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Open letter from a fellow Taiwanese-American to family and friends: About Trump, who is bad for all of us; about our battle for Taiwan, about our fight for humanity




By Abraham Young (楊立心)

Alisan 阿里山 (Photo caption: By LianKaiYu - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=79538236)

Part I.

I have appreciated having many in-depth conversations with you, and much discussion not only on why Trump is dangerous and harmful to so many including “us,” the US, and even Taiwan, but also on larger topics that in the end relate, for this moment, to our upcoming few weeks and who we vote for November 2020.  In these discussions, when our preconceived thoughts have differed, I’ve appreciated how we’ve kept the mutual understanding that each of us are discussing passionately based off of intentions for what is truly best for human beings, humanity, and a better world that we each have in mind, in whatever context and wherever that may be.  

And I appreciate that you have listened and engaged keeping to that intention, and you have asked me to write down into bullet points some of what we have talked about, so you can send these points--that have been persuasive to you and have convinced you to no longer vote for Trump--to your friends in the Taiwanese-American community, many of whom you know currently plan on voting for Trump.  So, here are the bullet points:



  • You sent me the text message: “I do not like trump for what he has been doing over the 4 years, except his China policy.  In the same time I am very worry of Biden’s past record toward China. Will Biden and his team continue Trump team’s policy if he wins the election?”

您給我發了一條短訊說:除了他的對中政策外,我不喜歡川普這四年來所做的一切。 同時,我非常擔心拜登過去對中政策的記錄。 如果拜登贏得選舉,他和他的團隊會繼續執行川普團隊的政策嗎?

  • No, Biden won’t be Trump, and we will need to fight Biden if he is elected to be the best he can become on Taiwan, as well as on so many other issues (he has already improved his stance this year--after a lot of people worked very hard to push him--on some big issues that he was bad about before, such as climate change). 


Trump has been the most dangerous U.S. President in our lifetimes:

  • Looking at just this election and the 2 choices on it, Trump and his administration is quite literally psychopathic, bigoted in his words and sweeping radical policies—created and implemented with his white-supremacist senior advisor Stephen Miller like I was explaining to you (“Stephen Miller’s Affinity for White Nationalism Revealed in Leaked Emails”, Nov. 12, 2019 article from the Southern Poverty Law Center).
    看看這次選舉中的兩個選擇,川普和他的政府在其偏執的言論及廣泛的激進政策上都堪稱精神異常,就像我向你解釋的,這些言論及政策都是由他那位篤信白人至上主義的高級顧問斯蒂芬·米勒所創和執行( 見2019年11月12日刊登於南方貧困法律中心的文章斯蒂芬·米勒(Stephen Miller)在洩密電子郵件中揭示了白人民族主義的親和力)。

  • In addition to just white supremacy and the highest office in the land being part of a new KKK-type movement in our country, for so many other topics Trump has been dangerous and harmful these 4 years--and will be even more the next 4 years--for us, me you and those we love and the next generations, the US as a country, democracy here and everywhere, and even risky and/or harmful for Taiwan, because…
    除了白人至上主義和我們的國家最高層辦公室做為新型KKK同質性運動中的一部分外,川普在這四年中還對其他許多議題都造成危險和損害,而這些危險跟損害在接下來的4年將更為嚴重, 對我們來說,對我,對您和我們所愛的人以及下一代,美國這個國家,在美國及全球各地的民主,甚至對台灣都是危險和有害的,因為-- 

U.S. allies do not benefit from erratic and unreliable U.S. leaders, and Trump has been the most erratic of any:


Again, Trump has been the most dangerous U.S. President in our lifetimes, and another 4 years will be even more so:


  • Like we talked about, there are too many tremendous topics that have never before been so directly linked to 4 years of a president—including violent racist white supremacy; not only blatant denial of climate change of earth but the major dismantling of any domestic/international progress to avert climate catastrophe that has been and could be made; nuclear weapons/nuclear war ratcheting up these 4 years, and again the major reversal of any progress to avert nuclear catastrophe that has been and could be made; the denial and suppression of facts/progress leading us to the COVID-19 catastrophe here in the U.S. (the U.S. death toll as a percentage of our population is higher than that of almost every other wealthy country in the world; for instance, our death rate is 2.5 times that of Canada, next door to us) due to how COVID-19 was handled domestically—all these and more have caused direct harm already to so many of us and people we know and love (plus so many more we don’t know but are in our midst and unjustly harmed), direct harm already to our core principles of democracy, and direct harm to the homes/places we love; and if we allow a second term, another 4 years of a Trump administration, the future risk of direct and irreversible harm to so many of us, our democracy, and safety in the world will be unimaginable—now, and later (in your grandkids’, and their own kids’, lifetimes). 

