David Wu, Taiwanese American US Congressman Criticizes Ma Government

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Wednesday December 24, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

David Wu is the only Taiwanese American serving in the US Congress; and he was recently re-elected to his sixth term representing the 1st District of Oregon. Wu knows the difference between true freedom and democracy, and so he also wrote to US President Bush to express his deep concern over the clampdown of human rights and civil liberties in Taiwan under President Ma Ying-jeou. Wu urged US President Bush to push for an investigation of these abuses under Ma and to closely monitor Taiwan's problems. What makes Wu's letter all the more important is that he purposely wrote his own letter instead of joint signing with the 14 other US Congressman who also expressed concern to President Bush. By separating himself, Wu is making a statement. He is one that truly knows both Taiwan and knows human rights and civil liberties; therefore he is not fooled by Ma's propaganda or platitudes. Wu's letter follows.

December 19, 2008

The Honorable George W. Bush President of the United States The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave

Washington, DC 20502

Dear Mr. President,

As an advocate of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law around the world, and as a strong supporter of stability and prosperity across the Taiwan Strait, I am deeply concerned about the recent reported clampdown of human rights and civil liberties in Taiwan. I respectfully request that you urge the government of Taiwan to investigate the recent incidents and to uphold the fundamental freedoms and rights essential to any democratic society.

As you know, large protests occurred in Taiwan during the November visit of China's top envoy for cross-straits relations, Mr. Chen Yunlin. News outlets reported various incidences of free speech suppression, including the prohibition of displaying Taiwan's national flag along routes traveled by Mr. Chen, and the detention of people wearing t-shirts with slogans like "Taiwan is my country." Moreover, some police were reported to have used heavy-handed tactics when handling the protesters, and both Amnesty International and Freedom House have urged the government of Taiwan to conduct an independent investigation of the police-protester clashes. The organizations have also called for a reexamination of Taiwan's Assembly and Parade Law to determine whether it provides adequate protection for citizens' rights to freedom of expression and assembly.

Section 2(c) of the Taiwan Relations Act states, "The preservation and enhancement of the human rights of all the people on Taiwan are hereby reaffirmed as objectives of the United States." I hope that you closely monitor the developments in Taiwan to ensure that human rights, civil liberties, and the right to peaceful protest remain the central pillars of Taiwan's vibrant democracy.

With warm regards, David Wu Member of Congress