Premier Zhu Rongji said on Wednesday, March 15, that Taiwan
would never be allowed to declare independence, regardless of
who wins the island's presidential election. He also added
that "do not just act on impulse at this juncture, which will
decide the future course that China and Taiwan will follow,
otherwise I'm afraid you won't get another opportunity for regret."
He threatened the people of Taiwan to steer clear of pro-independence
candidates during the election.
The statement and action not only undermines Taiwan's commitment
to the democratic ideals of freedom and pluralism, but also
attempts to interfere with the people's free will to choose
Zhu's statement is condemned by many members of Congress.
Here are some reactions from members of the U. S. Congress:
from Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA)
Statement from Sherrod
from Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Statement from Ben Gilman
Statement from Sen.
from Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA):
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conference remarks by Zhu Rongji threatening the voters of
Taiwan with bloodshed is nothing more than a blatant gangster's
by Zhu should once and for all resolve the question of whether
he is a liberal who the West "can do business with."
To the contrary, Zhu's remarks demonstrates why the United
States should reject granting the communist regime permanent
"Normal" trade status, because there is nothing "normal" about
the willingness of Beijing to use force against a peaceful
Sherrod Brown (D-OH):
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Denounces China's recent threats against Taiwan
DC- U. S. Congressman Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today issued the
following statement in response to China's recent intimidation
tactics against Taiwan's second presidential election.
Brown, a senior member of the International Relations Committee
and its Asia and Pacific Subcommittee, is widely known for
his efforts to recognize Taiwan's sovereignty.
mere three says, Taiwan's 23 million people will be voting
in their second democratic presidential election. As
the date gets closer, the Chinese become more desperate to
insert their influence in the outcome. After issuing
a policy statement on February 22 warning of a military attack
if Taiwan delayed unification efforts, China went one step
further today and openly threatened voters. CNN reported
that Chinese Premier Zhu Ronji warned Taiwanese citizens to
vote for a candidate acceptable to China. "Otherwise
I'm afraid you won't get another opportunity for regret,"
hopes to derail Saturday's election by hurling increasing
hostile threats across the strait of Taiwan. Their intimidation
tactics didn't work in the first election, and the Taiwanese
won't fall for them now. China needs to accept the fact that
they don't have a vote in the upcoming election. It
is the freely cast note of the Taiwanese people that will
determine the next president. About this, China should
not have the slightest doubt."
from Sherrod Brow (D-OH):
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Congressman Sherrod Brown Statement on the Floor of the House
of Representatives Taiwan Elections and China PNTR
March 16, 2000
China has escalated its interference with Taiwan's presidential
election on March 18. Yesterday, Premier Zhu Rongji
held a news conference intensifying threats of violence made
in PRC's recent White Paper should Taiwan make any moves towards
independence. He said to the people of Taiwan, "Do not
act with impulse at this juncture. Otherwise, I'm afraid
you won't get another opportunity for regret."
this latest demonstration of contempt for democracy and peaceful
self-determination in Taiwan, I am confused why this Congress
is even considering giving China Permanent Normal Trade Relations
status. This dictatorship condones forced abortions,
engages in religious persecution of Christians and Muslims,
and has institutionalized slave and child labor. In fact,
attempting to form an independent labor union is an offense
punishable by death. And it has repeatedly threatened
violence when the 22 million people of Taiwan hold elections.
has been promised over and over that free-market capitalism
will create a more democratic and less hostile China. Yet
after ten years of U.S. engagement with China, China remains
a nation ruled by an authoritarian government with a violent
aversion to human rights and a hostility to environmental
and labor standards. What makes anyone think the next
ten years will be any different?
there more corporate jets at Reagan National Airport during
congressional debate on normalizing trade relations for China
than any other time during the year? The American public
has come to know that a WTO deal for China is more about gaining
access to 1.2 billion low wage workers than it is about selling
our goods to 1.2 billion consumers. Americans intuitively
understand that's why our trade deficit has skyrocketed from
100 million dollars in 1989 to 75 BILLION dollars in 1999.
