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    Scrap the One-China Policy

 Updated: July 15, 1999

On July 9, during a radio interview with a German radio station, Taiwan's president Lee Teng-hui for the first time ever called Taiwan's ties with China a "state-to-state" relationship, thus effectively abolishing Taiwan's government's long-held "One China Policy."

Taipei said the idea of one, indivisible China that included Taiwan had to be scrapped because Beijing was using it to undermine the legitimacy of the island's government.

A Taiwanese government spokesman explained: "We have shown our goodwill by calling ourselves a political entity under a one-China policy, but the Chinese communists have used this policy to squeeze us internationally. We feel there is no need to continue using the one-China term."

People in Taiwan praised President Lee "for daring to stand up to Communist China, saying the move was long overdue."

President Lee's claim was not welcomed in Beijing however. Beijing insists that the mainland and the island are one country and that Taiwan is a renegade province of China. A Chinese spokesman sternly warned President Lee (calling him an "international troublemaker") after making the remark "to halt these separatist activities," accusing him of "paying lip-service to Taiwan's eventual unification with China while plotting independence."

The language used by Beijing is some of the harshest since March 1996, when China conducted missile tests near the island following President Lee visit to Cornell University.

On July 15, 1999, according to the wire service, China even hinted at using nuclear force. Reuters wrote "Communist China, facing continued defiance from Nationalist-ruled Taiwan in war of words over the island's status, added a nuclear element to its arsenal on Thursday by saying it had neutron bomb technology."

In response to all this Chinese rhetoric, President Lee urged the international community to ask China to give up the threat of force against Taiwan and to resolve disputes through peaceful means.

The U.S. Administration on Monday July 12, avoided comments on President Lee's statement "while indicating continued hope for a continued dialogue between Taiwan and mainland China."

Meanwhile in Japan, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said that: "There is no change at all in the Japanese government's position on Taiwan."

Hong Kong newspapers sharply criticised Taiwan for "abandoning its one-China policy, saying the move destabilized the region and could affect its economic recovery."

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FAPA applauds President Lee's move, and rejoices in the fact that Taiwan's government has finally decided to acknowledge reality and that it has determined that Taiwan is an independent state. This is a major step towards Taiwan's de jure independence.

The move will also influence Taiwan's bid to join international organizations that require statehood.

FAPA hereby urges the U.S. State Department to also start acknowledging reality and substitute its "One China Policy" for a "One China, One Taiwan policy" - a policy that reflects reality!


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