Tuesday, July 17, 2007

China suppresses Taiwan in the international arena at every turn

Let it be known to the Chinese government that participating in the international community is not only the will of 23 million Taiwanese people, but also the inalienable rights of the people on this island.

There are numerous examples of China preventing Taiwan from participating in the international arena. In the past two years, at least 18 incidents involved China demanding Taiwan to change its official title to “China Taiwan” or “China Taipei.” Examples include downgrading Taiwan’s membership status to “non-sovereign region member” at the World Organization for Animal Health, demanding nations to recognize that Taiwan is a part of the People’s Republic of China, and preventing Taiwan from joining the United Nations or World Health Organization. China has also made similar demands to Taiwan’s participation in NGOs, such as Bird Life International, Lions Clubs International, International Ship Suppliers Association, and International Society for Horticultural Science. In its effort to downplay Taiwan’s role in the international community, China no longer differentiate the nature of organizations that Taiwan participates. Whenever opportunity presents itself, China will do everything in its power to deny the existence of Taiwan.

In the last two years, China has had Grenada, Senegal, Chad, and Costa Rica terminate their diplomatic ties with Taiwan in exchange for China’s monetary aid. For example, in January 2005, when China and Grenada formally established diplomatic relations, China pledged $250 million worth of monetary aid to its new ally. That same year in October, China pledged $600 million to Senegal shortly after forming diplomatic relations with that country. Last December, when Chad established diplomatic relations with China, Chadian president was already given $50 million personally from the Chinese government. This June, China promised to give $430 million to Costa Rica.

In the face of China’s rising status, Taiwan’s situation in the international arena is ever increasingly bleak, on the grounds that China continues to apply greater pressure to isolate Taiwan internationally. From 1990 to 2000, the KMT administration lost diplomatic relations with eleven countries. From 2000 to the present, the DPP administration also lost eight countries.

The Chinese government continues to state that “it places its hope on Taiwanese people.” We hope that the PRC government does sincerely heed to the will Taiwanese people, instead of paying lip service. Recent public opinion poll shows that China’s diplomatic suppression on Taiwan has not only worsen the cross-strait situation but also upset the Taiwanese people in general. Most people do not agree with China’s action, considering them as detrimental, and feel that China should be responsible for the negative developments of the current situation. Also, most people agree that China has cheated the Taiwanese people by playing the carrot and stick policy.

The long-term diplomatic suppression from China has already generated some ill-sentiments in Taiwan. If the South and Central American countries continue to break diplomatic ties with Taiwan in a domino-effect, the Taiwanese people would surely become even more anti-Chinese. As such, the Chinese government should re-evaluate the current situation or take full responsibility to the dire consequences in the ongoing development of cross-strait relations.

(Translated by Solomon Chang)

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