Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Taipei Times /April 20, 2007
Speaking out aids healing, Tutu tells 228 families
SUFFERING: Visiting Machangding Memorial Park yesterday, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate
said that facing the truth is a way of dealing with it
By Jewel Huang
"I hope [the 228 victims] know that their unfortunate experiences have brought
democracy, human rights and freedom to today's Taiwan."--- Desmond Tutu, former
anti-apartheid campaigner
Telling others about their traumatic experiences is a healing process for the families of
victims of the 228 Incident, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu said yesterday.
Tutu, the former primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, made the
remarks when visiting Machangding Memorial Park and 228 Memorial Hall in Taipei
yesterday with Alexander Boraine, founding president of the International Center for
Transitional Justice.
The 228 Incident was an uprising
against the Chinese Nationalist Party
(KMT) administration under dictator
Chiang Kai-shek that began on Feb. 27,
1947, followed by a bloody crackdown
resulting in the deaths of tens of
thousands of civilians.
Machangding Memorial Park is where
the KMT executed political prisoners
during the White Terror era in the 1950s.
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu looks at the
portraits of victims of the 228 Incident at the 228
Memorial Hall in Taipei yesterday.
Tutu is visiting the country at the invitation of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy.
When meeting the family members of the 288 victims, Tutu said that he had not come
to Taiwan to educate people on how to solve problems caused by the tragedy. He said
he wanted to hear stories from the incident and advised that facing the truth humbly
Taipei Times /April 20, 2007
could be a way of dealing with it.
Establishing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was one way that South Africa
was able to cope with its racial persecution, he said. Understanding a tragic past can
help people face trauma, he added.
"I think it is good therapy for the family members to tell their stories. And finding out
the truth from those stories is a key to heal the wound," Tutu said, adding that the
government has the responsibility of finding the truth, which is an essential element of
reconciliation and forgiveness.
Tutu said that he has seen many South Africans who have suffered from apartheid that
are filled with anger, wanting to take revenge. But the sufferers in Taiwan look genial
and peaceful.
"I hope [the 228 victims] know that their unfortunate experiences have brought
democracy, human rights and freedom to today's Taiwan," he said.
Boraine said that Taiwan and South Africa have similar tragic histories, but they both
have just and peaceful voices. He also stressed that pursuing truth can bring hope to
people, although it is not an easy path.
"Truth is just like herbal medicine. It tastes bitter but it can heal the past," Boraine
Last night, Tutu met former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Lin
I-hsiung at the Gikong Church.
Lin's mother and twin daughters were murdered on Feb. 28, 1980, while he was in jail
for his involvement in the Kaohsiung Incident in December 1979, a pro-human rights
rally that turned violent. The murders remain unsolved.
Time to say no to US' `one China'
By Michael Lin
Taipei Times /April 20, 2007
The US government has made it clear that it will not back Taiwan's plan to apply for
WHO membership under the name "Taiwan." On the diplomatic front, the major
obstacle facing Taiwan is the US' adherence to the "one China" policy. Unfortunately,
during the recent televised debate between the four Democratic Progressive Party
(DPP) presidential hopefuls, none of them pointed out how inappropriate the "one
China" policy is or came up with a clear and comprehensive diplomatic strategy for
Taiwan to gain international recognition.
I believe that Taiwan's diplomatic strategy towards the US should stress its core
values and adhere to the principles of reciprocity and coexistence in urging the US to
revise its outdated "one China" policy, while letting the US understand that whatever
Taiwan does will benefit the US.
Taiwan should begin by accentuating its democratic achievements and its geopolitical
and economic strategic value.
Taiwan and China share a linguistic and cultural background. Taiwan's democratic
experience is the most important example for leading China down the path to
democracy. As democracy deepens, the Taiwanese people are developing an
increasingly strong awareness of Taiwan's independence and sovereignty, and the US
government's antiquated "one China" policy only hurts the future development of
cross-strait relations. This will have an impact on Washington's ultimate goal of a
peaceful transformation of China.
Second, Taiwan enjoys a unique strategic geopolitical position in the Asia Pacific
region and it supports the US-Japan alliance which will stop China, a continental
nation, from expanding its naval capabilities. However, if the US continues to abide
by its "one China" policy, Taiwan will not be able to exert its geopolitical advantage,
thereby allowing the already powerful China to engage in maritime expansion.
Third, Taiwan outshines China in management, integration of mid and downstream
industries and research and development. In addition, China's exports to the US are
mostly made by China-based Taiwanese companies, so if Washington refuses to adjust
its "one China" policy, it will in the end be restricted by China's giving precedence to
politics over the economy when dealing with Taiwan.
Taiwan should then take aim at Washington's cross-strait policy and Taiwan's
Taipei Times /April 20, 2007
First, the objective of US cross-strait policy is to help the two sides of the Taiwan
Strait to settle their differences peacefully. However, Beijing is making every effort to
block Taiwan in the international arena. If the US does not want to adjust its "one
China" policy and help Taiwan join important international organizations, there will
be no room for cross-strait negotiations on an equal footing.
Second, the circumstances when the US first formulated its "one China" policy were
very different from today's growing Taiwanese consciousness. By adopting a policy
that obscures Taiwan's sovereignty, the US will not be able to help Taipei and Beijing
settle their differences.
Third, the US' China-leaning cross-strait policy has not only violated the basic rights
of the citizens of Taiwan to purse their freedom, democracy and happiness, but it has
also violated the founding spirit of the US and the administration of US President
George W. Bush's policy of seeking global democratization.
Faced with a difficult situation, Taiwan must make good use of its resources, construct
a discourse that best tallies with US interests and come up with a strategy aimed at
closing the gap between ideals and reality. Only by doing so can we bring the
international community to recognize Taiwan as a sovereign state and eventually join
the WHO and the UN. Therefore, it is about time that our national leaders said no to
the US' "one China" policy.
Michael Lin is a political commentator.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Wednesday, April 11, 2007!.O66cweAHxA2ZQFWifbkj5pqIqfm8w--/article?mid=177

