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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/13/11

OH, MY GOD, the USA State Department has declared my island (and me to be part of Mainland China)! How would you feel?

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As many readers know, I am an American who lives and works in the Matsu Islands, where the last major cold war division between China and Taiwan is located--i.e. some of Matsu islands belong to the mainland--well-over the majority belong to Taiwan. There is only a kilometer between some of the islands. At one time troop level on the islands during cold war tensions was 50,000.  Now there are only a few remaining troops.

I woke up this morning and found out that the USA's  immigration authorities, the INS,  had just technically given away the islands where I am living,  to the Red Chinese (Mainland China).  This overturns U.S. congress-sanctioned policy (dating back to the 1970s) recognizing all of Taiwan as a separate country from the Mainland. 

What is the USA saying by trying  to (or inadvertently) give away Taiwanese islands through the back door? According to today's Taipei Times, the USA State Department has declare my island (and me to be part of Mainland China)!    

Here is the exact quote from the Taipei Times : "[T]he newly exposed visa regulations in US immigration policy maintain that Kinmen and Matsu [archipelagos] are part of China's Fujian Province, a merciless slap in the face for Ma [the current president of Taiwan]."

 How would you feel if you were suddenly dislocated from Taiwan to the People's Republic of China--and no one even wrote you a letter? 

It's certainly much more than a slap in the face to the president of Taiwan--it is a slap in the face to all Taiwanese and all residents of Lienchiang County, where Matsu Islands are located, and the people of Kinman.   Neither peoples, by the way, have held a referendum to rejoin Mainland China.  

Recently, a neighboring Matsu resident here in Taiwan had had the very U.S. visa (he'd already been waiting 10-plus months for) denied and indefinitely delayed.  

At the time, it wasn't clear to me why this young man would have been suddenly asked by the INS to await another full-year to apply again to rejoin his grandparents in the U.S.A.  However, now with the previously secret new U.S. visa (or immigration) regulations suddenly in place declaring the Matsu (Island) archipelago part of the neighboring Fujian Province of the People's Republic, I understand the delay in the young man's visa. 

Yet, neither did the USA State Department have bothered to tell me  or most people here in Matsu that we all are suddenly living in the People's Republic of China--this is simple bureaucratic steamrolling over a people caught between the two China's and America's desire to please the biggest China.  Moreover, most of us don't even have either a Chinese passport or visa.

The world should be in outrage over this new  policy or code by a U.S. government agency (INS)--which has overturned U.S. and Taiwan agreements sanctioned-by-the-U.S. congress and in effect since the 1970s--i.e. which have recognized all of Taiwan as a country separate  from China.

Luckily, so far, no Red Chinese gunboats have come over to show their full agreement with the USA's INS officials.  Matsu is still a fully functioning as part of Taiwan--whether the State Department or NIS recognizes that fact or not.
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KEVIN STODA-has been blessed to have either traveled in or worked in nearly 100 countries on five continents over the past two and a half decades.--He sees himself as a peace educator and have been-- a promoter of good economic and social development--making-him an enemy of my homelands humongous DEFENSE SPENDING and its focus on using weapons to try and solve global (more...)

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