Mar 11, 2009

An empty slogan, a broken promise, a nation betrayed

In defense of his "diplomatic truce" (外交休兵), President Ma Ying-jeou has vowed to halt all of firebrand diplomacy with Beijing and to revamp much of Taiwan's resources and attention into cementing ties with the country's 23 allies. Speaking at the International Cooperation and Development Fund (Taiwan's version of Peace Corp) shortly after his election, Ma instructed organization to double its efforts on providing aids to our nation's friends.

In less than a year, the administration has completely failed to make good on its word to help end the global food shortage crisis. Instead of following the admonition of the UN on pouring more aids into developing nations during this time of economic contraction, Taiwan has decided to dramatically slash down its annual rice donation by a few thousand tons to Haiti, the most impoverished country in the western hemisphere.

While Taiwan is infested with all-you-can-eat resturants, the storm battered island country faces a 45 percent unemployment rate with the working class earning an average of US$0.44 each day. (
Haiti is literally the poster child world hunger....yet Taiwan, a so-called friend, is turning its back on the starving women and children of Haiti during its time of need. Is it because Haiti is unable to help Taiwan with its UN bid? Is it because we are sure that even China doesn't want to take on such a poor country? What happened to our basic concerns for humanity and solidarity?

Each May, prior to the World Health Assembly, Taiwan screams on the top of its lungs that it is the good kid in the class and deserves to be part of clique for being a world class philanthropist. The question is, how can Taiwan ever use that justification again now it has abandoned and betrayed a friend who needs its help desparately?

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