  • And even on the topic of Taiwan alone, in my and many thoughtful people’s opinion, Trump will actually hurt and increase the risk to Taiwan’s security, sovereignty, peace, existence and independence—which are the actual goals of all of us who fight for Taiwan—so voting Trump at the least is not even a sure vote to help Taiwan and the Taiwanese people.

Trump’s authoritarian words and actions are like no U.S. President before:


Trump and his administration has unprecedented levels of conflict of interest:

  • About, as you mentioned, vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris’s husband’s job’s financial overlaps in China, or about each candidate’s and their family's potential for conflicts of interest: don't forget that Trump's daughter Ivanka (who is presidential senior advisor) has huge business dealings in China including during Trump's presidency (“Ivanka Trump won China trademarks days before her father's reversal on ZTE”, May 2018 article from The Guardian); and of course Donald Trump's own businesses too...

  • About the larger topic of conflict of interests: it has been widely covered since Trump’s election that he with his global Trump brand/companies has the most conflicts of interest of any president in U.S. history, and in 2016 he refused to divest himself from his businesses (plus, just this month Trump's leaked taxes show he owes $400+ million, payment which is due in the coming years, so Trump desperately needs his income from his businesses).  And Trump's business dealings definitely include China which has been reported on in 2017 when during Trump's business transactions in PRC he endorsed the "One China" policy and threw Taiwan under the bus—see the article at the bottom. 

Trump has far from a superb record on standing up for Taiwan, for Hong Kong, for democracy; rather, he is unpredictable, dangerous and risky for Taiwan and Taiwanese-Americans to support:


“ ...川普總統曾表示,他“與習近平站在一起”,而不是支持那群勇敢的香港人,為了中國政府曾經承諾過的自由和自治而奮戰。數月後,川普急切地簽署他那份空洞的貿易協議,對習近平充滿了信心……”

  • At the least, Trump is erratic, risky, without principle and unpredictable, just like he was with the Kurds, just like he had been with Taiwan/Hong Kong in these examples, and numerous major policy examples of unpredictability that happen seemingly every month or two throughout the years of his presidency. 

  • I have sensed from you all and a majority of the Taiwanese-American[1]community the assured opinion that Trump has been and will be the absolute "best thing for Taiwan"--however, that black-and-white opinion in the news you all are getting is highly influenced/dominated by Republican and right-wing conservative think tanks and war hawks funded for decades by the billions-dollar military-industry—an industry where there obviously is incentive to always in the end favor unending conflict, so as to continue more expensive arms purchases/sales, on any side of a conflict.  This military-industry, that influences these Republican/right-wing think tanks and war hawks, does not care for Taiwanese-Americans’/our goals for Taiwan: of actual peace, independence, democracy, security and existence.  So for this and many other reasons, again, I think it's worth taking a moment to question this black-and-white view that Trump = the best thing for Taiwan.

Of note: I do recognize that Taiwanese-Americans are not a monolith, and include 350,000+ people with diverse economic class, family backgrounds, U.S. immigration stories, levels of interest/involvement in politics and a broad spectrum of political stripes on the issues within the U.S. and on Taiwan.  However, in this Open Letter, for the purpose of conciseness, when I refer to “Taiwanese-Americans” I am specifically referring to those I am most familiar and mostly grew up interacting with: Taiwanese-Americans who tend to be or have become middle- to upper-class, whose family emigrated to the U.S. ~3-5 decades ago, a large portion whose family professions are academics/doctors/scientists/engineers/business-persons, most of who are DPP/“Green”-aligned and who were supportive of or participants in the movement for democracy during Taiwan’s martial law period, who during that time were friends with or were themselves blacklisted--or even persecuted--by the authoritarian KMT, and who since living here in the U.S. have participated or organized in Taiwan-advocacy groups like Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA), Formosa Foundation (now ended; “End of an Era: Farewell to the Formosa Foundation”, February 2017, article from TaiwaneseAmerican.org), Global Taiwan Institute (formed recent years), etc.


