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CTC To Powell

June 7, 2002

Secretary Colin L. Powell U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20520

Dear Secretary Powell:

On April 9, 2002, with over 80 founding members, we established the Congressional Taiwan Caucus (CTC) in order to promote stronger U.S.-Taiwan relations and to engage in increased dialogue and cooperation with the people and government of Taiwan. Over the past two months, the CTC has met with their legislative counterparts in the legislative Yuan on several occasions to discuss issues of mutual concern and to clarify the policies of both governments and move these policies forward constructively.

As co-chairs of the CTC, we are cognizant of the confusion and sensitivities that often exist concerning the United States policy toward Taiwan. For this reason, we were especially interested in a recent statement issued by Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz concerning U.S.-Taiwan relations at a May 15, 2002 Brookings/Harvard Forum and at a May 29, 2002 Foreign Press Center briefing. We are concerned that his statements may have been interpreted by certain individuals as a step backwards from the United States finely balanced "one China policy" position and toward support for the People's Republic of China's (PRC) "one China principle," which insists that the status of Taiwan is already determined and that Taiwan is a part of the PRC.

As you may be aware, on May 31, 2002, Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz issued a clarification of his initial statement concerning U.S. policy toward Taiwan in an interview with the Central New Agency. In the interview he stated, "The president said from the beginning we have a one-China policy. It basically rests on two propositions. One is that we do not support Taiwan independence, but just as strongly and, I believe, central to the whole notion, we oppose the use of force. The issues have to be settled peacefully. Frankly, any peaceful settlement is fine with the United States."

We understand and support President Bush's efforts to seek a "peaceful environment" in the Taiwan Strait; however, we believe that U.S. policies in the region must take into account the rights and well-being of the Taiwanese people who look to America for moral and political support. Taiwan, as a model democracy that upholds the highest standards of political freedom and respect for human rights, deserves the unwavering support of the American people and government.

Secretary Powell, it is our understanding that you are preparing to give a major foreign policy speech before the Asia Society on Monday June 10, 2002. In light of Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz's statements, we hope you use Monday's speech as an opportunity to issue a statement re-affirming our nation's iron-clad commitment to Taiwan as agreed to under the Taiwan Relations Act and to take appropriate steps to ensure that the Taiwan Strait issue be resolved peacefully and with the express consent of the people of Taiwan.

We look forward to working with you on this important issue and eagerly await your response to our request.

Sincerely,

Reps. Wexler, Rohrabacher, Brown, Chabot


 

 


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