Saturday, November 12, 2005

As a Taiwanese, I felt ashamed

A few days ago, I received a forward email titled “A message from Taiwan” through the MLSA list-serve. (MLSA stands for Minority Law Student Association, which is one of the largest student organizations on campus) A guy named David Chou sent the original message to his former professor who teaches at our school.

Here is David Chou’s email--
I studied law at Dickinson in late 1970s. I founded and started the Formosan Statehood Movement (台灣建州運動). I would like to welcome you to visit our new web site, The Movement calls for Taiwan's integration into, and political association with, the United States.
By the way, please let your colleagues/ students/ friends/ relatives, media reporters, town folks/ federal & local government officials/ federal & local judges/ local lawyers you know get a chance to know of our web site.

I know that most people on the MLSA list would just delete this forward message; however, I felt that I had to say something about it because I want people to understand that not all Taiwanese believe in the idea of being the 51st state of America.

Therefore, I replied to the MLSA list-serve as follow—

Dear MLSA members, You can disregard my email if you don't care about the original message, but as a Taiwanese, I respectfully disagree with the idea of the "Formosan Statehood Movement", which calls for Taiwan's integration into, and political associationwith, the United States. Thanks Dorothy Deng

I personally felt ashamed that there are Taiwanese people out there who have the idea of being part of the U.S, but I didn’t want to make personal attacks in a public email. Guess what, I received this replied message through the MLSA list-serve this morning, which made me extremely ANGRY!!

(A public letter to DSL-MLSA Members)
Dear Ms. Deng:
You said you "respectfully disagree" with our Statehood Plan. We must respect your reaction. However, I felt a little bit sorry to say that it seemed to me that you overreacted when you sent your letter to DSL-MLSA.

If you don't mind, please allow me to ask you a very personal question: Are you an American citizen now? If you are an American citizen now or if you intend to reside in the States permanently, please let me suggest you to have a second thought about our Statehood Plan.

There are so many Taiwanese people of the elite class holding U.S. citizenship or permanent residence. Some of these people, however, are not ready to accept and support our statehood proposal so far. Sadly speaking, we do not know why. I hope someone can explain to us someday.

God bless you.
Thomas Chen
Assistant to David Chou

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this email. Someone actually asked me a “very personal question” in a public letter?

Yes I am a U.S. citizen because I was born in the States, and yes I might stay in the U.S., but that doesn’t mean I should support the idea of Taiwan being the 51st state of America.

I could say more about how ridiculous I think this “Statehood Plan”is, but this blog post is too long already and I know you won't continue to read it anyway. Just want to say that as a Taiwanese, I felt not only angry but also ashamed.


Blogger Cutie Sushi said...

Hey, Dorothy! This is Susie (your dad's ex-colleague's daughter, if you remember... Orz)...

Just wanted to say that I heard something about this on the news a while ago, and at least from the news piece, my impression was that the reason of this proposal was because historically,, if KMT was to somehow let go of the sovereignty of TW, its ruling rights should go to the US as opposed to the Communist Party, which never controlled TW in anyway in history. And the main purpose of this proposal is to establish that the Communist Party has no claim over Taiwan in any way...

I'm not sure which is the real reason behind the proposal, but it is possible that there are different angels to this thing... @.@|||

9:08 PM  
Blogger 陶樂絲鄧 said...

Hey Susie, of course I remember you. Thanks for the information. I think KMT does not dictate Taiwan anymore because of the election, which is the people's choice, not because "its ruling rights should go to the U.S. as opposed to the Communist Party". This statehood idea just doesn't make sense to me in any way.

To me, this David guy was asking for money donation on his website. I didn't want Carlisle town people to think this guy's view represents the majority of Taiwanese, and give money to him out of sympathy.

