Petition 80517

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Taiwan Security, Stability, and Self-Determination (80517-GM-R9999)

    Add a new resolution as follows:
Taiwan has, since 1624, been continually ruled by military invaders, under the Dutch (1624-1662), under the exiled Pirate King Coxinga of the Ming Dynasty (1661-1683), under the Ch’ing Dynasty (1683-1895), under the imperial Japan (1895-1945), and under the post WWII Allied Military Occupation Forces ordered by General McArthur and represented by General Chiang Kai-shek (1945 and following);      
When the only treaty of the 20th  century regarding the status of Taiwan as signed at the San Francisco Peace Treaty of 1951, signers stated that Japan was surrendering its sovereignty over Taiwan, and intentionally refused to designate any other nation (Article 23 4b & 2b), clearly excluding the designation of the Chiang Kai-shek and the Chinese Communist rule of Mao Tze-tung to exercise sovereignty over the island of Taiwan; and, in accordance to the United Nations Charter, the inhabitants of the island have the right of self-determination as other nations achieved following their de-colonization in the post-WWII era;
After decades of opposing the dictatorship of Chang Kai-shek and the Kuo Ming Tang (KMT), the Taiwanese ushered in an era of democracy without bloodshed in 1986 and established reforms by permitting the organization of political parties, establishing freedom of the press, and conducting democratic election of legislators and the President of the Island Nation;  
With its new Anti-Secession Law (2005), the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has threatened to destroy the hard-earned democracy and human rights of the people of Taiwan with more than 800 short-range ballistic missiles if the Taiwanese exercises self determination and declares independence;  
The PRC also aggressively prohibits the nations of the world from providing humanitarian efforts, vividly illustrated by hindering the assistance of the International Red Cross and the World Health Organization following the 1999 earthquake and during the 2003 threat of SARS;
    On February 27, 2006, the democratically elected President Chen Shui-bian, with the support of the majority of the population, scrapped the “National Unification Council” and the “National Unification Guidelines,” two obscure and unconstitutional symbols from the time when Taiwan was still ruled by the repressive KMT, and vowed to address the threat of military action by the PRC;
With the leadership of the Taiwanese United Methodists, the advocacy of the National Federation of Asian American United Methodists, and support of Annual Conference delegates to General Conference, the General Conference adopted Resolutions on Taiwanese issues from 1980 onward supporting human rights, self-determination, security, and stability in accordance with the United Methodist Social Principles and other Resolutions; the future of the 23 million Taiwanese people hinges upon the courage of the democratic nations including the United States to oppose in no ambiguous terms to China’s military threat against Taiwan; and
The Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian expressed profound appreciation for the support of The United Methodist Church in their struggle for democracy through Resolutions at each General Conference from the 1980-2004, and for the generous and compassionate support of UMCOR following the disastrous 1999 Earthquake;
Therefore be it resolved that the 2008 General Conference of The United Methodist Church reaffirms its supports of the democratic aspirations and achievements of the people of Taiwan and;
The United Methodist Church, under the leadership of the Council of Bishops with the assistance of the General Board of Church and Society and its Annual Conference networks, inform themselves about the history of the Taiwanese people, study contemporary issues involved in the changing application of the “One China” policy, and prayerfully and wisely promote in their own countries and the United Nations the rights of Taiwanese for stability, security, and self-determination of its own status in the family of nations.