[2] 值得注意的是:我確實認識到,台灣裔美國人並不是一個單一性巨大機構,而是包括35萬多名經濟階級,家庭背景,美國移民故事,對政治的興趣/參與程度以及對內在問題的美國和台灣等廣泛政治分歧的人。 但是,在此公開信中,為簡潔起見,當我提到“台灣裔美國人”時,我指的是我最熟悉的人,並且大多數是在與他們互動時長大的:傾向於或已經成為中上層階級的台灣裔美國公民,其家庭大約在30-50年前移居美國,其中很大一部分家庭職業是學者/醫生/科學家/工程師/商人,這群台美人是民進黨及綠營聯盟的人,他們也是台灣戒嚴時期推動民主運動的支持者或參與者,在那段時間被威權政府的國民黨列為黑名單的人相識或自身被列入黑名單,甚至遭到迫害 ,並且在美國居住期間曾參加或組織過台灣倡議團體,如台灣人公共事務會(FAPA),福爾摩沙基金會(已停止運作的“時代的終結:對福爾摩沙基金會的永別”, 來自TaiwaneseAmerican.org2017年2月的文章),全球台灣研究中心(近幾年成立的)等。

I know you have not seen it that way, and maybe still do not, but: Trump has already harmed the U.S.’s standing in the world, and given up global influence to China, which is all bad for Taiwan:


  • Another point, made in "An Open Letter to the Taiwanese American Community: Securing Taiwan’s Democracy 給台美人的一封公開信:守護台灣民主" written recently by the founder of NATWA2 and the founder of ITASA (which were the Taiwanese-American conferences that many of us in the 2nd generation attended) is that Trump has significantly weakened the U.S.'s standing in the world, which has strengthened China; and Trump has weakened U.S.'s State Department and U.S.'s role in international organizations, a vacuum that has been filled by China's influence--all this has been and will be in the long-term harmful to Taiwan.

  • Like we've talked about: Not only are there tremendous--even historical--reasons why it's imperative to vote out this very dangerous white-supremacist, anti-science, incompetent, authoritarian, fascist president Trump, reasons that directly affect/harm each of us, the people we love, and this democracy/country/world that we cherish... even just on the topic of Taiwan, it is not so clear to me that Trump is so amazing for Taiwan like you've heard.

Trump has already thrown Taiwan under the bus, and he wouldn’t hesitate to do it again, if the incentives for him change tomorrow, next month, or anytime in the next 4 years:

“... China’s approval of one of Trump’s trademark applications became official—coincidentally only a few days after Trump reversed his previous position and endorsed the “one China” policy. This policy effectively recognizes the People’s Republic of China as the legitimate government of the mainland territory while allowing the lU.S. government to have unofficial relations with Taiwan, governed by the Republic of China. In March 2017, China granted preliminary approval for 38 additional Trump trademarks, applications for which had been submitted in April 2016...”
“ ...中國正式批准川普的一項商標申請案,時機很巧的就在川普推翻其先前的立場並贊同「一個中國」政策的幾天之後。 該政策有效地承認中華人民共和國為大陸領土的合法政府,同時允許美國政府與中華民國管轄的台灣建立非正式關係。 2017年3月,中國初步批准了另外38項於2016年4月提交的川普商標申請案……” 

And lastly: 


