Fri, Feb 23, 2001 - Page 13 News List

'Chinese Confederation' versus 'One China'

By Lee Chang-kuei 李長貴

Former US president Bill Clinton consistently leaned toward the PRC in handling US-PRC-ROC relations, while using the TRA as a way of maintaining stable relationships and peace. In view of the fact that the PRC's development of long-range missiles constitutes a threat to the safety of the US, the new Bush administration is reconsidering the equilibrium between safety and peace in East Asia, as well as establishing a national missile defense system. The US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld visited Europe in early February to exchange views with European allies.

The US' establishment of a theater missile defense system for Japan and Taiwan highlights the Bush administration's policy of skewing toward Taiwan's safety and stability in the triangular relationship, and US concerns about the proliferation of PRC nuclear offensive technology and missiles. The US also remains concerned about the PRC's human rights conditions. These two concerns remain unresolved.

US-Japan relations are the cornerstone of East Asian security. Singapore has also built a seaport capable of accommodating US carriers. The Philippines has a treaty of military cooperation with the US. The US has also entered multi-lateral treaties with many Asian countries for the purpose of maintaining East Asian stability and humanitarian aid works. The US has many measures to maintain peace and stability of Asia. With respect to Taiwan, the US does not expect Taiwan to accept the one China principle, rather it continues to go by the "one China, one Taiwan" principle. The latter is consistent with the US' self-interest and maintaining Taiwan's stability. For these reasons, the US is especially concerned about the substantive nature of an "integrated China."

A Chinese confederation is one China

The Taiwan government's cross-strait policy should follow the concept of the EU. With economics and culture as the basis of cross-strait exchanges, the two sides should establish mutual trust, understanding, and assistance. Communication and drafting administrative agreements with China should proceed under such a model. The cross-strait relationship should be built on an understanding that the two sides are political entities with independent sovereignty. ARATS on the PRC side and the SEF on the Taiwan side should arrange for agreements among high-ranking government officials of both sides on international relations, bilateral commercial and trade cooperation, public health issues, problems of illegal immigration, crackdowns on international crime, economic issues, tariffs, agriculture cooperation, technological exchanges, news exchanges, tourism and transportation. Such agreements would only facilitate a stable relationship between the two sides.

The president of Taiwan should instruct the relevant cross-strait policy and advisory units to begin drafting treaties governing political, economic and social rights, as well as basic human rights, for this "Greater Chinese Confederation." After these treaties have been executed and implemented by both the PRC and the ROC, the charter for a "Greater Chinese Council" should then take form. The Greater Chinese Confederation is best based on a treaty of peace. The confederation should not require a tight organizational and structural relationship. Consensus or agreement reached through communication and negotiation at leadership meetings and ministerial meetings should serve as a framework for the council.

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