More Members Of Congress Urge U.S. Neutrality In Taiwan Elections

In recent letters to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) called on the U.S. administration to maintain political neutrality and to help ensure a fair and open electoral process in Taiwan’s upcoming presidential vote.

Announcement of these two letters comes on the heels of a December 21st letter  by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), expressing similar concerns.

The December 21st  2011 letter from Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) to Secretary Clinton stated: “We must send a strong signal that the U.S. is committed to seeing that Taiwan’s elections are free, fair, and transparent, and that the results are respected by all sides within Taiwan and by all of its neighbors.”

McCaul continued: “In keeping with our own founding principles of freedom and democracy, I urge the Administration to refrain from speaking or acting in any way that might be construed as favoring any one candidate over the others.”

He concluded: “Taiwan today is a free and independent country,” and “The United States must […] remain vigilant for possible attempts by the People’s Republic of China to either undermine the integrity of the electoral process in Taiwan―whether by military or other means―or to interfere with the transfer of power after the election if the opposition party is victorious on January 14.”

In a separate letter to Secretary of State Clinton dated November 21, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) also expressed his concerns.  He noted: “The State Department has been clear about the U.S. position regarding Taiwan’s elections. On September 15, 2011, State spokesman Mark Toner stated, “We strongly support Taiwan’s democracy and the will of the Taiwanese people to choose their leaders in the upcoming election. Our only interest is in a free, fair and open presidential election. We don’t take any sides.””

He emphasized: “It is critical that our government continue to refrain from endorsing a particular political candidate or party  [….] I ask you to ensure that our government does not actively or inadvertently influence the outcome of the upcoming Taiwanese elections.”

In response, FAPA President Dr. Bob Yang says: “We commend these gestures of bipartisan support in the U.S. House and Senate for free, fair, and transparent elections in Taiwan.”

Prof. Yang concludes: “I am particularly pleased that members of Congress are so strongly supportive of real democracy in Taiwan, and that they emphasize that the United States will do what is within its powers to help preserve these hard-won freedoms against both internal threats in Taiwan as well as well as outside interference from the People’s Republic of China.

 

多位眾議員呼籲美國對台灣大選維持中立

眾議員麥考(Michael McCaul, R-TX)及參議員布朗(Sherrod Brown, D-OH)在最近致函柯林頓國務卿的信件中,不約而同地呼籲美國政府就台灣大選保持政治中立,並協助確保台灣以公平及透明的方式舉行即將到來的總統大選。

這兩封信是在眾議院外交委員會主席蘿絲蕾婷娜(Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-FL)發表她的信函後隨之而來,內容皆表達了類似的憂慮。眾議員麥考(Michael McCaul, R-TX)1221日致函國務卿柯林頓信件中表示:「我們必須清楚表明美國強烈關注台灣的選舉以自由、公平、透明的方式舉行,且台灣內部的各方及其鄰國皆尊重其選舉結果。」

他並指出:「為了確實遵守我們自己立國的自由民主原則,我呼籲我們的政府不要做出任何不當的發言或行為,使人以為我們有偏袒任何一方的候選人。」

他於信末指出:「今天的台灣是個自由及獨立的國家。美國也必須防備來自中華人民共和國可能試圖以軍事或其他方式破壞台灣選舉的完整性,或是114日在反對黨獲勝後,轉移政權的期間想要出手干涉的意圖。」

參議員布朗(Sherrod Brown, D-OH)1121日致函柯林頓國務卿信件中表示:「國務院在美國對台灣選舉的立場上始終清楚。2011915日,美國國務院發言人托納(Mark Toner)表示:『我可以向你保證,我們強力支持台灣的民主以及台灣人民在選舉中選擇其總統的自主意願。對於台灣的大選,美國的唯一關心在於一個符合自由、公正且開放原則的選舉,我們不會偏袒任何一方。」』。」

他強調:「我們的政府維持其不為特定的候選人或政黨背書是極其重要的。我請您確保我們的政府不會主動或不經意地影響台灣即將到來大選的結果。」

台灣人公共事務會會長楊英育回應:「我們稱許美國國會不分黨派,支持台灣的大選以自由、公平及透明的方式舉行。」

他最後指出:「我對美國國會成員強力支持台灣真正的民主感到特別高興,而且他們強調美國將竭盡其力來協助維持台灣得來不易的自由,使其免於來自國內的威脅或中華人民共和國的干擾。」

* * * * * * * * * * * *

UNITED STATES SENATE
Washington, DC 20510

November 21, 2011

The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
Washington, DC 20520

Dear Secretary Clinton:

In less that two months, the people of Taiwan will hold national elections. This will be the fifth presidential elections since the country became a full-fledged democracy. It is critical that our government continue to refrain from endorsing a particular political candidate or party.

Taiwan’s contested, close, and comprehensive elections signify its successful transition to democracy. Just a generation ago, Taiwan was a police state under martial law. Now, the Taiwanese are a model for people everywhere who seek to live in freedom, and who aspire to peaceful transition to a democratic government.

The State Department has been clear about the U.S. position regarding Taiwan’s elections. On September 15, 2011, State spokesperson Mark Toner stated, “I can just assure you that we strongly support Taiwan’s democracy and the will of the Taiwanese people to choose their leaders in the upcoming election. Our only interest is in a free, fair, and open presidential election. We don’t take any sides.”

As members of the Administration continue to visit our close ally and fellow democracy, I ask that you work to ensure that our government does not actively or inadvertently influence the outcome of the upcoming Taiwanese elections.

Thank you for you attention to this important matter.

Sincerely,

Sherrod Brown
United States Senator

* * * * * * * * * * * *

CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515-4310

December 21, 2011

Secretary Hillary Clinton
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20520

Dear Secretary Clinton:

I write to you today about presidential and legislative elections that are set to take place in Taiwan on January 14, 2012.  As I am sure you are aware, this will be only the fifth direct presidential election in that country’s history.

Since Taiwan’s peaceful transition from authoritarianism to liberal democracy less than two decades ago, the United States has supported the right of the Taiwanese people to freely elect their leaders.  In keeping with our own founding principles of freedom and democracy, I urge the Administration to refrain from speaking or acting in any way that might be construed as favoring any one candidate over the others in the closely-fought electoral campaign currently playing out in Taiwan.

Moreover, as we continue to keep a close watch on the developments in Taiwan, the United States must also remain vigilant for possible attempts by the People’s Republic of China to either undermine the integrity of the electoral process in Taiwan—whether by military or other means—or to interfere with the transfer of power after the election if the opposition party is victorious on January 14.  We must  send a strong signal that the U.S. is committed to seeing that Taiwan’s elections are free, fair, and transparent, and that the results are respected by all sides within Taiwan and by all of its neighbors.

Taiwan today is a free and independent country that stands as a model for other nations still aspiring to the basic rights and liberties that its citizens now enjoy.  The democratic spirit of the Taiwanese people persists in spite of the overwhelming military threat that the People’s Republic of China has wielded over it for years, and the United States must do what is within its power to help preserve these hard-won freedoms.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.  I look forward to working with you to continue strengthening our cooperation with the people of Taiwan in the coming year.

Sincerely yours,

MICHAEL McCAUL
Member of Congress

(December 23, 2011) More Members Of Congress Urge U.S. Neutrality In Taiwan Elections / 多位眾議員呼籲美國對台灣大選維持中立