Monday, April 09, 2007

Taipei Times /April 7, 2007
Climate change report leaves scientists ruffled
"The authors lost."-a scientist who helped in the drafting of the climate change
An international global warming conference approved a report on climate change
yesterday, chairman Rajendra Pachauri said, after a contentious marathon session that
saw angry exchanges between diplomats and scientists who drafted the report.
"We have an approved accord. It has been a complex exercise," Pachauri told
reporters after an all-night meeting of the International Panel on Climate Change.
Several scientists objected to the editing of the final draft by government negotiators,
but in the end agreed to compromises. However, some scientists vowed never to take
part in the process again.
"The authors lost," one scientist said. "A lot of authors are not going to engage in the
IPCC process anymore. I have had it with them," he said on condition of anonymity
because the proceedings were supposed to remain confidential.
A reporter, however, witnessed part of the final meeting.
The climax of five days of negotiations was reached when the delegates removed
parts of a key chart highlighting devastating effects of climate change that kick in
with every rise of 1oC. There was also a tussle over the level of confidence attached
to key statements.
The US, China and Saudi Arabia raised the most objections to the phrasing, most
often seeking to tone down the certainty of some of the more dire projections.
The final report is the clearest and most comprehensive scientific statement to date on
the impact of global warming mainly caused by human-induced carbon dioxide
pollution. It predicts that up to 30 percent of species face an increased risk of
extinction if global temperatures rise 2oC above the average of the 1980s and 1990s.
Taipei Times /April 7, 2007
Areas that now suffer a shortage of rain will become even drier, adding to the risks of
hunger and disease, and the world will face heightened threats of flooding, severe
storms and the erosion of coastlines, it said.
Will of heaven?
Falun Gong practitioners in Ilan County yesterday call on Chinese to withdraw from the Chinese
Communist Party (CCP). The two in the center are dressed as ``heavenly generals,'' to signify that the
CCP will soon be toppled by the will of heaven.
Taipei Times /April 7, 2007

