- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 22, 2011

The opinion article “High stakes in the Taiwanese elections” (Commentary, Wednesday) by Parris Chang, a former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government official and legislator, is misinforming.

Mr. Chang alleges that the policies of the Republic of China (Taiwan) government under President Ma Ying-jeou “undermined Taiwan’s sovereignty and compromised its de facto independence.” In fact, the ROC government’s mainland policy under Mr. Ma is based on the “three no’s” - no unification, no independence, no use of force - and is designed to maintain the status quo and protect ROC sovereignty. This policy has improved cross-strait relations and enhanced regional stability and prosperity, a fact that President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton have publicly praised.

Sixteen cross-strait agreements, including the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, have been signed. All of them are conducive to the well-being of every member of Taiwanese society, not just the business sector. In addition, Taiwan’s unemployment rate decreased dramatically from 6.13 percent after the global economic turmoil of 2008 to 4.3 percent. Taiwan’s gross domestic product grew more than 10.88 percent in 2010, despite international economic difficulties.

Contrary to Mr. Chang’s claim, opinion polls conducted Sunday by three of the leading publications place Mr. Ma either in the lead or in a dead heat with his competitor, the DPP’s Tsai Ing-wen. The China Times showed Mr. Ma with 38.5 percent and Ms. Tsai with 37.7 percent, TVBS showed Mr. Ma with 39 percent and Ms. Tsai with 38 percent, and the United Daily showed Mr. Ma with 41 and Ms. Tsai with 33 percent.

Regardless of campaign language, Taiwan is a mature democracy, and on Jan. 14, the people will cast their votes in a fair, competitive and transparent electoral process.

FRANK YEE WANG

Director, Press Division

Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office

Washington