This US report raises a few questions:
quote- from TaipeiTimes
CRS report notes concern over Ma administration
By William Lowther
STAFF REPORTER IN WASHINGTON
Friday, Jun 04, 2010, Page 1
A new US congressional report, Democratic Reforms in Taiwan, says that some events under President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration have raised domestic and foreign concern.
In particular, the report by Shirley Kan, a specialist in Asian security affairs, singles out the heavy police presence to control protesters during the visit of a Chinese official in November 2008 and the “prolonged detention” of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).
“Under the ROC’s [Republic of China] Constitution, President Ma has the authority to grant amnesties or pardons,” the report says.
“Since 2008, a question has been whether and when Ma might use this power for former president Chen. Ma has not exercised that option and has not criticized his government, including the Justice Ministry and prosecutors. Ma has opted for distance from Chen’s case,” the report says.
As a result, observers in Taiwan and the US have “raised concerns.”
“A number of professors, writers, activists and ex-officials primarily in the United States have signed open letters on what they called the ‘erosion of justice’ in Taiwan,” the report says.
When the American Institute in Taiwan Director William Stanton met with the minister of justice in September last year and mentioned that some people in the US had commented on Chen’s case, he “encountered controversy in Taiwan’s government and media for supposed US interference,” the report says.
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) report concludes that US has played an important role in Taiwan’s transition to democracy by decreasing the nation’s sense of insecurity through arms sales and other contacts.
The US Congress has also helped, the report says, “by pressing the KMT [Chinese Nationalist Party] regime to end authoritarian abuses of power in favor of freedoms for all the people in Taiwan, including the majority Taiwanese.”
The report says that a sustainable democracy helps Taiwan to guard against “undue” Chinese influence as cross-strait engagement has intensified under Ma.
“A Taiwan that promotes values of democracy and freedom would be more likely to be strategically oriented in alignment with the US and US allies in Asia and Europe,” the report says.
The report says the US Congress has a long record of oversight of the human rights aspect of White House foreign policy toward Taiwan.
Congress could enact legislation or take other actions to promote human rights and legal reform in Taiwan, it says.
“Members as well as staff could intensify inter-parliamentary exchanges with Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan and its staff to build up that democratic institution,” it says.
“Congressional and staff delegations could further observe Taiwan’s elections and attend presidential inaugurations” the report concludes.
“In contrast to the Executive Branch which is restricted by the State Department’s guidelines on contact with Taiwan’s officials, Congress could use its greater flexibility in communicating with Taiwan’s officials up to the president to enhance engagement that promotes US values, democracy and rule of law,” it says.
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I think Chen should be let out as soon as he remits back the funds he illegally received. He shouldnt receive a Prez pardon otherwise. But he should be a free man soon. Dont jail him indefinitely. A life sentence makes TW seem Communist.
Ma’s saber rattling with Japan early on in his admin was unfriendly with a strong Taiwan ally (Japan). The recent refusal to redraw an Air Traffic Zone is also strangely Anti-Japanese and smells strongly of CCP . The US made a mistake of drawing this line over a Japanese held island, which is actually incorrect. Why can the Japanese not have air control over their own island? Doesnt make sense.
Is Ma being a CCP puppet? Does he know something we dont yet know?