and individuals, is hereby presented to the American Institute of Taiwan for conveyance to President Bill Clinton of the United States of America.
Taiwan Association of University Professors (352 members)
Taiwan Teachers’ Alliance (over 900 members)
Taiwan Medical Professionals Alliance
Taiwan Independence Party
Green Party Taiwan
World United Formosans for Independence
The Association for Taiwan Independence
Goa-Seng-Lang (Mainlanders) Association for Taiwan Independence
Asia Freedom and Democracy Alliance, Taiwan Chapter
Nation-Building Radio Station
TNT Formosa New Voice Radio Station
The Voice of the Taiwan Nation Radio Station
TNT Formosa New Voice Hakka Radio Station
Cultural, Social and Religious Organizations:
Presbyterian Church of Taiwan, Central Office Committee
Christians for the Promotion of Taiwan Independence
Ocean Taiwan Foundation
Taiwan Heart Society
Pine and Bamboo Society
Taiwan National Mountain-Climbing Society
Taipei City Committee for the Promotion of Women’s Rights
The 228 Victims’ Families Association for Peace
National Senior Citizens’ Friendship Association
Joint Service Office of National Legislator Lee Ying-yuan and
National Assemblyman Chang Chen-hsiang,
National Plebescite Association,
Taiwan Hakka Public Affairs Association,
North American Taiwanese Professors Association,
Chuan-ming Taxi Drivers Association
New Nation Frontiers
On Behalf of theTaiwan Association
of University Professors
C.Y. Huang, President