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


以推翻中華民國體制 建立台灣國為首要














(二)民間借由特定節目,行全民教化之實,如 3月16日 台灣青年節日,或是228追思感恩活動……。













Thursday, March 29, 2007

Published on Taipei Times

Gangster footage shot by TVBS reporter

By Jimmy Chuang and Shelley Shan
Thursday, Mar 29, 2007, Page 1

Advertising Video footage televised by nearly all news channels on Monday featuring a gangster demonstrating an array of firearms and threatening to kill his estranged boss was discovered yesterday to have been fabricated by cable television station TVBS.
TVBS issued a statement last night that said it had fired Nantou reporter Shi Chen-kang (史鎮康), who filmed the video, and his superior, chief correspondent Chang Yu-kun (張裕坤).

In the video, Chou Cheng-pao (周政保), a member of the Celestial Way Gang, sat next to a table with a number of pistols and rifles.

In addition to threatening to shoot his former gangster boss, Chou said in the video that he was also behind three recent shooting incidents in the Taichung area.

In its statement, TVBS said an internal investigation had found that Shi had helped Chou film the video.

TVBS news director Pan Tzu-yin (潘祖蔭) and vice news director Sun Chia-juei (孫嘉蕊) were also given citations for their lack of oversight, the statement added.

According to the TVBS, Shi explained that Chou asked him for help on Saturday afternoon. He decided to make the video because he found it newsworthy, the station cited Shi as saying.

Shi asked Chang not to tell TVBS managers about how he got the footage, TVBS said.

Yang Ying-lan (楊英蘭), an official with the National Communications Commission (NCC), disagreed with TVBS' position that the two reporters were solely responsible for the incident.

"The footage has been broadcasted again and again," she said. "How can the management at the station get away with simply saying that it was just the reporters' fault?"

When asked if the incident will cause the station to lose its broadcast license, Yang said the penalty will ultimately be determined by the commission's members.

If the commission finds the Chou video to be a serious violation, the station will be asked to stop broadcasting for three days.

Cabinet Spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) said last night that Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) was very upset upon hearing that the video had been filmed by Shi.

Taichung police summoned Shi for further interrogation.