5:34 AM  
Blogger danio said...

hi d,

it's kind of silly to get mad about a situation like this. not worth it la. You know ppl have all sort of ideas, not to mention some are crazy/extreme. In this case, it is obviouis they have very very different ideas about what's best for taiwan, and obviously they feel offended by your first comment already.

so you can play this from two angles: fight back with full power, which would be kind of fun. It would be interesting to see how they back up their points and see how ridiculous it can get. But, this can be quite time consuming/tiring..and you don't have a lot time.

so second option might be more practical: sit back, relax and carry on your life as normal. and Occassionly look back and laugh about it.

just my two cents.

11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

哈囉 鄧鄧:

而且無論是在文化上科技上 美國都是居於領先的地位

在文化上 我們台灣也是傳承著中華文化
中華文化的博大精深 淵遠流長
才200多年歷史的美國 相較之下 不過是個小夥子

哈 好像有點扯遠了
但我真的覺得 ㄧ個民族要有點"民族自信"
像法國人就很以自己的文化 歷史自傲
我實在不懂法國行 為什麼我們擁有這麼悠久歷史 ㄧ脈相傳文化傳統的國家或民族做不到


7:53 AM  
Anonymous Mickael UNG said...

"speak free", Danio ... i don't think she got mad at the point of sleeping less at night and drinking alcohol juice to forget. Depending on which position you are but i believe more in Dorothy than this David knowing that both have the right to speak. But the world is small and it's important to know that this kind of "call" exists. Well done Dorothy !

11:44 PM  
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Blogger taicym said...

For your reference:

Protesters claim Taiwan is part of U.S.
By Hermia Lin
Taiwan News, Staff Reporter
Page 1

Protesters participate in a sit-in outside the American Institute in Taiwan yesterday, to state their belief that Taiwan is a U.S. overseas territory and to urge the U.S. government to issue Taiwanese people U.S. passports.
Taiwan News
More than a hundred protesters yesterday staged a sit-in demonstration near the American Institute in Taiwan to call for the United States to acknowledge Taiwan as part of its territory and to urge the U.S. to issue national passports to Taiwan people.
Waving U.S. flags emblazoned with the image of Taiwan on them, protesters from the Taiwan Civil Democratic Party, Taiwan Defense Alliance, Taiwan Nation Party, the Farmers' Party, Oceanvoice Radio and the 228 Victims Association held a mass sit-in near the AIT in Taipei to urge the U.S. to recognize Taiwan as part of its territory based on the U.S. Constitution and the San Francisco Peace Treaty.

'The truth'

"Taiwanese land belongs to the Taiwanese people, and of course no one can run them off of this land or confiscate it without due compensation. As you know, during World War II, U.S. military troops liberated Taiwan. Under the war powers of the U.S. Constitution, the Hague Convention IV of 1907 and the San Francisco Peace Treaty of 1952, the United States military government temporarily has jurisdiction over Taiwan, and this is the truth of Taiwan's international legal status," said the protesters in a statement released to local press.

"In recent months, the Chinese have continued to vociferously announce their threats to seize Taiwan. Hence, we call upon the U.S. State Department and the AIT to begin issuing U.S. national passports to Taiwanese persons at an early date, so that their current status of statelessness can be avoided and the issuance of illegitimate Republic of China passports can be stopped," the statement read.

Lin Chih-sheng (林智勝), chairman of the Taiwan Civil Democratic Party, said at the scene of the protest that the reason the U.S. said last month that both Taiwan and the Republic of China are not sovereign countries is because the U.S. still considers Taiwan its overseas territory.

"Taiwan is not part of the People's Republic of China, but is part of the U.S. government," Lin said, emphasizing that the U.S. should protect people in Taiwan and issue national passports to applicants as soon as possible.

Laying the groundwork

Lin was referring to some 228 native Taiwanese, who on March 29, 2006, went to the AIT to submit their applications for U.S. national passports.

Applications for U.S. passports were submitted according to procedures and qualifications outlined in the U.S. Constitution and the Immigration and Naturalization Act, Lin noted.

However, these applicants have not received any appropriate response or action from the AIT or the U.S. State Department, Lin said.

Lin added that he and the applicants subsequently filed a lawsuit at the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. on October 24 of last year.

The court case is still pending, he said.

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