2009: Open Letter to U. S. President Barack Obama
An Open Letter of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan To The U. S. President Barack Obama
An Appeal of the People in Taiwan
Dear Mr. President:
Your upcoming meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao, and the possibility that Taiwan may be discussed, raises again the dilemma of Taiwan’s uncertain status and is compounded by the changing situation in the Taiwan Strait. The future of Taiwan and our destiny as a people in Taiwan may be in jeopardy.
The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan has been identified with the people here for almost a century and a half; we feel the anxiety of the people of this island. Believing that the Church is the fellowship of God’s people, called to proclaim the salvation of Jesus Christ, called to be ambassadors of reconciliation, rooted in this land and identified with all its inhabitants, and through love and suffering called to be a sign of hope, we issue this appeal to you.
Under the daily threat of over thirteen hundred Chinese missiles, the yearly expansion of its military forces, and its constant obstruction of Taiwan’s participation in the international organizations, the people in Taiwan feel the threat to our personal lives, the violation of our national sovereignty and basic human rights. We are concerned that, if Taiwan were taken over by dictatorial China, not only would the hard earned democratic system in Taiwan be destroyed, but the welfare of people here would be sacrificed, and the peace and stability of Asian Pacific region would be threatened.
Taiwanese people heartily love freedom and cherish deeply our democratic achievements. We do not want to live under totalitarian rule. This can be seen in the results of a recent poll that over eighty per cent of people in Taiwan are opposed to unification with China. The people of Taiwan will adhere to the principles of justice and peace, and will steadfastly defend the right of self-determination.
We believe that human rights are God-given. The right of self-determination is a principle stated in “The Charter of the United Nations,” and is a basic right guaranteed by “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” Therefore, we appeal to the Government of the United States to review its policy toward Taiwan and China, to recognize that Taiwan and China are two separate countries, and cooperate with all peace and justice loving countries in the world to prevent China from taking over Taiwan by force or any other means. We also appeal to the international communities to be attentive to the wishes of Taiwanese people, assisting Taiwan to participate in international affairs as an independent country, so that the people of Taiwan will be given an opportunity to contribute to the justice, peace, and welfare of the whole human race.
“He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you? But to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan,
July 17th, 2009, in Tamsui, Taiwan.
The Rev. Leonard Tsung-Jeng Lin
Moderator, 54th General Assembly
The Rev. Andrew Te-Chien Chang
Mit der nachfolgenden Version bittet die Partnerkirche in Taiwan, die Presbyterian Church in Taiwan, alle, die mit dem Inhalt und der Intention des Briefes einverstanden sind, diesen Brief zu unterschreiben und an denPräsidenten der USA, Barak Obama, zu versenden. Dieser Brief kann deshalb als pdf-Datei ausgedruckt werden.
An Open Letter to President Barack Obama
44th President of the United States of America,
The Whitehouse, Washington, DC 20500 U.S.A
Dear Mr. President
Since the G20 Summit the people of Taiwan are following closely the various dialogues between the respective governments of USA and China. In the coming weeks you will personally meet President Hu Jin-Tao to discuss US-China Relations and it’s assumed our country Taiwan will be on your agenda.
As citizens, residents and friends of Taiwan we, therefore, write to voice our deep disquiet and grave concern for the present situation and the future of our nation; for our people’s hard earned democracy; and for stability and peace in the Asia-Pacific rim.
We strongly believe and fear President Ma’s concessions and collaboration with China’s government is destroying Taiwan’s democracy and sovereignty. The recent perceived easing of political tensions between Taiwan and China overshadows reality. Pre-election promises and postelection performance are not the same. The policies of Ma and the KMT dominated government do not reflect the viewpoint of all the people in Taiwan.
The Taiwanese people live under the shadow of military threat daily. While many world leaders welcome and applaud this so called easing of tension across the straits they conveniently ignore the fact that China still has well over a thousand missiles targeted at Taiwan - a number that ironically continues to increase and the PLA is prepared for action. That is not a foundation for peace in Asia.
The Taiwanese people are tired and weary of constantly being a pawn in the global arena. China continues to demean Taiwan’s international status, identity, selfhood and dignity. We are not products we are peace loving people, an independent nation, with dreams, hopes and aspirations; we are people who adhere to the UN charter and desire to contribute to the global community of nations as equal partners.
Last year (2008), as Senator Obama, you graciously wrote to Mr. Ma Ying-Jeou congratulating him on both his election and eventual inauguration as President of Taiwan. Among other things you stated (quote):
“March 22nd was a good day for the people of Taiwan, for the forces of democracy around the world, and for peace and stability in the western Pacific. I will do all I can to support Taiwan’s democracy in the years ahead.”
The ordinary people of Taiwan are concerned for more than “a good day” Mr. President. We sincerely hope Taiwan’s democracy, freedom and security will not be compromised for political and economic power. We urge you, your congress and world leaders to hear our voice so future generations may know many good days beyond the 21st Century not only in Taiwan but in Asia, and indeed the world. Thank you for your attention and consideration.
We pray you’ll be given strength and Godly wisdom to fulfill your responsibilities with justice.
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