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Negroponte has no right to scold Taiwan's democracy

Negroponte has no right to scold Taiwan's democracy

U.S. President George W. Bush took an unfortunate step Tuesday in his "war against referendum" aimed at the initiative launched by the governing Democratic Progressive Party for a nationwide citizens vote on whether to use the name of "Taiwan" to apply to join the United Nations.
In an exclusive interview with Hong Kong's Phoenix Television reprinted on the U.S. State Department's own Web site, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte declared that Washington "opposes the notion of that kind of referendum because we see that as a step toward ... a declaration of independence by Taiwan, toward an alternation of the status quo."
The second highest ranking State official also, erroneously, stated that "President Chen has made commitments" to Bush and the international community "not to take any kind of steps that would represent an unilateral alteration of the status quo, such as a change in the official name of Taiwan."
Saying that "this is a time for the authorities in Taiwan to behave in a responsible manner," Negroponte added a circumlocutious threat by stating that "we do not believe that carrying out the U.N. referendum would be a constructive way for the Taiwan authorities to pursue their interests."
In a discussion with American Institute in Taiwan Chairman Raymond Burghardt on the presidential charter China Airlines jet during a brief refueling stop in Anchorage, Alaska on Tuesday evening, President Chen rebutted Negroponte's claims.
The president first noted that Taiwan's status quo is precisely that it is an independent and sovereign country and is not part of the People's Republic of China and that therefore there is no need for a "declaration of independence," and observed that the opposition Kuomintang is also promoting a referendum on U.N. membership.
We should add that Negroponte grossly distorted the so-called "four noes" by turning them from a pledge to refrain from four specific actions into a blank check and by ignoring the fact that Beijing has trampled on Chen's precondition that the "four noes" would be valid "so long as the PRC government bears no intention to use military force against Taiwan" through its threatening deployment of hefty offensive forces and missiles opposite Taiwan and by the enactment in March 2005 of an "Anti-Secession Act," which authorizes the use of "non-peaceful means," if Taiwan does not "behave" and persists in refusing unification.
As President Chen noted, the proposed referendum initiated by the DPP on whether to use the name of "Taiwan" to apply for U.N. membership (and the application submitted by the president in May to join the U.N.) is not a step toward an unnecessary "declaration of independence," but aims to protect Taiwan's existing independence.
Moreover, neither President Chen's application or the DPP's proposed referendum would entail a change in Taiwan's formal name any more than our use of the humiliating "Chinese Taipei" moniker for our participation in the International Olympic Committee or the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.
Most fundamentally, Chen declared that if the U.S. truly supported democracy, it should not be in the business of drawing "red lines" on the behalf of a dictatorial regime in Beijing to constrain Taiwan's democracy.
Chen pointed out that if Taiwan's 23 million people cannot make their own decisions, then they do not have real democracy and expressed bewilderment that a U.S. government, which once lauded Taiwan as a "lighthouse of democracy," now wants Taiwan's people to accept a "partial democracy."
Washington's 'provocation'
The choice of Negroponte as the messenger should have dispelled any illusions about Bush's commitment to democratic values.
No other U.S. leading diplomat has anything approaching Negroponte's rich experience as a hit-man for Washington's "wars" against democracy and social justice under the catch-curse of "communism" in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East and as a specialist in covering up gross abuses of human rights by death squads organized by U.S.-supported dictatorships.
Negroponte earned his spurs as a sponsor of state terrorism by military dictatorships and for "being soft" on human rights abuses during his tour as U.S. ambassador to Honduras from 1981-1985 under right wing Republican U.S. president and "anti-communist" crusader Ronald Reagan.
During this time, Negroponte oversaw the use of Honduras by the Reagan administration as a stage to overthrow Nicaragua's progressive Sandinista government with a "contra" (counter-revolutionary) army of mercenaries from the former dictatorial Somoza regime and also played a key role in the U.S. support of vicious counterinsurgency and anti-dissident operations in El Salvador and Guatemala.
As has been shown by investigations by the Central Intelligence Agency itself as well as major U.S. media, Negroponte covered up the violent repression by death squads organized by Honduran military.
During his term as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations (2001-2004), Negroponte led the Bush administration's unsuccessful campaign to browbeat the U.N. Security Council to authorize the U.S. disastrous March 2003 invasion of Iraq, a task for which he was rewarded by being named as Bush's viceroy in Iraq from 2004 to April 2005 and as the first director of national intelligence from April 2005 to February 2007 when he took up the number two slot in the State Department.
It is no small irony that Negroponte's arrogant warning to the DPP government to "behave" took place almost simultaneously with the endorsement of the proposed U.N. referendum as a legitimate exercise in "direct participatory democracy" by "communist" Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, whose Sandinista government had been the target of the vicious and ultimately successful "contra" war which Negroponte helped to stage-manage from Tegucigalpa.
We urge the Bush administration to cease acting as Beijing's "enforcer" and return to support democratic values by accepting President Chen's invitation and engage in direct and equal dialogue on the question of Taiwan's U.N. membership, instead of sending paternalistic warnings through the media of an authoritarian PRC and a notorious defender of military dictatorship who has no right whatsoever to speak to us about how to "behave" as a democratic nation.


Updated : 2021-08-04 03:34 GMT+08:00