of an interview with Jiang Zemin, the president and Communist
Party leader of China, conducted by The New York Times
described Taiwan as the most important issue in Chinese-American
relations. Some in Washington call for a stronger military
relationship with Taiwan, selling more advanced weapons, and
to include Taiwan in a theater missile defense. If the United
States and Taiwan go this route, how will China respond?
are opposed to U.S. arms sales to Taiwan. After signing of
the Aug. 17 Joint Communique,  the U.S. side pledged
to reduce its arms sales to Taiwan both in quantitative and
qualitative terms. But in fact what has happened has been
the contrary. Secondly, on the one hand the U.S. side has
said Taiwan should not go independent, on the other hand the
U.S. provides support to make Taiwan stronger in order to
oppose the mainland. This is utterly wrong. Such practice
will not serve the interests of the people of Taiwan and is
not conducive to peace in Asia and it will also harm the U.S.'s
now, a growing number of people in Taiwan wish to have an
early reunification with the motherland.
if the United States goes ahead with more advanced weapons
sales, will it be possible for the US and China to maintain
A: I can
only say that it would be very dangerous. Let me add one more
point. I hope the Western world can understand China better.
This is not simply an issue that has a bearing on myself.
It actually has a bearing on the pride and feelings of the
1.2 billion Chinese people and the tens of millions of Chinese
descendants overseas. They all hope that Taiwan and the mainland
can be reunified at an early date. So if this situation does
not make a turn for the better, does not head toward such
a conclusion, then it will be hard to cope with the emotions
and desires of so many people.
Taiwan companies are investing in China. Do you think that
economic integration is the main trend for the future, and
at any point will it make the idea of armed conflict just
too expensive for both sides?
intention is peaceful unification and one country, two systems.
This has been our consistent position from the beginning.
As you rightly point out, many Taiwan businesspeople make
investments on the mainland. The reason is simple — because
of the favorable investment climate. And Taiwan business people
also find themselves in an advantageous position to make investments
here because they are all Chinese, they speak the same language,
share the same customs, traditions. If with the increase of
economic interaction people on both sides have a strong desire
for reunification, they why would it be necessary to resort
to armed conflict?
I am definitely
not a belligerent person, but I would also like to note another
aspect of our policy. That is, should the pro-independence
Taiwanese or the overseas separatist forces intervene in the
question of Taiwan and try to separate Taiwan away from the
rest of China, China can never renounce the use of force.
Zemin's Responses to Questions Submitted Prior to Interview
China have a timetable or deadline for reunification with
is part of Chinese territory. The Taiwan question bears on
the national pride of the entire Chinese people, the sovereignty,
territorial integrity and development of China. All the Chinese
people are looking forward to an early settlement of the question.
This is the very aspiration of the people. Any attempt to
split Taiwan from China will never get anywhere. China is
bound to achieve complete reunification.
Western experts believe that the 2008 Olympics offer an opportunity
to build bridges to Taiwan. Are you prepared to offer Taiwan
a role in hosting the Olympics?
the bidding process, people in Taiwan demonstrated great enthusiasm
and expressed their support for Beijing in various ways, which
I appreciate. Some people and friends from the Taiwan sports
community indicated their wish to see some of the games held
in Taiwan if Beijing got it. If the Taiwanese side still wishes
to do so, it may first apply to the I.O.C. in accordance with
the Olympic Charter and after getting the approval, the Olympic
committees of both sides may discuss the matter in detail
within the framework of the one China principle.
Taiwan's leaders made a commitment not to declare independence
and agreed to limits on future arms purchases, would you consider
reducing Chinese missile forces along the coast? How concerned
are you about the Bush administration's planned arms sales
living on both sides of the Taiwan Straits are Chinese. Blood
is thicker than water. No one else is more eager than us for
a peaceful solution to the Taiwan question. it is precisely
for the purpose of safeguarding the interests of our Taiwan
compatriots to the fullest extent that we have proposed and
stuck to the basic principle of ``peaceful reunification and
one country, two systems.'' However, we cannot renounce the
use of force. If we did, a peaceful reunification would become
impossible. We have made military deployments on our own territory
solely for our national security and territorial integrity
and for peace and tranquillity.
are three joint communiques between China and the U.S., i.e.
the 1972 Shanghai Joint Communique, the 1979 Joint Communique
on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations and the Joint
Communique issued on August 17, 1982. They together constitute
the political foundation of the China-U.S. relationship. In
the three joint communiques, the U.S. clearly commits itself
to the one-China policy. In the August 17th Communique, it
states that it does not seek to carry out a long-term policy
of arms sales to Taiwan and that it intends gradually to reduce
its sale of arms to Taiwan, leading, over a period of time,
to a final resolution.
however, is that over all these years, the U.S. has never
stopped selling sophisticated arms to China's Taiwan. Furthermore,
it has upgraded its arms sales to Taiwan in both quantitative
and qualitative terms. This has deeply hurt the Chinese people,
interfered in China's internal affairs and made a peaceful
solution to the Taiwan question more difficult. Such practice
of the U.S. will not only affect the stability in the Taiwan
Straits and hinder the improvement of China-U.S. relations,
but also harm its own interest in the end.