FAPA YPG Goes to Washington, DC to Advocate for Taiwan
Article and photos by Howard G. Fass September 05, 2011
On August 29th FAPA YPG's (Young Professionals Group) went to Washington, DC to advocate for Taiwan to members of the United States Congress and Senate.
2011 FAPA-YPG focus points discussed with Congress and Senate were:
1. Uphold universal principles of self-determination
Taiwan today is a democracy. Any important issue, such as the future of Taiwan, should be determined by the people of Taiwan through a democratic mechanism, such as a referendum. US current policy is that any resolution of cross-Taiwan Strait relations must be (1) peaceful and (2) have the express consent of the people of Taiwan. Only the people of Taiwan have the right to determine Taiwan's future.
2. Safety and security
China's over fourteen hundred missiles threaten Taiwan but also seriously damage stability in the region. These missiles hold the 23-million people of Taiwan at gunpoint and pose a psychological terror. The Cuban missile crisis in the 1960's held the American people hostage for 13-days. Yet, every day the people of Taiwan live under constant Chinese military threat. The 1979 Taiwan Relations Act commits the US to Taiwan's security. We support the sale of advanced weapons and advocate the need for the highest level of military exchange between Taiwan and the US.
3. World Health Organization membership & United Nations membership
Health should not be used as a political weapon. Taiwan's diplomatic isolation due to constant Chinese pressure has prevented Taiwan from receiving any direct assistance from the WHO during the height of SARS and bird flu outbreaks in Taiwan. A secret MOU signed by China and the WHO in 2005 limits Taiwan's participation in the WHO; if at all. US current policy in supporting Taiwan's "meaningful" participation is rendered meaningless because of this memorandum. Since 1997, both Houses passed legislation supporting Taiwan's membership.
4. US-Taiwan Free and Fair Trade Agreement
Taiwan is the United State's 8th largest trading partner and the 5th largest destination for US agricultural products. US-Taiwan trade totals $60-billion annually. The International Trade Commission concluded that an FTA with Taiwan eliminating tariffs and non-tariff barriers on US trade with Taiwan could increase US exports and yield benefits to service exports. Additionally, such a trade agreement would help to counterbalance the current ECFA in-place under the KMT government in Taipei which dangerously over-relies on unpredictable and hostile China.