  • In putting together these bullet points, I found this article published this month on Lausan, a leftist anti-imperialist de-colonial and progressivist Hong Kong-based publication, and authored by a founding editor of a different publication called New Bloom (“an online magazine featuring radical perspectives on Taiwan and the Asia-Pacific. New Bloom was founded by a group of students and activists after the 2014 Sunflower Movement in Taiwan. We seek to provide a space that fosters political and intellectual transnational dialogues in the Left.”): “Movements in Taiwan and Hong Kong must not idealize America: American support for the movements of Taiwan and Hong Kong will only go as far as they are useful for American empire” describes his observations that overlap as well with a number of points that were mentioned above:
    在總結這些要點時,我發現這篇刊登在本月份香港刊物「流傘」的文章,「流傘」是一份左派反帝國主義、反殖民主義,具有進步價值觀的刊物,這篇文章作者是《破土》(New Bloom)的創社編輯主筆,(《 破土》是《一本呈現關於台灣及亞太基進觀點的線上雜誌。破土由一群學生及社會運動者在2014年太陽花運動後成立。在此,我們力圖提供一個空間,以促成左翼政治及智識的跨國對話。》):「台灣和香港的運動不應將美國理想化:美國對台灣和香港運動的支持只會在對美國帝國有利的情況下發展。」這位作者的觀察與上面所提的許多觀點都相互輝映:

    “...A specter looming over the Trump presidency’s relation to Taiwan and Hong Kong has been the possibility of the American government abandoning either to make a trade deal with China. In his recently published tell-all about his time within the Trump administration, former National Security Advisor John Bolton, himself a noted China hawk, pointed out that Trump continually suggested abandoning Taiwan or Hong Kong because the Chinese economy was so much larger.

    Of course, whether the country has been under the Trump administration or other presidential administrations, America has only backed Taiwan or Hong Kong because they serve as useful proxies in its geopolitical contest with China. Support for Taiwan and Hong Kong will only go as far as both are useful for the US...”

    “ ...川普政府可能放棄台灣和香港而與中國達成貿易協議。 前國家安全顧問約翰·波頓本人是著名的對中鷹派人士,在他最近發表新書中,波頓將他在川普政府任職期間的觀察指出,川普不斷建議放棄台灣或香港,因為中國的經濟相對之下是更加龐大。


  • Although, in his argument here I believe his last 2 sentences stop short and does not account for the possibility there can be non-conventional and/or novel ways to sustain/grow U.S.’s support for Taiwan and Taiwan’s own democracy, domestically, plus its strength and resilience, internationally.  For instance, Taiwan has advanced its international standing this year—not “because of Trump” as I’ve heard adopted by a majority of Taiwanese-Americans as the conventional wisdom, but—as a product of its superb handling of this COVID-19 pandemic protecting the health of Taiwanese—and thereby, the world’s—people, utilizing Taiwan’s robust universal healthcare and public health systems domestically, and its smart/effective “Taiwan Can Help” campaigns abroad.  Also, bright new transnational leaders in the midst like Audrey Tang in President Tsai’s administration have been successfully prominent on US/global outlets and social media (“Taiwanese digital minister shares country’s coronavirus response on CNN”, June 2020, article on Taiwan News) promoting and thereby effectively helping Taiwan—and, in a very different way than the usual, countering China’s efforts to marginalize Taiwan. 
    儘管我在他的論點中相信他的最後兩句話結尾未盡其意,並且沒有考量到可能存在的非常規和/或新穎的方式來維持及增加美國對台灣的支持和台灣國內民主力量,加上其在國際上的實力和彈性。例如,台灣今年已大幅提高其國際知名度-不是像我所聽到的那樣“因為有川普”的傳統觀念,而是台灣在對抗全球新冠肺炎疫情的作為上優秀出色的因應措施,不僅保護了全台灣人的健康,也同時保護全球人類。人民在國內利用台灣健全的全民醫療健保和公共衛生系統,同時在海外展開明智/有效的「台灣也能幫忙」運動;以及像蔡總統政府中的唐鳳(Audrey Tang)等傑出的跨國新領導人,她在美國/全球媒體和社交平台上都成功地讓台灣脫穎而出(2020年6月《台灣新聞》刊載一篇「台灣數位部長在CNN分享該國對新冠病毒的因應方式」),替台灣在國際上做了有效的推廣及行銷,並用與以往不同的方式與中國抗衡,不讓台灣被中國邊緣化。

