Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA)

Founded in 1982 in Los Angeles, The Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) is a world-wide non-profit organization headquartered in Washington.

Aiming at establishing a democratic and secure Taiwan that is accepted as an equal in the international community, the goal of the FAPA are as follows(according to its info pamphlet):

1. to promote international support for the right of the people of Taiwan to establish an independent and democratic country, one that is a full-fledged member of the international community;
2. to advance the rights and interests of Taiwanese communities throughout the world; and
3. to promote the peace and security of Taiwan.

Additionally, the FAPA aims to enhance the welfare and recognition of Taiwanese-Americans in the USA as well. As for the FAPA educational program, it includes publishing newsletters and occasional press releases and opinion pieces, organizing workshops and speeches, participating in important conferences concerning Taiwan, and directly meeting with policy makers both in the USA and Taiwan.

Moreover, the FAPA pays close attention to the following issues:

HUMAN RIGHTS: During the dark days of KMT-imposed martial law, the FAPA pressed for an end to KMT control of the media, the release of political prisoners, and a cessation of the “blacklisting” that kept overseas Taiwanese activists from returning to Taiwan. In so doing, the people of Taiwan would enjoy basic freedoms and human rights.

DEMOCRACY: Taiwan experienced a peaceful transfer of power from one party to another in 2000 presidential election, marking the sure sign of a mature democracy. As early as 1986, the FAPA urged the USA Congress to organize the “Committee for Democracy on Taiwan” to promote human rights, freedom and democracy. Meanwhile, the FAPA also worked with the USA Congress to pressure the KMT regime to accelerate progress toward a fully democratic system in Taiwan.

SECURITY: On the grounds that China has refused to renounce the use of force against Taiwan, the FAPA also makes efforts to insure that policy makers in the USA and the American public can understand the moral and legal obligations that bind the USA and Taiwan, as well as Taiwan’s strategic importance.

SELF-DETERMINATION: More importantly, the people of Taiwan should have the right to determine their own future. The sovereignty over Taiwan and the Pescadores is still unsettled, since The San Francisco Peace Treaty of 1951 only stipulated that Japan renounce “all right, title and claim to [Taiwan]” but did not specify the recipient. The FAPA believes that the Taiwanese have the right of self-determination enshrined in the U.N. Charter, and that the USA should abandon the so-called “One China Policy” and instead adopt a “One China, One Taiwan Policy."

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