- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 28, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

I disagree with Bob Yang’s letter to the editor (“Taiwan independence,” Friday), in which he claimed that Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou’s policy toward mainland China comes at the expense of the Republic of China’s sovereignty.

During her recent interview with The Washington Times, Taiwanese Mainland Affairs Council Minister Lai Shin-yuan pointed out that 92 percent of people in Taiwan agree with the Ma administration’s policy of maintaining the “status quo” — not that 92 percent agree with the administration’s policy toward China. Support for maintaining the status quo in cross-strait relations remains the strongest political consensus in Taiwan.

After the Ma administration assumed office in May 2008, Taiwan and mainland China ended a more-than-a-decade-long hiatus and reopened negotiation channels by hosting three unprecedented and historic high-level talks. The talks already have resulted in nine groundbreaking agreements, including the inauguration and expansion of direct cross-strait charter flights, the opening of Taiwan to mainland tourists and enhanced mutual cooperation in a range of important issues from direct links to fighting crime. The most current polling numbers in April show that 56.9 percent of people in Taiwan think the cross-strait talks protect Taiwan’s interests, while 54.3 percent said the talks do nothing to harm the Republic of China’s sovereignty.

In a little more than a year, the Republic of China has significantly reshaped 60 years of cross-strait relations. We are fully aware that, for Taiwan to maintain its strength vis-a-vis the mainland, Taiwan must expand its international space. We hope America will continue to join us in calling for international fairness when judging Taiwan’s global role. We also hope to enhance Taiwan’s meaningful participation in all international organizations to give our citizens an equal voice around the world.

VANCE CHANG

Director, press division

Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the U.S.

Washington

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