Many people have never heard of the Formosan Association for Public Affairs, also called FAPA. Others have heard of it but don’t know exactly what it is and what it does. This nonprofit organization is based in Washington DC and it focuses its activities on promoting support for the independence of Taiwan. Its work and activity comprise 52 chapters, from which it clearly results that this nonprofit organization also promotes the interests of Taiwanese people and of Taiwanese communities around the globe. FAPA was founded in 1982 in Los Angeles, California and only then it moved to Washington DC. The main activity of the organization focuses on providing the general public, the media and the scholastic community with pertinent information on Taiwan and the issues Taiwan is confronted with.
The role of FAPA is educational and much more: not many people know that FAPA members inform the members of Congress and their staff on the problems and issues regarding Taiwan and the Taiwanese people.
But the Formosan association for Public Affairs does not only function in the United States. It is also established in Canada. The Formosan association for Public Affairs Canada is a nonprofit organization, just like the American version of it, only it is based in Toronto instead of Washington D.C. The Canadian FAPA’s president is Dr. Harry Chen. In the beginning, FAPA Canada was just a chapter of the FAPA in the United States, but it became an independent organization in 1993.
FAPA Canada is involved in numerous activities, mostly human rights related but not only and its main goal, as in the U.S. is to promote the image of Taiwan, to lobby for support for Taiwan’s independence. The organization is constantly cultivating a good relationship with the Parliament of Canada. FAPA also invests a lot of effort in developing cultural exchanges and also economic and politic exchanges with Taiwan, thus encouraging a tighter relationship between Canada and Taiwan. The organization informs politicians and leaders of opinion, especially those who make policies about the goals and aspirations of the Taiwanese people.
Members of FAPA have organized letter writing campaigns, in which relevant, informative letters were addressed to members of the Canadian Parliament. Also, organization members give press releases in support of Taiwan’s gaining its independence. Another strategy used is publishing editorials and articles so that the public opinion has the chance to become aware of what Taiwan is confronted to. The organization promotes the international status of Taiwan with a view to obtaining its ffull participation in the international community.
It is important that people become aware of the situation in Taiwan so that they better understand why the Taiwanese people strive so hard to obtain their independence.