Copyright © 1999-2007 The Taipei Times. All rights reserved.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Taipei Times /March 14, 2007
Prize-winning piggies
A lantern inspired by the fairy story ``The Three Little Pigs'' is displayed in Hsinchu yesterday. The
lantern won first-place in the hanging lantern division in a competition held by the Hsinchu Du
Cheng Huang Temple.
Chen calls for three-party approach to Taiwan Strait
PUSHING PEACE: The president said the US and China can't ignore Taiwan's view in trying to
ensure stability in the Strait while criticizing Beijing's military budget
By Ko Shu-ling
Taipei Times /March 14, 2007
On the eve of the second anniversary of the passage of China's "Anti-Secession" Law,
President Chen Shui-bian urged the EU to retain its ban on arms sales to China and
for the US, Taiwan and China together to manage peace and stability in the Taiwan
Until China improves its human-rights record and relinquishes attempts to use
military force against Taiwan, Chen said the international community -- particularly
the EU -- should maintain its arms embargo against China.
The embargo was imposed following the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989.
Chen said, however, that Taiwan opposed the management of the "Taiwan issue" by
the US and China. He said Taiwan and those two countries should work together to
maintain peace, security and stability in the Strait.
Chen made the remarks while receiving John Hamre, president and CEO of the
Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, at the Presidential
Office yesterday morning.
Chen Ming-tong, professor at the National Taiwan University's Graduate Institute of
National Development, said that President Chen's call for the joint management of the
Strait's stability was made to counter the proposal made by some US academics that
the US and China co-manage the Taiwan issue.
"The president's goal is to establish the framework of `three party' talks," he said.
"However, China's attitude is key because it does not want to see the US interfere in
its `domestic affairs.'"
The president also urged China to learn from Taiwan's nationalization of its armed
forces so the People's Liberation Army (PLA) would serve the country and its people
rather than a particular party or individual.
He also asked China to practice genuine democratic elections that are free, fair and
"China should have elections so that political parties can enjoy fair competition,
opposition parties can be legally recognized and transfer of party power would be
possible," he said. "China should learn from Taiwan's democratization and allow its
Taipei Times /March 14, 2007
people to directly elect their national leaders and parliamentary representatives."
The president chastised China for legalizing its military ambition to attack Taiwan by
enacting the "Anti-Secession" Law after it failed to deter Taiwan's first free
presidential election in 1996 by firing live missiles into the Strait.
"The piece of legislation not only reflects China's hegemonic nature of indulging in
wars of aggression, but also imposes a great threat to the safety of the democratic
community in the Asia-Pacific region," he said.
China has increased its military budgets by double-digits since 1989 and the 17.8
percent growth in its defense budget this year was the biggest since 1989.
"We think such an increase goes far beyond its needs of self-defense," the president
said, adding that China's actual defense expenditure last year increased by 20 percent
compared with 2005.
In Beijing, Chinese President Hu Jintao urged the PLA to firmly adhere to ommunist
leadership, the People's Daily yesterday quoted Hu as saying.
"We must strictly abide by political and organizational discipline and ensure that the
army under all conditions and at all times firmly obeys the orders of the party's central
committee," Hu was quoted as telling military delegates at the National People's
"We must grasp the banner, obey the fundamental tenet of following the orders of the
party, and firmly arm our officers and soldiers with Marxism with Chinese
characteristics," he said.
`Anti-Secession' Law opposed: survey
By Jewel Huang
Taipei Times /March 14, 2007
A vast majority of Taiwanese disapprove of China's bid to change the cross-strait
status quo by passing its "Anti-Secession" Law two years ago and believe that the
people of Taiwan should be the only ones to have a say in determining the nation's
future, a new think tank survey shows.
More than 90 percent of respondents disagreed with China's attempts to change the
cross-strait status with the law, while nearly 80 percent think the Taiwanese should be
the only decision makers in determining Taiwan's future, the survey found.
The Taiwan Thinktank conducted the poll from last Friday through Sunday to see if
there had been a change in opinion since Beijing enacted the law two years ago today
and gathered a total of 1,067 valid responses.
According to the results, 91.2 percent of respondents said they opposed the enactment
of the "Anti-Secession" Law, 80.2 percent disagreed with China's claim that the law
met the interests of Taiwanese and 79.5 percent said it was up to the people of Taiwan
