Taiwan's Sovereignty cannot be traded for a few pandas

Responding to the Ma administration’s decision to accept a pair of pandas from China, Director of the Department of Culture and Information Cheng Wen-tsang pointed out today (September 10) that the intention behind China’s offer is to further erode Taiwan’s sovereignty with the ultimate goal being the annexation of Taiwan. If the Ma administration accepts the pandas as a ‘domestic transferal’ instead of adhering to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), it will play right into China’s unification strategy. The Chinese offer of sending pandas to Taiwan is a politically charged issue, and their arrival in Taiwan will undoubtedly cause irreparable damage to Taiwan’s sovereignty.

Director Cheng pointed out that discussions on the viability of the transfer of the pandas to Taiwan had existed, with two consensuses emerging from these talks. One was that the transfer would have to fulfill the provisions of the CITES. This meant that in order for the pandas to come to Taiwan, it must go through the normal process of international trade, conforming to normal export regulations as well as the issuing of an export certification. The second consensus was that the pandas should not leave their natural habitat, as many experts believed the relocation of pandas negatively affects their health. Thus a transfer would run contrary to the concept of animal conservation and protection.

Director Cheng appealed to the Ma government to reject China’s unification tactics and ensure that the government does not surrender Taiwan’s national dignity. Director Cheng added that the people of Taiwan will not allow the exchange of Taiwan’s sovereignty over two pandas.