OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Honorable Jesse Helms
United States Senate
403 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
you for your letter dated February 9, 2000. Mr. James
Morrison, who runs the Embassy Row column of the Washington
Times, reminded me yesterday that he would run your letter
coming Monday and wanted to head my comment. Frankly,
I have long hoped to meet with you, not only because I wanted
to explain to you some basic facts about China, but also
to consult with you, as urged by many of your colleagues
on the Hill and business leaders from your North Carolina
constituency, on ways to better serve the American people
in the context of China-U.S. relations. Given this,
I am quite baffled that you, Chairman of Senate Foreign
Relations Committee of the U.S. Senate should have chosen
to unleash a public bombardment of attacks, ridicules and
insinuations against my deputy chief of mission, Minister
Liu Xiaoming of the Chinese Embassy in the United States.
I believe I have a duty to set the record straight and not
to let your charges go unanswered.
reviewed the relevant transcripts and notes, I arrived at
the conclusion that Mr. Liu said nothing wrong or inappropriate
at our February 3 pres conference. China was and remains
strongly opposed to the Taiwan Security Enhancement Act
(TSEA) passed by the House of Representatives earlier this
month, and we will not flinch from voicing our view.
AS a matter of fact, I have just written a letter to all
U.S. Senators on this issue.
strong opposition to TSEA is totally justified. First,
the bill negated the all too important "one China" principle
by treating Taiwan as a separate country, thuse undermining
the basic framework of China-U.S. normalization. Secondly,
it violates U.S. pledges under the three China-U.S. joint
communiques by calling for substantial upgrading of U.S.
-Taiwan military relations and increase of U.S. arms sales
to Taiwan. And thirdly, it fans up a scare about
the false "China Threat" by mandating annual reports on
Taiwan Straits situation and U.S. military response to contingencies
there. If TSEA were made into law, it will further
embolden the already recalcitrant separatist forces on Taiwan,
destabilize Asia-Pacific situation and increase the chances
of military confrontation in the Taiwan Straits. I
am not so sure if China-U.S. relations which both countries
have worked so hard to nurture can survive the explosive
developments that TSEA is destined to set in motion.
statement at the press conference, Mr. Liu did remind people
of the serious retrogression in the relationship as a result
of the U.S. decision to allow Lee Teng-hui to visit the
United States in 1995. The point we were trying to
convey is that if the TSEA should become law, the consequences
would be enormous. I stand by this assessment.
policy on the Taiwan issue remains consistent. WE
love peace and hope to resolve the issue under the formula
of peaceful reunification on the basis of "one country,
two systems." But we are fully prepared to oppose
any attempt at Taiwan independence.
pointing out the outrageous nature of TSEA, Mr. Liu expressed
the belief that a lack of understanding of the bill's potential
gravity and sensitivity on the part of some Congressmen
was to blame for the vote result. It is a fact that
some Congressmen did not have adequate knowledge of teh
origin of the Taiwan question and the evolution of China-U.S.
relations, particularly what the three China-U.S. joint
communiques provide for on U.S. commitments with regard
to this part of China. Your own letter is a handy
example: More than 20 years have passed since the U.S. recognized
the government of the People's Republic of China as the
sole legal government of China, yet you are still referring
to the Chinese province of Taiwan as "republic of China
on Taiwan" and teh leader of Taiwan as "president".
It would be an understatement just to call this "ignorance"
or "lack of knowledge".
your information, Mr. Liu has been well educated both in
China and the United States and knows the two countries
well. As far as I can recall, he has never compared
you or any of your Congressional colleagues to :elementary
school pupils". The closest reference as I can think
of is that some American scholars once made a remark, saying
that even elementary school students know that Taiwan is
part of China but many politicians don't seem to know that
Senator, I understand we have some fundamentally conflicting
values and opinions. I would rather prefer to discuss
them with you in private in a candid atmosphere, yet I will
not run away from a public debate if someone tries to impose
it on me.
I conclude by wishing you a happy new year. I remain,