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Statement released by Sen. Helms

Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC), Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, July 15, 1999

I fully support the statements made by Taiwan's democratically-elected President, Lee Teng-hui, regarding Taiwan's status.  Yes, Taiwan is a part of China -- But it is not a part of the "People's Republic of China."

President Lee simply stated the obvious: China is a divided nation, made up of two separate and sovereign "states."  Just as East and West Germany were both part of Germany, they were nonetheless separate "states."  The same is true of the "Republic of China on Taiwan," and the "People's Republic of China" in Beijing.  And, just as the two German states eventually reunited under democracy, so too do we hope that the two Chinese states can one day reunite -- under democracy.

In light of these obvious facts, I was dismayed by the Clinton administration's decision to side, once again, with the Chinese communists, rather than our democratic allies on Taiwan, in the ongoing dispute over Taiwan's status.  Instead of seizing the opportunity created by President Lee's clarification of Taiwan's status, the State Department chose instead to appease Red China by repeating not only the antiquated language of our "one-China policy," but Beijing's "3-noes" policy as well.

Rather than reflexively parroting Beijing's fictional diplomatic constructions, the administration should reiterate our legal defense obligations to Taiwan under the Taiwan Relations Act, and make clear to Beijing that the U.S. has a moral obligation to defend Taiwan if it is attacked.

Further, the Clinton administration ought to be using President Lee's remarks as an opportunity to break free from the anachronistic three communiqués which have imprisoned our policy toward China and Taiwan for too long.  The time has come for the Clinton administration, and Beijing, to emerge from the fiction of "one-China."


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