It is ridiculous for Congress to permanently give NTR
to this totalitarian dictatorship. I implore you, Mr.
Speaker, and all members of Congress to heed the words of
the Chinese Premier when considering PNTR: "Do not act with
impulse at this juncture. Otherwise, I'm afraid you
won't get another opportunity for regret."
Ben Gilman (R-NY):
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Blasts Chinese Intimidation of Taiwan
(March 15)- U. S. Rep. Benjamin A. Gilman (20th- NY),
Chairman of the House International Relations Committee, released
the following statement today concerning the Taiwanese election
set for Saturday, march 18.
the people of Taiwan will be free to choose a new president.
Regrettable, officials of the People's Republic of China have
made statements designed to intimidate the Taiwanese people
into voting for a candidate acceptable to China."
threat are unacceptable. The United States insists that
the status of Taiwan be decided by peaceful means with the
consent of the people of Taiwan. It is my hope that
the people of Taiwan will ignore these contemptible threats
and choose the candidate that they feel will best represent
them. Whoever is selected to lead Taiwan will have a
productive working relationship with the American people,
the American Congress and the American government.
than engaging in threatening behavior, China should be congratulating
Taipei for the consolidation of its democracy- the first in
5,000 years of Chinese history- and for laying the groundwork
for working with the new Taiwanese president for the betterment
of the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.
also regrettable that the Chinese have turned to blaming the
United States for the problems in their relationship with
Taiwan. It seems to me that the refusal to renounce the use
of force, an unprecedented military buildup, and threatening
rhetoric against Taiwan would be more central to the difficulties
in the relationship. The United States has been key to the
peace and stability that we have seen across the Taiwan Strait
for over 50 years.
from Sen. Torricelli (D-NJ):
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tells China to back-off Taiwan elections
Says Taiwan "is now a mature democracy and needs no meddling
D. C.- Senator Robert G. Torricelli (D-NJ) today told Chinese
Prime Zhu Ronji that the people of Taiwan do not need his
advice after Zhu issued a warning aimed at dissuading voters
from supporting pro-independence candidates in this Saturday's
"Taiwan has undergone an extraordinary transformation from
an authoritarian regime to a genuine democracy," Senator Torricelli
said. "It is now a mature democracy and needs no meddling
statement came in response to the warning issued by Zhu earlier
today during a news conference: "Let me advise all these people
in Taiwan: Do not just act on impulse at this juncture which
will decide the future course that China and Taiwan will follow,"
Zhu said. " Otherwise I'm afraid you won't get another
opportunity to regret."
statement follows the release last month of a "white paper"
which warned that it Taiwan indefinitely delays negotiations
on reunification, China will "adopt all drastic measures possible,
including the use of force. The paper went beyond China's
previous warning that it would take Taiwan by force only if
it declares independence or were occupied by a foreign power.
to the "white paper," Torricelli, a long-time supporter of
Taiwan's democracy and sponsor of the Taiwan Security Enhancement
Act, delivered a statement on the Senate floor last week in
which he condemned the threats made in the white paper:
aggressive statements obviously only serve to increase tension
in the region and make a peaceful settlement: among the people
of Taiwan and the People's Republic of China much more difficult,"
that the election of Taiwan's new President will be close.
It is critical to the functioning of Taiwan's democracy that
the people of Taiwan stand resolute and that their voters
not allow these actions to intimidate them.
between Taiwan and Beijing will not be settled by military
means, and the United States, in a policy that is not unique
to Taiwan, will not idly witness a free people in a democratic
nation be invaded or occupied and have their political system
altered by armed aggression.
this is the cornerstone of American foreign policy in the
postwar period. It remains central to who we are as
a people and our role as the world's largest and most powerful
today, is the cornerstone of that American commitment.
Tomorrow, it could be Africa or Latin America. How we
stand now on the eve of these free election in Taiwan will
most assuredly constitute a powerful message in all other
places where others would challenge these new and fledgling