Representative Steve Chabot (R-OH0 used a question and answer session of a House Foreign Relations Committee hearing on China to criticize the Republic of China in-exile government’s treatment of former ROC President Chen Shui-bian.
Chabot, who has met Chen on several occasions, spoke out Wednesday about Chen’s imprisonment and said, “I think the fact that the Taiwanese government has decided to move itself into the direction of the criminalization of politics is unfortunate.”
Chabot said, “The previous president—President Chen Shi-bian—is still behind bars.”
Chabot said it was time for Ma Ying-jeou to deal with the way Chen has been treated. Chabot summarized, “I think for an administration to come in and essentially jail the previous administration is a tragedy.”
President Barack Obama was asked last week by the Formosan Association for Public Affairs to intervene on Chen’s behalf but has not yet responded to the request. FAPA director Mark Kao has described Chen’s treatment as “inhumane” following reports from Taiwan that Chen had been unknowingly drugged with the psychiatric medication lorazepan while in prison.
Chen, serving a lengthy sentence for corruption involving “soft money” while in office has been held for long periods in a small cell and his health has deteriorated. The drugging of Chen was disclosed recently by cardiologists now treating Chen for a heart condition following a review of Chen’s medical records.
The Taiwan Civil Rights Litigation Organization has suggested that Chen is protected by the Torture Victims Protection Act. Although Taiwan, also called Formosa, is under the day-to-day control of the exiled Nationalist government of China, sovereignty of the island is undetermined with the United States the principle occupying Power under the San Francisco Peace Treaty and international rules of war.
In 2009, the District of Columbia U.S. Court of Appeals declared that Taiwan’s unresolved status was imposed on the islanders by United States foreign policy and that the “strategic ambiguity” was actually “political purgatory” for Taiwan.
Because of the Cold War the people of Taiwan have been denied self-determination and the United States officially opposes independence for the island. The People’s Republic of China considers the former Japanese territory to be a province of China and has made threats to take the island by military force. The ruling Kuomintang government led by Ma Ying-jeou has adopted the “one China” mantra that the Chinese have been repeating over and over.
Chen Shui-bian denies he was corrupt and says his imprisonment is because he opposes Ma’s efforts to move Taiwan into the People’s Republic of China.
For more information on Taiwan’s unresolved status click HERE