to determine the nation's future.
Only 14.5 percent of respondents believed that the people of China should also have a
say in Taiwan's future.
"The result showed that the `Anti-Secession' Law has not alienated the people of
Taiwan, it has provoked Taiwan to have a more consolidated consensus on its attitude
toward China," said Lo Chih-cheng, director of Soochow University's department of
political science, at the press conference to announce the results yesterday.
"Beijing got the reverse of what it wanted from the legislation," Lo said.
Tung Li-wen, deputy executive director of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy,
said the law had bogged China down in a "war of laws," especially in terms of
international law, which was China's weak point.
"This law was in response to internal pressure in China on the `Taiwan issue' yet
Beijing has been unable to define what [Taiwan's] independence is," he said.
The poll found 67.1 percent of respondents disagreed with the statement that China
had actively contacted Taiwanese opposition parties while refusing to talk with with
Taiwan's government.
Taipei Times /March 14, 2007
Almost half of respondents, 47.2 percent, said the law had a bad influence on
cross-strait relations, while 33 percent said it had not had any influence.
"This is a result of China using the carrot and the stick at the same time," said Hsu
Yung-ming, a research fellow in political science at Academia Sinica.
Meanwhile, a second opinion poll released by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)
yesterday said about half of its respondents want to see Taiwan independent.
The poll was conducted last Wednesday and Thursday and received 1,034 valid
It found that 50.4 percent of respondents favor independence while 33.9 percent
support unification with China. Those were the only two options offered.
As for national identity, 68 percent said they considered themselves Taiwanese while
16 percent said they identified with China.
"This is a `gift' to China from the Taiwanese people on the eve of the second
anniversary of the `Anti-Secession' Law," DPP Secretary-General Lin Chia-lung said
at a press conference.
Chinese AIDS activist says Beijing not helping
Gao Yaojie shakes her head, stabbing hard at the air with her forefinger, when asked if
the Chinese government is helping fund her efforts to expose the country's AIDS
"Not even a dime," the 79-year-old -- some say she is 80 -- AIDS activist said on
This is a message some Chinese authorities were reluctant to have Gao deliver in the
Taipei Times /March 14, 2007
Officials in Beijing had repeatedly blocked her from going abroad until finally
allowing this trip after her case received widespread media attention.
Gao said the government is beginning to understand the enormity of the AIDS
Speaking through an interpreter, the retired gynecologist praised Chinese President
Hu Jintao for allowing her to travel to Washington to receive an award this evening
honoring her work. She also praised high-ranking health officials.
But despite many changes in government attitudes, she said: "Sometimes they support
me; sometimes they don't."
She is tenacious in her efforts, using her own money and funds from foreign awards
she has received to pay for her work.
facing reality
Officials, she said, should "face the reality and deal with the real issues -- not cover it
In the 1990s, Gao embarrassed the Chinese government by exposing blood-selling
schemes that infected thousands with HIV, mainly in her home province of Henan.
Operators often used dirty needles, and people selling plasma -- the liquid in blood --
were replenished from a pooled blood supply that was contaminated with HIV.
Provincial officials initially attempted -- with some success -- to cover things up.
The Chinese government and the UN said China's problem of tainted blood has
But surviving victims face discrimination and have not been adequately compensated
for their suffering.
Gao has also faced difficulties because of her activism.
Taipei Times /March 14, 2007
In 2001, she was refused a visa to go to the US to accept an award from a UN group.
In 2003 she was prevented from going to the Philippines to receive a public service
Last month, authorities kept her under virtual house arrest for about 20 days to keep
her from traveling to Beijing to arrange a visa for the US.
Gao says she persists in her work because "everyone has the responsibility to help
their own people. As a doctor, that's my job. So it's worth it."
John Tkacik on Taiwan: What exactly is the `status quo'?
By John Tkacik
`It is vital that the US administration, and particularly Bush and his successors,
sympathize with the existential challenge facing Taiwan.'
On May 18 last year, President Chen Shui-bian told visiting European legislators,
"Over the past 50 years, the status quo across the Taiwan Strait has been that on one
side, there is a democratic Taiwan, and on the other, there is an authoritarian China.
Neither of the two countries are subordinate to each other, because they are two
independent sovereignties. Both sides have their own national title, national flag,
national anthem, legislature, judicial system and military." Given the textbook
