FAPA Press Release:
FAPA Blasts Chinas White Paper and Applauds U.S. No Consent. No Deal"
FAPA warmly welcomes
President Clintons statement today that the United States will continue to
reject the use of force as a means to resolve the Taiwan question
[and] to make
absolutely clear that the issues between Beijing and Taiwan must be resolved peacefully
and with the assent of the people of Taiwan, stated Chen Wen-yen, FAPA
Chinas 2/21 White
Paper completely misrepresents U.S. policy toward Taiwan, Chen said. The
White Paper ignores the law of the land in the U.S. the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA)
and also ignores U.S. insistence on the right of the people of Taiwan to have at least a
veto over any negotiated settlement regarding the future of Taiwan. No consent, no
deal is the essential U.S. position.
FAPA believes that the
U.S. should support a more positive, democratic determination of Taiwans future and
strengthen the TRA by passage of the Taiwan Security Enhancement Act, Chen
continued, but we stand firmly behind our U.S. governments current
I. Chinas white
paper on the Taiwan question stands in direct contradiction to U.S. policy which has
consistently backed a peaceful resolution to the Taiwan issue and which
premises the U.S. policy of engagement with China on this peaceful resolution
Check the Chinese
document, Chen said, and you will look in vain for any mention of the
governing law of the land in the United States, the Taiwan Relations Act. Check the
historical record and you will understand why China only wants to trumpet the Three Joint
US-China Communiques. Clearly the China does not understand the depth and subtlety
of the U.S. position concerning Taiwan.
When President Carter decided
to derecognize Taiwan in 1979, he sent Congress legislation designed to continue
unofficial relations with Taiwan. Congress found it wanting and wrote serious peace
and security provisions into what became The Taiwan Relations Act.
As the Senate TRA Conference
Report states, [T]he bill as submitted by the Administration contained no references
to the interests of the United States in Taiwans security, and lacked any reference
to the sale of defensive arms to Taiwan
.The language eventually approved was
designed to make clear to the PRC that its new relationship with the United States would
be seriously endangered if it resorted to force in an attempt to bring about the
unification of Taiwan with the mainland.
The Reagan Presidential
Statement on Issuance of the U.S.-PRC Communiqué of August 17, 1982 states,
Regarding future U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, our policy, set forth clearly in the
communiqué, is fully consistent with the Taiwan Relations Act. Arms sales will
continue in accordance with the Act and with the full expectation that the approach of the
Chinese government to the resolution of the Taiwan issue will continue to be
peaceful. We attach great significance to the Chinese statement in the communiqué
regarding Chinas fundamental policy; and it is clear from our statements
that our future actions will be conducted with this peaceful policy fully in mind.
Congress, initially angered by
the August 17th Communiqué, demanded assurances. In his August 18, 1982 statement
before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, John Holdridge, then Assistant
Secretary of State, told Members that the Administration undertook the August discussions
with China with the firm resolve that there were principles regarding the security
of Taiwan which could not be compromised - principles
embodied in the Taiwan
Relations Act. Holdridge went on to state unequivocally that our future
actions concerning arms sales to Taiwan are premised on a continuation of Chinas
peaceful policy toward a resolution of its differences with Taiwan.
Asked by Rep. Sherrod Brown
(D-OH) to explain the Clinton Administrations one-China policy, the
State Department replied, in early January 2000, The U.S. has consistently held
that resolution of the Taiwan issue is a matter to be worked out by the people on both
sides of the Taiwan Strait themselves. Our sole and abiding concern is that the
resolution be peaceful.
The Taiwan Relations Act is
the law of the land, having been duly passed by both Houses of Congress and signed by the
President. It takes precedence over any and all executive agreements/communiques.
Also, China has not kept to
the fundamental policy stated in the 1982 Communiqué of striving for
peaceful reunification of the Motherland. Chinese missile firings at Taiwan in
1996 and this White Papers refusal to renounce the use of force against Taiwan are
clear evidence of Chinas violation of its stated policy.
