14 U.S. congressmen have a written a letter to President Bush, asking him in his last weeks in office to remember to protect Taiwan’s basic human rights and democratic processes. The Taipei Times reports:
“We want to express our concern about recent developments in Taiwan,” the letter written by Republican Representative Scott Garrett said. “The latest events appear to signal a disturbing erosion of civil liberties and human rights in Taiwan.”
The letter charges that during Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait Chairman Chen Yunlin’s (陳雲林) visit last month, police seized Republic of China flags from anyone waving them along routes traveled by Chen; people were forbidden to display Tibetan flags; a shop was closed because it played Taiwanese folk music and police mistreated those who opposed the visit.
Although Bush only has a few weeks left in his presidential term and thus may not have the time to make any tangible efforts, but the letter will be passed onto his successor’s administration.
There is concern that the Obama administration will be so anxious to promote good relations with China that it might overlook civil and human rights violations in Taiwan.
While the U.S. does not officially recognize Taiwan as a country, the Taiwan Relations Act established an economic and cultural relationship with the island that also binds the U.S. to protect Taiwan if provoked.