  • If we can reallocate our attention to question the conventional wisdom of how Taiwanese-Americans should/can advocate for Taiwan in U.S. politics, and proceed to discuss and seek novel paradigms on these goals, this will help us to break out of the overall trend that has instead led to Taiwanese-Americans shaped/aligned suffocatingly with only certain U.S. political ideologies and groups/think tanks.  I and many others I know are surprised and concerned, learning that nearly the entire Taiwanese-American community (especially the 1st generation) and the Taiwanese-American mindset have gotten behind and fully on-board with now a dangerous, anti-democratic and even authoritarian/fascist—and risky—Trump.  Fortunately, the beginning antidote is for counter-arguments and debate, like I know many (mostly younger) Taiwanese-Americans are also now having with their families, like the debates me and you have on occasion had here.

Part II.

An addendum, after further discussion and debate with family and friends regarding Part I of this Open Letter, above


Respectfully, my thoughts differ on a number of your points, and I'll explain a few of them.


  • Like you, I also have noted these 3 years Trump's infamous tendency to go back on his word, including like you mention his word after the 2016 election to link Taiwan as a chip for a US-China trade deal, which, with much unpredictable fortune, thank goodness has not harmed Taiwan yet--but I'd rather altogether Taiwan not be reduced to a bargaining chip in his or anyone's larger geopolitical blatant maneuverings, or "deals."  Trump or anyone doing so not only diminishes/demeans Taiwan/its people/its democracy, but--even more importantly--is risky, and gambling is not the prudent nor strategically optimal approach when such a grave issue as Taiwan is on the line.  The gamble in this case would be betting that in the coming 4 years of a lame-duck term, Trump (if he is elected president in 2020) won't continue putting Taiwan on the table as a bargaining chip, and in the scenario that he does, that the chips will not fall tragically one day to the detriment of Taiwan, the way they did for the Kurds. 

  • One other related point that I had not added in previous exchanges within my previous letter is Trump's clear tendency in these 3 years to gravitate towards global authoritarians/dictators[3]: Phillipine's Duterte ("Trump called Rodrigo Duterte to congratulate him on his murderous drug war: "You are doing an amazing job"", May 2017, article from The Intercept); Brazil's Bolsinaro; Russia's Putin; Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Bin-Salman, who ordered the assissination and dismemberment last year of Washington Post journalist Jamal Kashogi who spoke up for Saudi Arabian democracy & human rights in the same way as so many Taiwanese journalists did throughout Taiwan's martial law ("Trump praises Saudi crown prince, ignores questions on Khashoggi killing", June 2019, article from Politico); and during specific instances of when PRC's Xi Jinping strongarmed democratic movements in Hong Kong ("Trump praises Chinese leader, not Hong Kong protesters seeking democratic reforms", August 2019, article from LA Times), or when Xi dismantled possibilities of democracy in the PRC ("'Maybe we'll give that a shot': Donald Trump praises Xi Jinping's power grab", March 2018, article from The Guardian), those are times when Trump has praised/admired Xi Jinping;
    我在信件草稿中沒有在以前的交談中加入的另一個相關論點是,川普在這三年中的明顯傾向與全球極權者/獨裁者[4]:菲律賓總統杜特蒂 (2017年5月,The Intercept的文章「川普致電杜特蒂祝賀其近乎謀殺型的毒品戰爭:”您做得很棒!」);巴西總統波所納洛;俄羅斯總統普汀;沙烏地阿拉伯的王儲沙爾曼於去年下令殺害並支解華盛頓郵報記者賈馬爾·卡修吉(Jamal Kashogi),卡修及為沙烏地阿拉伯的民主與人權辯護,就像許多台灣記者在戒嚴時期所做的那樣(2019年6月,Politico 的文章「”川普稱讚沙國王儲,無視於卡修吉被謀殺的問題」);以及在中國習近平在強勢鎮壓香港民主運動的特定情況下(2019年8月,《洛杉磯時報》刊載「川普稱讚中國領導人,而非追求民主改革的香港示威者」》的文章),或者摧毀中國民主的可能性(2018年3月,《衛報》的文章「也許我們會試一試”:川普讚揚習近平的掌權」),這些都是川普讚揚習近平時期所講的話。