definition of "status quo," this seems reasonable, at least to me.
On March 4, Chen made another of his periodic comments on Taiwan's status quo,
this time saying that Taiwan's only problem was its national identity. The following
day in Washington, US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack was asked,
"Can you make the link in one sentence saying that President Chen's comments are
unhelpful or can you not say that?"
To which McCormack responded with the non sequitur, "I don't have anything to add
to the statement that I have read." The statement he had just read had nothing to do
with the validity of what Chen had said, but simply noted that "[US] President
Taipei Times /March 14, 2007
[George W.] Bush has repeatedly underscored his opposition to unilateral changes to
the status quo by either Taipei or Beijing because these threaten regional peace and
Chen's observations on Taiwan's status quo are indeed "provocative" to Beijing's
leaders, but they at least have the advantage of being true and consequently need not
be provocative in Washington. This is because Washington presumably has an interest
in maintaining the status quo in the Taiwan Strait -- the status quo that Chen
On Dec. 9, 2003, Bush chastised "Taiwan's leader?" -- Chen -- for making comments
that "indicate that he may be willing to make decisions unilaterally that change the
status quo, which we oppose." Bush was apparently referring to the "Taiwanese
leader's" comments about a democratic referendum on Taiwan that would express
Taiwanese indignation at being the target, at the time, of 350 Chinese short-range
ballistic missiles.
Yet, far from threatening a unilateral change by Taipei in the status quo, the Taiwanese
referendum was meant to protest Beijing's military moves to change the status quo.
The Bush administration has since tried to rearticulate a somewhat conditioned
position which insists that the US is committed to "our `one China' policy" and
"opposes" any move by China or Taiwan to "change unilaterally" the "status quo as
we define it."
On April 21, 2004, a glimmering of this position came in a public statement by then
US assistant secretary of state for East Asia and Pacific Affairs James Kelly, who
enumerated for the House International Relations Committee "core principles" of US
policy in the Taiwan Strait:
* "The United States remains committed to our one-China policy based on the three
Joint Communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act;
* "The US does not support independence for Taiwan or unilateral moves that would
change the status quo as we define it;
* "For Beijing, this means no use of force or threat to use force against Taiwan. For
Taipei, it means exercising prudence in managing all aspects of cross-strait relations.
Taipei Times /March 14, 2007
For both sides, it means no statements or actions that would unilaterally alter Taiwan's
Beyond that third point, Kelly had to admit he was "not sure" he "very easily could
define ... `our' one China policy." Nonetheless he continued, "I can tell you what it is
not." It is not the "one China" principle that Beijing suggests, and it may not be the
definition that some would have in Taiwan. Alas, that is as close as a State
Department official has ever come to defining "our one China policy" in private or in
public. Nor, as it happens, has any US official ever "defined" the "status quo as we
define it."
Which raises two core questions for US policy: First, what are the "use of force" and
the "threat of force" and what, exactly, is Taiwan's status, as far as the US is
concerned? And second, what is the US going to do if either side does something the
US "does not support?"
The fact is that Washington has no answers to these core questions -- either publicly
or in confidential policy documents circulated among decisionmakers. Hence,
Washington's political leaders should not be surprised when Washington's Delphic
pronouncements are interpreted arbitrarily in both Beijing and Taipei.
Actually, Beijing just ignores Washington. In 2003, the Chinese People's Liberation
Army deployed 350 ballistic missiles targeted on Taiwan, and by February last year
there were more than 700. In March 2005, Beijing's "legislature" passed a law giving
the Central Military Commission the authority to launch a military strike against
Taiwan whenever it feels like it. And there was little or no public comment from
On Feb. 27 last year, US State Department spokesman Adam Ereli was asked, apropos
of something Chen had said a day earlier, "Do you think Chen Shui-bian's move is a
change of the status quo, and what is the US definition of the status quo?" Ereli tried
to turn the question around: "President Chen has said that he is committed to the
status quo and that he is committed to the pledges in his inaugural speech." But the
questions persisted: "I just want to get this right. So you don't consider this as a
change of status quo?" To which the cornered Ereli could only admit: "You know, I'm
not going to define it further than I already have." Needless to say, he hadn't defined it
at all. Chen himself might therefore be excused if he doesn't quite have a clear picture
of the status quo -- as Washington defines it.
Taipei Times /March 14, 2007
