Mike Kuo, the president of the Formosa Association for Public Affairs, called for the United States to acknowledge the “Taiwanese authorities’ legitimate representation” in a Taipei Times commentary. Kuo’s sudden kowtow to the exiled Republic of China has sent shock-waves in the lobby group which is composed of advocates of Taiwan independence.
A space scientist by profession, Kuo appears to be unable to navigate the way forward to sovereignty for Taiwan. Blinded by Taiwan’s “strategic ambiguity” the FAPA leader has committed the fundamental error of equating Taiwan with the ROC.
Compounding his error, Kuo crossed the line into partisan ROC politics with a ringing endorsement for Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party. Tsai recently resigned her party leadership as a consequence of defeat in the municipal elections.
“President Tsai has our complete confidence. She has earned and deserves our full support. She is the only person today who can lead Taiwan across the murky waters that it has found itself in over the past decades.”
Kuo wrote that Tsai “brilliantly” advocated “the Chinese government must recognize the existence of the Republic of China.”
Such partisan talk about an exiled government that most FAPA members view as illegitimate puts Kuo at odds with his membership. FAPA’s motto is to “build worldwide support for Taiwan independence.”
Older Formosans still living remember the bloodshed and terror inflicted on the people by the ROC during the 228 Massacre and the long years of the White Terror period.
To his credit, Kuo has battled pressure from the People’s Republic of China against corporations to call Taiwan by the name Chinese Taipei. However, in a letter to United Airlines over the name issue Kuo ventured his view that Taiwan is the same as the Republic of China.
“It is of course incontestable reality that Taiwan IS a country. Taiwan fulfills all conditions for statehood as laid down in the Montevideo conference of 1933: a territory, a population, a government that exercises effective control and can enter into relations with other countries.”
Kuo’s remarks in the Taipei newspaper were obviously made to influence the outcome of a ROC election and have put him in the wrong direction going away from independence. Decades of ambiguity have left Kuo so confused that he may have lost his way.