FAPA In Solidarity With The People Of Tibet

On behalf of all members of the Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) worldwide I stand before you today to express solidarity with the courageous and peace-loving people of Tibet.

Over the past years, the Chinese government has intensified its repressive policy in Tibet and escalated moves to erase the very identity of the Tibetan people.

It is a historical fact that China has illegally come to its claim on Tibet by invasion and occupation. Since the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1949-50, Tibetans who did not escape into exile with the Dalai Lama have been systematically brutalized and increasingly marginalized.

And now, over the past days, the Chinese government’s actions have resulted in a violent crackdown where close to 100 Tibetan protesters have died.

China’s behavior -not only in Tibet but its actions in East Turkestan, Darfur, Burma- must be strongly condemned by the international community – not condoned.

Today, for the people of Taiwan, a valuable lesson is to be learned from the violence in Tibet. The crackdown serves as a reminder and a warning for the people of Taiwan on the eve of their democratic presidential elections and Taiwan’s UN referendum that China’s words cannot be trusted.

The past decade of Chinese oppression and  muzzling of democracy in Hong Kong has also served as a clear reminder that the PRC authorities do not have the slightest intention to allow democracy to grow and flourish.

We recoil with further horror if we realize that some day the people of Taiwan might be subjugated to the same fate as the peace-loving people of Tibet.

Such a scenario is not inconceivable if the people of Taiwan continue to support the anti-democracy forces of the Kuomintang Nationalist Party.

Clearly, in its relationship with China, a large part of the international community has abandoned and continues to abandon principles for economic benefits. We therefore urge the international community to start basing its relationship with China on principles and not on an abandonment of principles.

Furthermore, we urge the people of Taiwan to remember what is happening in Tibet when they cast their ballot on March 22, 2008.

We hope and pray that the international community will bring sufficient pressure to bear on China to relent and immediately cease its crackdown in Tibet, and allow the Tibetans to determine their own future.

On the Taiwan side, we will work hard to maintain Taiwan’s freedom, democracy and independence, and will do whatever we can to show solidarity with our Tibetan friends.

Bob Yang, President

(March 20, 2008) FAPA In Solidarity With The People Of Tibet