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For immediate release

Crystal Clear One China Policy?
January 6, 2000

 In a letter to Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), the State Department drew a careful line between US policy and that of both “the PRC government and the Taiwan authorities” on a “one-China” policy.

 In his 10/25/99 letter to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Brown asked for clarification of “Administration statements concerning the so-called one China policy.”  Brown indicated that Administration statements had given “Congress and the American public the distinct impression that the Administration has assumed the People’s Republic of China’s definition of “one China” as its own.”

“The PRC government and the Taiwan authorities have their own “one China” policies,” the State Department reply states.  “American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairman and Managing Director Richard Bush was reflecting Administration policy when he said [FAPA note:7/25/99], ‘[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.”

“The Administration wants to have its cake and eat it, too,” said Chen Wen-yen, FAPA President.  “It is disingenuous for the State Department to say, in its January report on Taiwan’s participation in the World Health Organization, that it has to go hat in hand to the PRC and urge “Beijing to find ways for the people on Taiwan to participate” in the WHO and still claim US policy differs from that of China.   It is time to do some thinking outside the box concerning US policy toward China and Taiwan and not continue to claim, as President Clinton did on 12/8, that “our policy toward China is crystal clear…there is one China.”  FAPA, along with Rep. Brown, believes that the 22 million people of democratic Taiwan would best be served by a One China, One Taiwan Policy.”

AIT Taipei Director Raymond Burghardt recently (12/17) laid out several principles that guide US policy toward Taiwan that included:
“an understanding that any arrangements between Beijing and Taipei should be on a mutually acceptable basis, not imposed by one side or the other;…
an understanding that because Taiwan is a democracy, any arrangements between the two sides ultimately have to be acceptable to the Taiwan public; and …
a willingness to support any outcome that is voluntarily agreed to by both sides of theTaiwan Strait.”

“FAPA and the Taiwanese-American community deeply appreciate US support for a peaceful resolution of the Taiwan Strait issue,” President Chen noted.  “But this policy only gives the people of Taiwan a veto over decisions they don’t like, not an affirmative voice on the future of Taiwan.  If this had been an offer accepted by the American colonies in the 18th century, the US would still not be an independent country unless the British had agreed.”

For further information, call Michael Fonte or Echo Lin at 202-547-3686

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United States Department of State
 
      Washington, D.C. 20520
 

The Honorable Sherrod Brown,
House of Representatives

Dear Mr. Brown,

 We apologize for the delay in responding to your October 28 letter to Secretary Albright concerning our “one China” policy.  The following clarifications and background may be useful to you.

 The key elements of our China policy reflect positions taken by the U.S. government over the last three decades.  Since 1979, the United States has recognized the Government of the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal government of China.  The U.S. has also acknowledged the Chinese position that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China.  The Reagan Administration, in 1982, clarified that the U.S. has no intention of pursuing a policy of “two Chinas” or  “one China, one Taiwan.”

 Within this context, the people of the United States maintain cultural, commercial, and other unofficial relations with the people on Taiwan.  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.

 These elements of our policy are set out in the three U.S.-PRC joint communiqus of 1972, 1979, and 1982, and the legal framework for our unofficial relations with Taiwan is provided by the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, 22 U.S.C. 3301 et seq. (TRA).  The Act also stipulates that the U.S. will make available to Taiwan such defensive articles and services as may be necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain a
sufficient self-defense capability.  The Clinton Administration is committed to implementing this and all other elements of the TRA.

 This foundation of our China policy has been supported by administrations of both parties.  Since 1972, our basic objectives are: peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait area, engagement with the PRC, continuation of strong economic, cultural and other relations with the people on Taiwan, and peaceful resolution of cross-Strait differences.  Consistent with this framework, both President Clinton and Secretary Albright this year reaffirmed three pillars of our approach to cross-Strait relations:  continuation of our “one China” policy; insistence on peaceful resolution of differences; and support for cross-Strait dialogue.

 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.

 We appreciate your request for clarification of Administration views.  Please do not hesitate to contact us regard this or any other matter.

       Sincerely,
 

       Barbara Larkin
       Assistant Secretary
       Legislative Affairs


Any question? Please email: home@fapa.org or Call: (202)547-3686