U.S. Stifles Democracy in Taiwan

Today it was announced that the United States has told Taiwan not to hold a public referendum on domestic nuclear policy and membership in the World Heath Organization. Sound incredible? Why would the United States, which professes to be the flagship of democracy in the world, want to stifle and discourage the free exercise of democracy in Taiwan?

Because the mainland People’s Republic of China fears that a referendum of any type would just be a precursor to the ultimate referendum, namely that of a declaration of independence. And it is because of the PRC’s aggressive, oppressive, and illogical stance against Taiwan’s sovereignty, the United States is again trying to keep the PRC from inhibiting the free flow of American commercial products into their country. Never-mind that Taiwan is a free, peaceful, and democratic nation – there’s money to be made in China, and China gets really whiny and problematic whenever Taiwan even hints that it is a separate entity.

But history shows us the truth, that Taiwan was never a part of the PRC, and the PRC’s claim over the island is totally without merit and substance. The United States officially pays lip service to the PRC’s claim over Taiwan solely in order to not ruffle their feathers. I believe this to be one of the purest examples of our hypocrisy with regards to international relations. It seems to me that 227 years ago, we were the ones to declare independence, in the name of democracy and freedom, from our totalitarian oppressors. How can we in good conscience then discourage the same from the Taiwanese?

Which is, by the way, entirely beside the issue. This is a referendum on domestic nuclear policy, and entry into the World Heath Organization – an organization which by the way rebuffed Taiwan’s pleas for assistance from and participation in the WHO during their time of greatest need, when the SARS disease was spreading like wildfire. The Taiwanese merely wish to have a public vote on where people stand on these issues. How can we dare to discourage such a simple and basic democratic process, when we spend so much time complaining about the lack of democracy in other parts of the world?

I am outraged at our policy toward Taiwan. It is not fair to the 23 million people of this free and democratic nation that we should stifle and snub their efforts in the democratic process. By discouraging such a vote, we are turning the democratic clock backwards in Taiwan, and to a large extent China as well. We should support any and all democratic movements in Taiwan with steadfast and unwavering assurance that we believe in democracy as much as the Taiwanese.

Related Articles:
Straits Times: US says ‘no’ to any Taiwan referendum
ChannelNewsAsia: Washington opposes Taiwan referendum on any issue
Taipei Times: US opposes referendum, government officials say
Taipei Times: Parties tell US to keep nose out of domestic affairs

And by the way, thanks to Google News for it’s amazing ability to expose issues that the American media seem to have a knack for burying or even omitting. I could not find a single domestic media reference to this issue, even though the press has been on the wire for almost 24 hours now.