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FAPA Press Release: TA Orgs Joint Statement on the 30th Anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act

 

Click here for the joint statement.

April 10, 2009

For Immediate Release

The Enhancement and Preservation of Taiwan's Human Rights A Critical Clause in the Taiwan Relations Act, Taiwanese Groups State

(Washington, DC) A dozen Taiwanese American organizations gathered in the nation's capital today to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA). The groups applauded the swift passage of the bill thirty years ago in view of the Carter administration's decision to cut off diplomatic ties with Taiwan. The groups issued a joint statement highlighting the important yet often overlooked human rights clause in the Act and urged the Obama administration to reaffirm U.S. resolute support for Taiwan's security and democracy.

"The TRA is widely deemed the ‘cornerstone' of U.S.-Taiwan relations and most praised for having codified the U.S. commitment to security and stability in the region. However, international observers and decision makers tend to overlook one important clause in the Act: the human rights clause in Section (2)C, which is the legal basis for U.S. concern about the Taiwan government's disregard last fall for human rights and civil liberties," FAPA President Bob Yang said.   

Section (2) C of the Taiwan Relations Act states that "The preservation and enhancement of the human rights of all the people on Taiwan are hereby reaffirmed as objectives of the United States."

Yang continued: "As Taiwanese Americans who immigrated to the U.S. in the 60's and 70's, during the high time of martial law in Taiwan, we are as grateful to the U.S. for the human rights language in the Act as well as for the security language. And with Taiwan being a fledgling, young democracy, and having witnessed setbacks against democracies in Southeast Asia, Middle East and other parts of the world, we are and must continue to be vigilant in safeguarding Taiwan's democracy and freedom."

Yang concluded: "While the TRA is essential to ensure the continuation of U.S. political, economic, cultural and other relations with Taiwan and has been instrumental in maintaining the security and stability in the region for the past three decades, the TRA has its limits mainly because the geopolitical environment today is more complex and differs from the one thirty years ago. We urge the Obama administration and Congress to find ways that will enhance the U.S.-Taiwan relationship, arrest the Chinese growing military threat against Taiwan, and strengthen Taiwan's international visibility."
  

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 台美社團共同呼籲:維護與促進台灣人權為台灣關係法重要條文

逾十多個台美人社團於今日共聚美國首府,紀念台灣關係法屆滿三十週年。與會團體讚揚美國國會在三十年前卡特總統宣佈台美斷交後,隨即快速通過台灣關係,穩固台美關係與延續台美友誼。與會團體並發表連署聲明,喚起各界重視台灣關係法內保障人權的相關條款,並呼籲奧巴馬總統重申美國對台灣安全與民主的堅定承諾。

FAPA會長楊英育表示:「台灣關係法是公認的台美雙邊關係的重要基石,並且是美國承諾確保東亞地區安全與穩定的主要法源。但是,大多國際學者與決策者卻忽略台灣關係法裡另一重要條款,也就是第二條C項有關維護台灣人權的條文。而這項條文正是美國關切台灣去年底一連串藐視人權與公民自由事件的法理根據。」

台灣關係法第二條C項條文「重申維護及促進所有臺灣人民的人權是美國的目標。」

楊英育繼續表示:「對我們這些六、七零代到美國定居的台裔移民來說,當時台灣正值戒嚴白色恐佈時代,我們對於美國政府在擬定台灣關係法時列入人權條文,感到欣慰。就如同我們感激美國透過此法保障台灣安全。然而,近年來,看到東南亞、中東等地一些國家的民主人權制度受創與受限制,我們將更有警惕性地捍衛台灣新興得來的民主與自由。」

楊英育最後表示:「因為台灣關係法,美台兩國才能延續政治、經濟、文化等雙邊關係;也正因為台灣關係法,東亞安全與穩定以及台美兩國利益得成功地獲得最大的保障。但是,不可否認的,台灣關係法也有其限制。畢竟,三十年前制定此法的時空背景和今日大不相同,今日的地緣政治環境比三十年前在某種程度上來說更為複雜。我們促請奧巴馬政府與美國國會能夠共同找出方法,協助強化台美關係,遏止中國對台武力威脅,並增進台灣的國際能見度。

 

 

 
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