Thu, Feb 08, 2001 - Page 8 News List

China has to acknowledge Taiwan

By Kam Yiu-yu, Chris WuYu and Hao-cheng 金堯如、伍凡、于浩成

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), has repeatedly made clear that, on the basis of the ROC Constitution, "one China" has never presented a problem. The implication is that the ROC represents China. This is the nucleus of "one China, with each side having its own interpreta-tion." Without the existence of the ROC, there would be no need for each side to have its own interpretation, and there would be no other party with which to negotiate. Therefore, Chen's government is the same as the KMT government that preceded it. It will never acknowledge that the ROC has vanished and it will never acknowledge that Taiwan is part of the PRC. The former US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Stanley Roth's endorsement of Chinese Vice-Premier Qian Qichen's (錢其琛) words is certainly to no avail.

Why did Qian's statement that, "the PRC and Taiwan are both parts of China," emerge in the first place? We believe there may be two reasons.

Chen has been in power for over half a year. In that time, because of the Chinese Communist Party's boycott of his government and its ceaseless military threats against Taiwan, political, economic, and social conditions in Taiwan have suffered a relentless battering. The fall in the stock market created economic turmoil and caused the people of Taiwan to feel dissatisfied with DPP rule. At the same time, the Beijing authorities have adopted every sort of political tactic. They have been aggressive in their attempts to win over elements of Taiwan's political and economic spheres in a united front scheme, and they have met with some success.

Qian thinks he can further influence Taiwan's political scene. So he has raised the above-mentioned theory of "one China and one Taiwan." in order to avoid negotiating with those in power in the ROC, forcing the Taipei authorities to come and negotiate the "big three links" (大三通) according to Beijing's framework and goals. If this plan succeeds, then Taiwan will be locked in the heavy shackles of "one China." Will Roth then ask himself whether he spoke for the interests of the PRC or for those of the US? Will he wonder whether he did the right or the wrong thing?

In addition, the Bush administration has just taken the stage in the US. The Republican party's anti-communist position is firmer than that of the Clinton government. Bill Clinton's policy of appeasement and in particular the "new three no's" (新三不) he proclaimed in Shanghai, are likely to be changed by the Bush administration. Qian's theory of "one China and one Taiwan," which replaces Taiwan in the negotiating framework of the PRC, presents the Bush government with a difficult problem. It is a probe to test the response of the Bush government after it takes office. The Beijing authorities are currently paying close attention to the negotiations between the US and Taiwan over military arms sales. They hope to use Roth's words to influence arms sales between the US and Taiwan. A US diplomat has become a mouthpiece for the PRC and the man upon whom they are pinning their hopes. What kind of problem is this?

We have noticed that a similar kind of voice has begun to be articulated in Taipei's opinion forums. There are those who worry that buying advanced weapons from the US will provoke the PRC into attacking. This is a manifestation of "communist phobia," and if this kind of thinking spreads, it will be extremely detrimental to Taiwan's security.

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