0519: Taiwanese Church Mass Shooting; Biden Urged to Visit Taiwan; Canadian MP Cooper’s Pro-Taiwan Remarks

FAPA Urges U.S. To Label Radical CCP-Controlled Groups Affiliated with Church Shooter as “Domestic Terrorists”

The Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) on May 16 called on the U.S. to label radical groups associated with the gunman in the fatal shooting at the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church as domestic terrorists, following evidence that he was a member of a Chinese-controlled organization that promotes the annexation of Taiwan by China.

The shooter, who identifies as Chinese, killed one person and wounded five others (ages 66 to 92) in a Taiwanese church in Laguna Woods, California on May 15. He prepared explosives and 
chained and glued the exit doors shut, suggesting he planned to massacre the entire congregation. It was only foiled by the heroic sacrifice of Dr. John Cheng, who died trying to stop the killer.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office identified the shooter as 68-year-old David Chou (Wenwei Chou) of Las Vegas. Local police said the mass shooting was motivated by political hatred toward the “Taiwanese community at large” after they found notes in Chou’s car indicating that he did not believe Taiwan should be an independent state “separate from China.”

Taiwanese netizens have uncovered evidence that Chou is affiliated with the “National Association for China’s Peaceful Unification” (NACPU), a semi-official Chinese organization that promotes the annexation of Taiwan by China while fanning hatred toward Taiwanese people and pro-Taiwan supporters.

A report on the media platform Las Vegas Chinese News Network on April 3, 2019 said that Chou attended the founding ceremony of the NACPU’s Las Vegas group. A picture published with the report showed Chou presenting a banner calling for the “annihilation of separatist demons.”

The NACPU has branches in many countries and is chaired by Wang Yang, a member of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.

In 2020, the U.S. State Department designated the NACPU as a foreign mission of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and an organization controlled by the United Front Work Department (UFWD), the CCP organ tasked with, in part, spreading Chinese propaganda overseas.

On May 16, FAPA issued a statement condemning the Laguna Woods church shooting, saying that the gunman “acted out of hate stemming from radicalized political beliefs” and “intended to kill and massacre innocent Taiwanese Americans simply based on our [Taiwanese] identity.”

“We, therefore, urge the authorities to prosecute this heinous crime as a politically motivated hate crime, and label any radicalized and violent groups he was affiliated with as domestic terrorists,” FAPA said.

[1] Taipei Times: https://taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2022/05/18/2003778385
[2] Taiwan News: https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/4540888

U.S. Lawmakers Urge President Biden to Visit Taiwan During Asia Trip

A group of U.S. representatives has called on President Joe Biden to visit Taiwan during his upcoming trip to Asia as a show of the United States’ “rock-solid” commitment to Taiwan amid China’s “bullying.”

Biden is slated to visit South Korea and Japan from May 20 to 24 — his first visit to Asia as U.S. president.

On May 12, nine Republican U.S. representatives, including Tom Tiffany, Scott Perry, Nancy Mace, Louie Gohmert, Lisa McClain, Peter Stauber, Michelle Steel, Bob Good, and Ronny Jackson wrote a letter to Biden, urging him to add Taiwan to his itinerary to show the U.S.’ strong commitment to Taiwan.

“One way to demonstrate what you have described as our ‘rock-solid’ commitment to Taiwan . . . would be to personally visit Taiwan and meet with President Tsai to discuss ways to deepen our bilateral security and economic partnership,” the letter read.

The Representatives wrote that China has continuously violated its “commitment to resolve its differences with Taiwan peacefully” by repeated and provocative incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone, citing Biden as characterizing the Chinese actions as “threaten[ing] regional peace and stability” and “coercive.”

They wrote that they were “troubled by news reports indicating that the [Biden] administration has moved to delay the delivery of key weapons transfers to Taiwan, including Paladin artillery systems and Stinger missiles, both of which are elements of previously approved, multimillion-dollar arms.”

Moreover, the Representatives expressed concern about the issue of Taiwan’s inclusion in the planned “Indo-Pacific Economic Framework” (IPEF) and the lack of progress in negotiating a U.S.-Taiwan free trade agreement. The delays “may reward — and further encourage — China’s relentless campaign of bullying to isolate Taiwan,” the letter said.

They added: “Current U.S. policy does not require you to ask Beijing for a permission slip to confer with other democratically elected leaders. In fact, The Taiwan Travel Act (Public Law 115-135) makes it the policy of the United States to encourage high-ranking U.S. executive branch officials to visit Taiwan and meet with their counterparts.”

“Consistent with the spirit of that law, we are encouraging you to do just that,” the Representatives concluded.

[1] Taiwan News: https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/4538374
[2] Taipei Times: https://taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2022/05/15/2003778234

Canadian MP Michael Cooper Blasts “Taiwan, Province of China” Reference, Clarifying That “Taiwan Is Taiwan”

Canadian parliamentarian Michael Cooper stated Taiwan is not a part of China in the House of Commons on May 13. “Taiwan is not a province of China, Taiwan is Taiwan!” he said.

Cooper asked Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos during a House of Commons inquiry session why the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), responsible for funding health and medical research, mistakenly marked the nationality of Taiwanese grant applicants as “Taiwan, a province of China.”

Cooper said he raised CIHR’s mislabeling issue six months ago and questioned why the error was not fixed after all this time. He asked Duclos why he failed to deal with such a blatant mislabeling of Taiwan.

The health minister thanked the parliamentarian, saying that he would continue to promote public interest in health policies in the future and said he looked forward to cooperating with lawmakers on the mislabeling issue.

Cooper introduced the “Canada-Taiwan Relations Framework Act” in June 2021 to provide a legal framework for strengthening Canada-Taiwan relations and to direct the Canadian government to support Taiwan’s participation in international organizations.

[1] Taiwan News: https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/4539170
[2] Liberty Times (Mandarin): https://news.ltn.com.tw/news/world/breakingnews/3573706