And this tendency towards authorianism/violence of Trump extends back way beyond these 3 years as U.S. President, to many decades ago: Trump, as civilian business mogul, in 1989 expressed admiration for China's crackdown on the Tiananmen Square protestors ("When the students poured into Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government almost blew it. Then they were vicious, they were horrible, but they put it down with strength. That shows you the power of strength. Our country is right now perceived as weak," as Trump said in an interview in 1990); and in 1989 he went out of his way to call nationally for the death penalty for 5 black and Latino boys even before their trial was over, 5 kids who subsequently were wrongly convicted and sent to prison, which Trump still refuses to apologize for nor retract his statements ("Trump Will Not Apologize for Calling for Death Penalty Over Central Park Five", June 2019, article from the NY Times).  This latter instance intersects with the other dangers of Trump during this presidency, as mentioned before, of his affinity to and admiration by white supremacy/white supremacists and fascism/fascists.

[4] 川普這種專制主義/暴力的傾向可以追溯到前美國總統時代到幾十年前:川普仍是一為平民富商時,對當時在1989年中國鎮壓北京天安門抗議者表示欽佩 (“進入天安門廣場時,中國政府幾乎搞砸一切。然後,他們以惡毒,恐怖,但堅決展示軍隊力量才得以鎮壓下來。我們的國家現在被認為是軟弱的,” 川普1990年的一次採訪); 1989年,他挺身在全美國公開要求對5個黑人和拉丁裔男孩判處死刑,甚至在他們的審判還沒有結束之前,5個孩子隨後被誤判定罪入監服刑,川普至今仍拒絕為此事道歉或撤回他的聲明(“川普不會道歉要求對中央公園五號判處死刑”,2019年6月,《紐約時報》的文章)。如前所述,後一種



  • Another strategic loss, a big one in my opinion, of the strategy for Taiwanese-Americans to "put our chips" in a racist/white supremacist/anti-science/authoritarian U.S. president like Trump, who has become the epitome and embodiment of immoral, raw calculation, and naked self-interest, would be our self-inflicted relinquishment of any moral compass/moral authority in Taiwanese-Americans' call for the U.S. to support and defend Taiwan based on Taiwan's democracy and human rights example, against the authoritarian anti-democratic PRC.  This narrative loss of Taiwan's and Taiwanese-Americans' reason and moral authority would strike
    在我看來還有另一個重大的策略損失,台灣人將籌碼放在像川普這樣的種族主義者/白人至上主義者/反科學主義者/專制美國總統的人身上,川普已成為一個缺乏道德,毫不遮掩其算計及完全個人利益的縮影及體現者,當我們台裔美人呼籲美國基於台灣的民主和人權典範支持捍衛台灣以對抗專制反民主的中華人民共和國時,對川普的支持等於是道德權威上的自傷。 台灣和台裔美人的理性和道德權威也將因此種支持川普的論述而遭受打擊,例如--

  1. the U.S. population, the audience that 1st and 2nd generations have been working so hard for so many years to educate about Taiwan's story and to convince;

  2. the U.S. politicians who want and need a moral narrative in order to successfully advocate--or be persuaded to advocate--for Taiwan; and
    願意和需要道德論述才能成功地為台灣辯護的美國政治人物,或需要道德論述才能說服願意為台灣辯護的美國政治人物; 和

  3. this narrative loss would even strike Taiwanese-Americans ourselves who are/would be demoralized (and as an example: me; as well as so many others I know, particularly among the 2nd generation[5]) to know/find out that the stories the 1st generation told us that introduced us into this lifelong fight for Taiwan, stories about the human rights/humanity within Taiwan's democratization/sovereignty and the defense of it, were hollow at best, if not opportunistically false altogether; and the truth being that that morality, that support for and defense of democracy & human rights--which was our sail and our North Star in our work for Taiwan--is abandoned/ignored and even violated by us when it comes to applying that same morality in support of anything other than what we think would help our Taiwanese-American cause, or when it comes to "Others," whether it be those in danger to authoritarianism and violent oppression elsewhere abroad, or those harmed and in danger here in the U.S. by Trump these 4 years (and subsequent 4 years, if he wins), which I for one know is/would be all of us, to varying degrees.  Including quite possibly Taiwan, as mentioned above.

