The USA should help support Taiwan's Democracy and Freedom.
December 05, 2008
Democracy and human rights are on the decline in Taiwan today. Recent events inside the country have made this dramatically clear for all to see.
During last month's visit to Taipei by China's ARAT (the Association for the Relations Across the Taiwan Strait) regional envoy Chen Yunlin, the newly ellected KMT government under the Presidency of Ma Ying Jeou turned an entire section of the city into a police cordon and brutally beat back peaceful demonstrators. In Taiwan today, this KMT party now has complete one-party control of both the executive and legislative branches of government. This party also has amassed massive resources accumulated from its former martial-law era rule in Taiwan (1948 to 1987) to control most media outlets within the country.
What is perhaps most frightening of all is the ever increasing trend of a politicalization of Taiwan's judiciary. In recent months the former president of Taiwan, Chen Shui Bein, was arrested, handcuffed and locked away in prison using a dubious mechanism of "pre-trial detention" before he ever faces any trial for his alleged wrong-doings relating to financial malfesience. Whether or not this opposition leader committed these crimes is irrelevant to the point here, he should be tried by an equal and fair trial and not inprisoned before his guilt of any crime is proven. What this former leader faces now are accusations which have not yet been proven. It is important to him and the rest of the 23 million Taiwanese that he face a judiciary that will give the accused a fair trial rather than become yet another tool of the one-party state to dispense punishment to opposition leaders. The former DPP president of Taiwan here is not the only DPP leader currently under attack at this time using similar questionable means. I am not so much interested in defending the DPP here as defending a judiciary that stand for a rule of law and creates an evironment whereby all citizens can feel safe and confident that their rights are cherished and protected.
It appears obvious, that in the one-party controlled, pro communist China, state of Taiwan political enemies of Beijing (those seeking human rights and democracy) are in danger now more than ever before. This growing drag-net even now includes His Holiness the Dalai Lama who had visited Taiwan before in 1997 and 2001 during the regimes of both the DPP and KMT parties. What is different now is the tone coming from the KMT leadership which clearly stated initially that this world leader was "not welcome'. Later when President Ma came under pressure he said "the timing now is not convenient"; one is left to ask just when would such a "convenient" time ever come about? Maybe never since it appears more and more that Beijing and not Taipei has any real say these days in Taiwan.
Do your own research here and come up with your own conclusions, but the bottom line is that something is seriously wrong in Taiwan these days and freedom is under attack. Six hundred thousand people did not take to the streets in Taipei last month and in October because they were bored and did not have jobs and families to tend to. They took to the streets because they are scared and fear that their hard-won freedoms, human rights and liberties are all in peril and have absolutely nowhere else to go to voice their concerns.
Watch Taiwan for more flare-ups and trouble ahead. All the incrediants seem to be falling into place for the re-establishment of a new martial law period and a complete loss of both democracy and independence for the once free island nation of Taiwan.
We only hope that the United States takes notice of this critical issue before it is too late and does something to help. America has a clear interest to keeping Taiwan democratic and free.
Taiwan has always been a close ally to the United States and the new democracy of Taiwan was formerly a shining example of human rights and freedoms in that region of the world. This is an important factor to consider especially since its giant neighbor, the Peoples Republic of China, constantly denies its very right to even exist despite the clear wishes of the 23 million people on the island to be free.
While the world rewards China with the Beijing Olympics and huge multi-billion dollar business contracts Taiwan is ever left to whither on the vine. This is a sad state of affairs for the world, indeed, when greed and money come to trump human rights, freedom and any vestiges of morality and decency.