Thursday, August 13, 2009

An Open Letter of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan to Obama

An Open Letter of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan
The U. S. President Barack Obama

An Appeal of the People in Taiwan

Dear Mr. President:

Your upcoming meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao, and the possibility that Taiwan may be discussed, raises again the dilemma of Taiwan’s uncertain status and is compounded by the changing situation in the Taiwan Strait. The future of Taiwan and our destiny as a people in Taiwan may be in jeopardy.

The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan has been identified with the people here for almost a century and a half; we feel the anxiety of the people of this island. Believing that the Church is the fellowship of God’s people, called to proclaim the salvation of Jesus Christ, called to be ambassadors of reconciliation, rooted in this land and identified with all its inhabitants, and through love and suffering called to be a sign of hope, we issue this appeal to you.

Under the daily threat of over thirteen hundred Chinese missiles, the yearly expansion of its military forces, and its constant obstruction of Taiwan’s participation in the international organizations, the people in Taiwan feel the threat to our personal lives, the violation of our national sovereignty and basic human rights. We are concerned that, if Taiwan were taken over by dictatorial China, not only would the hard earned democratic system in Taiwan be destroyed, but the welfare of people here would be sacrificed, and the peace and stability of Asian Pacific region would be threatened.

Taiwanese people heartily love freedom and cherish deeply our democratic achievements. We do not want to live under totalitarian rule. This can be seen in the results of a recent poll that over eighty per cent of people in Taiwan are opposed to unification with China. The people of Taiwan will adhere to the principles of justice and peace, and will steadfastly defend the right of self-determination.

We believe that human rights are God-given. The right of self-determination is a principle stated in “The Charter of the United Nations,” and is a basic right guaranteed by “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” Therefore, we appeal to the Government of the United States to review its policy toward Taiwan and China, to recognize that Taiwan and China are two separate countries, and cooperate with all peace and justice loving countries in the world to prevent China from taking over Taiwan by force or any other means. We also appeal to the international communities to be attentive to the wishes of Taiwanese people, assisting Taiwan to participate in international affairs as an independent country, so that the people of Taiwan will be given an opportunity to contribute to the justice, peace, and welfare of the whole human race.

“He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you? But to do justice, and to live kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)

The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan,
July 17th, 2009, in Tamsui, Taiwan.

The Rev. Leonard Tsung-jeng Lin, the Moderator

The Rev. Andrew Chang, the General Secretary

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