From even a purely strategic and practical sense: this narrative loss and demoralization of a large portion of 2nd generation Taiwanese-Americans would harm the future prospects of the passionate people/workforce needed to carry on Taiwan’s cause in the U.S. and beyond.

[6] 若純粹從戰略和實際意義上而言:第二代台美人的論述損失和士氣低落將嚴重影響我們在美國及其他地區推動台灣事務所需的熱情人力及工作能量的未來前景。

Part 3


What you read here was initially exchanged in emails/texts; then compiled by request from a family member to send to their friends; and now made available here in the form of an open letter, in the case that it may be of wider usefulness to Taiwanese-Americans who might find the points of interest, or think it useful in the near future for starting conversation/debate with their own family/friends about this election (and beyond).

您在此處閱讀的內容最初是透過電子郵件文字的方式溝通, 然後應家人的要求整理後,讓他們轉發給他們的朋友; 現在以公開信的形式在此處提供,可讓對此議題有興趣的朋友或認為近期內會與自己家人及朋友進行關於選舉的對話及辯論的台美人有助益。 

In my own experience of this exchange, with loved ones: these weeks (although, in truth, we have had numerous prior conversations, multiple instances, over many years about these topics, in other forms), I have appreciated the heartfelt value in humanity we share, as well as the heartfelt differences in paradigms we had and may still have.  Regarding those differences, I think of the words of Robert Jones, Jr. ("Son of Baldwin"), and add only 2 words to it (in bold): 

根據我與親愛的家人交流的經驗:這幾個星期(儘管事實上,我們多年來就這些主題已經以其他形式進行過多次對話及討論),我衷心感謝我們共享的人性價值,以及我們曾經及仍可能存在的差異。 關於這些差異,我想到了小羅伯特·瓊斯(Robert Jones,Jr.)(“Baldwin之子”)的話,並在其中僅添加了兩個詞(粗體): 

"We can disagree and still love each other unless your disagreement is rooted in my/others’ oppression and denial of my/others’ humanity and right to exist."  


There are instances when arguing for dignity/human rights for "my" people--such as in our advocacy for Taiwan--we disregard (and even trample over) the dignity/human rights of "others."  I believe that the principles held in our advocacy for Taiwan must apply abroad and within, to "others" and to "us," and we must recognize that those distinctions are in actuality linked; we must recognize the necessity to dissolve previous borders between them.  This is for the health and coherence of our own humanity, and for practical ends.  


More concretely, I have in more recent years gained a newer perspective about Taiwanese-Americans' conventional advocacy for Taiwan in U.S. politics--which I and many of my family/friends have been a part of--and what I believe are its suffocating ties to certain ideologies and influences that hurt "others," that ultimately hurts Taiwan's cause itself.


If you have read through to the end, here, I hope that you found this open letter helpful to you in some way, at this pivotal moment, and I appreciate your willingness to hear this through with an openness to honest conversation even when a conversation may include what might be an unconventional paradigm about the protection and advancement of Taiwan's humanity/democracy--which is the one goal I know that has always been shared and dear to the heart of everyone who has ever fought for Taiwan.


--作者 About the author

Abraham Young (楊立心) is the author of the pamphlet-book, “Humanity At Stake: On Why the World Should Now End China's Military & Political Aggression, Understand Taiwan's Democracy, and Defend 23 Million Citizens' Human Right to Self-Determination,” which was published in the US in 2008 (and received this book review in the Taipei Times) and later translated to Chinese and published in Taiwan by Taiwan Publishing Company.  In 2003 he was in the inaugural class of the Formosa Foundation’s(Los Angeles)summer internship “Ambassador Program”.
楊立心(Abraham Young)著有《人道危急:論為什麼世界現在應該結束中國的軍事和政治侵略,理解台灣的民主並捍衛2300萬公民的自決權》,該書於2008年在美國出版。 (並在《Taipei Times》上收到此書的評論),並由望春風出版公司翻譯成中文並在台灣出版。 2003年,他參加了第一屆福爾摩沙基金會(洛杉磯)夏季實習“大使計劃”。


Translator 中文翻譯: Echo Lin (林仁惠)



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