The general secretary of Taiwan's biggest Protestant church, the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT), has called on Christians world-wide to pray that last Saturday's national elections—which swept the Kuomintang (KMT) president from power—will usher in a new era for the island in which its sovereignty will be respected by the world community, especially the People's Republic of China, which is just 130 kilometers away. William J. K. Lo was speaking to Ecumenical News International (ENI) by telephone shortly after Taiwan's president-elect, Chen Shui-bian, a lawyer from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), visited the PCT's headquarters in the capital, Taipei, to thank the PCT for what Lo called its support for "democratic and human rights, and nationhood."The PCT has long been in the forefront of campaigning for Taiwanese independence and human rights on the island, which has been ruled for 50 years by the KMT. Many of the PCT's members and leaders have been imprisoned for campaigning against the harsh rule of the KMT, which has often attempted to crush dissent, and Chen Shui-bian has defended many members of the PCT in court.Although Taiwan has in effect functioned as an independent country for decades, both China and the KMT have maintained a "One China" policy, according to which Taiwan is part of China—though the two sides both maintained they were the rightful rulers of "One China."Since the handover of Hong Kong and Macau to Beijing's control, the Communists have stepped up their campaign to take over Taiwan.Before Saturday's election, Communist leaders in Beijing warned that Mainland China would see any move towards official independence by Taiwan as a provocation. These threats were apparently intended to deter ...

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