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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

A premier who would back down

China has threatened to retaliate if The 10 Conditions of Love, a documentary about World Uyghur Congress president Rebiya Kadeer, is screened as part of the Kaohsiung Film Festival. Beijing has also banned a new book by Taiwanese writer Lung Ying-tai (龍應台) about the tumult of 1949, when Communist rebels defeated the Nationalist government and forced the latter to retreat to Taiwan. China may be shaping as a great power, but such behavior betrays its inability to rise above autocratic impulses.

The content of films and books and how it is transmitted are matters of freedom of expression. If China insists on putting economic pressure on Taiwan over legitimate subjects of debate, its efforts will backfire by widening the political gap between the two sides.

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‘Status quo’ is a hostile takeover

Ever since the US ended diplomatic relations with the Republic of China (ROC) and recognized the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1979, a move followed by the passage of the US’ Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) in April that year, Washington’s policy on Taiwan has consistently been that its future cannot be determined through the use of force by China.

The diplomatic relationship with Beijing, the TRA reads, “rests upon the expectation that the future of Taiwan will be determined by peaceful means [and that] any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means, including by boycotts or embargoes” would be “of grave concern” to the US.

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A denuded bid for the UN harms Taiwanese

The 64th session of the UN General Assembly opened at UN headquarters in New York on Tuesday. As an independent, sovereign state, Taiwan has the right to be a member of the world body — a wish and demand of the majority of Taiwanese.

As the previous administration was preparing to promote the nation’s bid for UN membership under the name “Taiwan” in 2007, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), then in opposition, organized a protest against the government’s referendum proposal on joining the body.

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China cutting too close to the bone

Make no mistake: China’s influence over Taiwan’s domestic affairs is growing, and quickly.

The modus operandi is all too familiar. Beijing gets wind of a proposed deal or event, cries foul and a government, company or charitable group that was about to complete a transaction of some sort with Taiwan is forced to renege on the deal.

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The trials of Ah-Bian

Bringing Taiwan’s former president to trial is ground-breaking. A shame about the judicial flaws

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Flaws mean Chen verdict violates the Constitution

Judicial power comes from the idea that sovereignty rests with the people and that courts must uphold the right to institute legal proceedings. Judges are guardians of the public’s rights and should abide by the Constitution and the law to protect the public’s rights. Decisions based on violations of legal procedure are illegitimate. The verdict in former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) corruption trial is therefore invalid, violating constitutional articles 80 and 16 and constitutional interpretation No. 530.

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Newsflash

The Washington-based Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) says that the disclosure of an internal WHO memo instructing its agencies to refer to Taiwan as a province of China has sent “shockwaves” through the overseas Taiwanese community.

“The episode shows that the [President] Ma [Ying-jeou (馬英九)] administration has been deceptive and given the Taiwanese public an unwarranted rosy picture of the situation,” FAPA president Bob Yang (楊英育) said.

Dated Sept. 14 last year, the memo says that procedures used by the WHO to facilitate relations with Taiwan were subject to Chinese approval and that Taiwan “as a province of China, cannot be party to the International Health Regulations (IHR).”