MEET THE PRESS WITH TIM RUSSERT
March 5, 2000
of Taiwan in case they need it in order to defend themselves.
But most importantly, we've got to make it clear to China
that they're not behaving in a fashion befitting a nation
that is becoming a superpower. And, it is in their interest
not to continue these aggressive actions or behavior or threats
against Taiwan because the consequences would far exceed anything
they might gain from getting Taiwan back in their fold."
we defend Taiwan militarily?"
"We would make sure that we would exercise every option necessary,
uh, and consider all options. For us to say we will
take specific actions would get us into the Quemoy Matsu discussion
of 1960. The Chinese, uh
I would not be more specific
than saying the consequences will be incredibly great."
"The president now is going to try to rush normal trade relations
legislation with China through Congress. Will this current
potential crisis between China and Taiwan cause that to fail?"
"I don't know enough about that vote counting but clearly
the Chinese have harmed their chances in Congress. But again,
this administration, again, we should have taken up this issue
a long time ago. The President should be making the
case to the American people rather than just throwing it in
the lap of Congress. This is his fecklessness associated
with the conduct of
"Will support such a trade deal while China continues to threaten
Depends on their behavior, depends on how active that gets
et cetera, but it makes me less and less comfortable with
it. But I do believe that fundamental concept of free trade
with China will lead to knowledge, information knowledge,
and then a freer and practically -- someday -- a more democratic
nation in China as opposed to unilateral imposition of sanctions
or even denying them trade status while every other nation
in the world is engaging in it."
Bill Bradley: "What is absolutely critical is that we be unambiguous
both to the Chinese and to the Taiwanese; that we tell the
Taiwanese that if they take steps toward independence that
that could very well endanger the Taiwan Relations Act where
we are obligated to take appropriate action - and that's purposely
vague. And, I tell the People's Republic that, if they
took military action, we have this obligation with the Taiwanese
under the Taiwanese Relations Act so as to leave that a little
clearer what action we might take. I think the key thing
is to make sure that we preempt any action, that we buy time,
we have to have patience, and I think that time can heal this
in ways that we hadn't anticipated, as long as our policy
steps don't create preemptory action on either side."
"The Chinese Jinag President Zemin, whom you've met, has just
said yesterday we will take all possible drastic measures
against Taiwan if they keep moving towards independence."
"Well, that's my point - that we should tell the Taiwanese
you don't take steps toward independence. It's one China,
let's work this out over time. One of the interesting things
in the White Paper that came out in China about 2 weeks ago
was not only that China said unless they're negotiations they
would take military action but also elements of that recognize
Taiwan as a full negotiating partner, which is the first time
that ever happened, so that I think this thing can be resolved
over time if we can keep our objective - peace - and not be
drawn into the battle of words between Taiwan and the People's
Republic. For example, I think that when President Clinton
went there and enunciated the "Three No's," which is really
the policy the Chinese government wants, that that had an
immediate reaction in Taiwan that then claimed, no, we had
a special relationship. They then went to the Congress and
got the Republican allies to begin to politicize this issue.
And now we have a situation where the issue of Taiwan and
China is Republican and Democrat. It did not have to
be that way. If we could keep the focus on the issue
of peace, one-China, and buying time for these countries to
- er, these two places - to begin to come together in some
way that would be far preferable."
"Should Congress vote to normalize trade with China while
the Chinese are using this bellicose language?"
"Tim, I think that, um, it is much better to have the Chinese
a member of the World Trade Organization -subject to international
rules- than to have them outside the World Trade Organization
in which they'll be doing bilateral deals, and cutting those
deals and playing one country off to another. Quite
frankly, I don't know why the Chinese leadership agreed to
the World Trade Organization agreement, because the result
will be thousands, hundreds of thousands, of foreigners, Internet
companies, major investors in China. And it will have
a destabilizing impact on the ability of the Communist regime
to actually control their people. And once you lose
the ability to control your people, then you have headed down
the road toward a much broader-based and potentially democratic
society. And that is in our long-term objective, and that's
why membership in the WTO is enormously important."