II. The White Paper consistently, and wrongly,
identifies Chinas and the U.S. one-China policy as one and the same, stating that
the U.S. government, which for many years had supported the Taiwan authorities, had
accepted that there is only one China in the world, Taiwan is part of China and the
government of the PRC is the only legitimate government of China
The Chinese text
continues the old trick of using the Chinese word for recognize instead of
acknowledge for the U.S. position, said Chen. U.S.
officials, from Warren Christopher in 1979 on down, have stated clearly that the English
text is the one the U.S. accepts and that text uses acknowledge for the
Chinese position regarding Taiwan.
The first Shanghai Communique
in1972 reads, The United States acknowledges that all Chinese on either side of the
Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is part of
China. Subsequent communiqués state, The Government of the United
States of America acknowledges the Chinese position that there is one China and Taiwan is
part of China.
As the Senate report on the
1979 Taiwan Relations Act (U.S. Public Law 96-8) makes clear, The Administration has
stated that it recognizes the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) as the sole legitimate
government of China. It has also acknowledged the Chinese position that Taiwan is a
part of China, but the United States has not itself agreed with this position. The bill
submitted by the Administration takes no position on the status of Taiwan under
international law, but does regard Taiwan as a country for purposes of U.S. domestic
law. [Emphasis in the original. See Taiwan Relations Act; conference report to
accompany H.R. 2479. 96th Congress, 1st session. House. Report no.
The January 2000 State
Department letter to Rep. Brown states, The PRC government and the Taiwan
authorities have their own one China policies. American Institute in
Taiwan (AIT) Chairman and Managing Director Richard Bush was reflecting Administration
policy when he said, [h]ow specifically to define the one-China
principle and how concretely to realize it are best left to the two sides of the Strait on
a mutually acceptable basis. We are willing to support any outcome voluntarily
agreed to by both sides of the Taiwan Strait.
In September 1999, Mr. Bush
stated, The Administration believes that any arrangements concluded between Beijing
and Taipei should be on a mutually acceptable basis. And because Taiwan is a
democratic system, any such arrangements must ultimately be acceptable to the Taiwan
U.S. policy regarding the
one-China principle is not the same as that of the PRC, speaking as it does of
the need for both sides of the Strait to come to voluntary agreement on how to define
one-China and giving the people of Taiwan a say as to whether any agreement is
It also should be noted that
not only does the US have no formal position on the status of Taiwan, the San Francisco
Peace Treaty of 1951 stipulated that Japan renounce all right, title and claim
to [Taiwan] but did not specify the recipient of this right, title and
claim. The historical record shows that no recipient was specified to afford
the opportunity to take into consideration the principle of self-determination and the
expressed desire of the people of Taiwan.
The White Papers claim,
therefore, that under both domestic and international laws Taiwans legal
status as part of Chinese territory is unequivocal is not accurate.
The U.S. position
regarding Taiwan is quite unique, concluded Dr. Chen. U.S. officials
should emphasize this with greater clarity and not continue to offhandedly say we
have a one-china policy in response to questions about Taiwan. Clearly the
Chinese have misinterpreted this response as an indication that the U.S. and Chinese
positions are the same. They are not.
Our greatest fear is
that China will miscalculate the U.S. position like Saddam Hussein's misinterpreted
the U.S. Ambassadors remarks just before Hussein invaded Kuwait. FAPA thanks
President Clinton for the clarity of his remarks today and asks that this clarity continue
to be used by all U.S. officials. We also thank Taiwans friends in Congress
for their continued concern that Taiwans security considerations be front and center
in U.S. decision making and their support for the Taiwan Security Enhancement Act.
The TSEA sends a clear signal to China that the use of force against Taiwan is
unacceptable and a clear signal to Taiwan that the U.S. stands behind its democratic
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