The US Defense Department is a bit clearer on the concept. On March 16 last year,
US Assistant Secretary of Defense Peter Rodman observed that, in his opinion,
"When there are zero ballistic missiles opposite the Taiwan Strait, and a few years
later there are 700, that's a change in the status quo." But the Pentagon doesn't make
Taiwan policy, the State Department does, and therein lies the rub.
Rather than being reactive to changes in the status quo in the Taiwan Strait,
Washington needs a proactive policy that pre-empts such "changes" or sanctions them
when the changes become too extreme. This is far more important in managing
Chinese attacks on what might be called the "real status quo" than Taiwan's desperate
efforts to articulate the state that actually exists. It would therefore be a useful
exercise, before trying to react to some change in the status quo, for Bush's National
Security Council to actually define "the status quo as we define it," -- even in a
classified document if that is really needed.
What follows are some specific pre-emptive countermeasures that would signal our
increasing pressure on China and Taiwan:
The White House should clearly state that the 1,000-plus missiles facing Taiwan are
provocative. Imagine that these missiles were arrayed by Iran against Israel or North
Korea against Japan -- 1,000 Chinese missiles aimed at Taiwan should be no less
alarming. Washington must not allow itself to be a hostage to these weapons.
If Washington cannot convince China to dismantle these missiles, which have indeed
changed the status quo and are not of a defensive nature, then the US administration
should consider adopting late US president Ronald Reagan's "Zero Option" response
to the Soviet "intermediate nuclear force" in Europe. Reagan and then British prime
minister Margaret Thatcher gained support for the deployment of Pershing II missiles
in West Germany as a strategic response to Soviet deployments of SS-20 missiles in
Eastern Europe.
This would mean supporting Taiwan's development of ballistic or cruise missiles
capable of hitting Chinese targets in an effort to augment the negligible deterrent
value (despite their significant defensive value) of Taiwan's anti-ballistic missile
defense systems.
The White House should also reaffirm Reagan's so-called "six assurances" of July 14,
1982, that the US would neither seek to mediate between the People's Republic of
Taipei Times /March 14, 2007
China (PRC) and Taiwan, nor "exert pressure on Taiwan to come to the bargaining
table." Of course, the US is also committed to make available defensive arms and
defensive services to Taipei to help Taiwan meet its self-defense needs. The US does,
after all, "believe a secure and self-confident Taiwan is a Taiwan that is more capable
of engaging in political interaction and dialogue with the PRC."
It is vital that the US administration, and particularly Bush and his successors,
sympathize with the existential challenge facing Taiwan, rather than harangue the
nation's leaders about Washington's precious, yet undefined "status quo."
The one thing that Taiwan's democratically elected leaders at either end of the
political blue-green spectrum simply cannot, and will not, do is to compromise the
legitimacy of the Republic of China's governance. Sovereignty over Taiwan, they
insist, belongs solely to the people of Taiwan, and in no way to the "sole legal
government of China" in Beijing.
The US government must also understand that so long as Taiwan refuses to accept
Beijing's sovereignty, Beijing's long-term strategy will be to isolate Taiwan in the
international community to the most extreme extent possible.
Thus, when China gets obstreperous on the Taiwan issue, White House and Cabinet
spokespersons should publicly articulate the common-sense stance that "the United
States does not recognize or accept that China has any right whatsoever under
international law to use or threaten the use of force against democratic Taiwan." (This
has the advantage of actually being US policy, but it has never been stated in public.)
In background to journalists and reporters, US "senior officials" could explain that
even a Taiwanese declaration of independence would just be "words on paper" and
would not change any country's behavior or affect China's security posture? This
wording would make it clear that the US does not now recognize, and never has
recognized, China's territorial claims to Taiwan.
Finally, a diplomatic deal might be struck with the "elected leaders of Taiwan" that
they would refrain from verbal challenges to the so-called status quo in the Strait in
return for authoritative US expressions of support like those described above.
Without a formal and detailed definition of "the status quo as we define it,"
Washington simply cedes the terms of the debate to Beijing and Taipei while US
Taipei Times /March 14, 2007
diplomats are left to flounder around reactively as tensions heighten. That is a recipe
for a catastrophe.
The term status quo means "the state in which [anything is]"; existing conditions;
unchanged position. (Harper Dictionary of Foreign Terms, Third Edition.)
John Tkacik, Jr. is senior research fellow of the Heritage Foundation.