TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – On Jan. 12, Taiwan’s representative to the Philippines, Michael Peiyung Hsu (徐佩勇), had to set the record straight and defend Taiwan’s sovereignty in the pages of the Manila Standard, a prominent local newspaper, in response to a regular columnist’s misleading statements about Taiwan.
“Taiwan is definitely not part of China,” declared Hsu’s op-ed, which was written in response to a Jan. 9 article entitled “One country, Two Systems,” by Johnathan De La Cruz, a former lawmaker and regular contributor to the Manila Standard.
In what is a blatant attempt to curry favor with Chinese officials, Cruz’s column referred to Taiwan as an “unhinged” part of China, that remains to be integrated by the Communist government’s “historic re-unification effort.”
Hsu rebuts Cruz’s “unhinged” remarks by stating the truth of the matter very clearly.
“Mr. De La Cruz neglects and misses the major and essential difference between Taiwan and China. The key words are democracy, human rights, and freedom.”
Hsu also noted the overwhelming opposition of Taiwanese people to Xi Jinping's proposed framework of “One Country, Two Systems,” which Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen rejected outright in response to Xi’s imperious message made on Jan. 2.
Cruz unfortunately used his position as a contributor to the Manila Standard to peddle the myth that “the ‘One China Principle’ is the consensus in international society.”
The Taiwanese representative deftly quashes that assertion by observing that, out of China’s 178 diplomatic allies, “only 51, or less than one-third, completely and explicitly recognized the so-called ‘One China Principle.’”
Appealing to the people of the Philippines to support Taiwan’s struggle to preserve and safeguard its democratic society, Hsu notes that as an independent country, Taiwan openly and consistently “urges other countries to maintain active relations with Taiwan and to call for the peaceful resolution of issues across the Taiwan Strait.”
To be absolutely clear for those who still have questions about the matter, the Taiwanese envoy closes his message with the following statement.
“Taiwan has its own democratically elected president and legislature, as well as a rich and diverse press that enjoys full freedom. Taiwan has its own military, independently conducts its own foreign affairs, and issues its own currency, passports and visas, exercising absolute and exclusive jurisdiction over its own territory. Taiwan is definitely not a part of China.”
The full letter from the Representative at the Taiwan Economic and Culture Office in the Philippines can be read at the Manila Standard.