Judging from his public statements and his record in Congress, Democratic Party candidate Senator John Kerry, if elected president, would likely shift US foreign policy toward a pro-China, anti-Taiwan stance.
\nWhat is the evidence?
\nKerry has strongly propounded a policy of avoiding conflict. He voted against the Gulf War in 1991 and against funding US forces in Iraq. He speaks of being the "peace president."
\nRegarding Taiwan, he says the US has no obligation to defend the island. He has also been critical of US arms sales to Taiwan -- both in the past and for weapons currently in the pipeline.
\nWorse for Taiwan, Kerry states that Taiwan is part of China and backs the "one China" principle. The "one China" principle is officially US policy, but most US leaders who support it link it to the principle of a peaceful resolution of the "Taiwan issue." Kerry doesn't mention this.
\nFinally, the Democratic platform, Kerry's platform, does not mention the Taiwan Relations Act. The TRA, passed by Congress in 1979, treats Taiwan as a nation-state and promises US arms sales and protection. Kerry apparently does not favor this law.
\nKerry has praised Taiwan's democratization, but that seems pro forma and even disingenuous. If Taiwan does not survive, its democracy will no longer be relevant to its citizens or as a model to other countries (which it is).
\nFor all of this, Kerry's stance on Taiwan has evoked talk in Washington of a "fourth communique" that would declare that the US officially opposes an independent Taiwan and will work with China toward its unification with Taiwan.
\nThere has even been mention among Kerry's supporters that the US might allow China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) to seize one of the Taiwan-governed islands near China or otherwise threaten Taiwan, with Washington acquiescing, in order to send a signal to President Chen Shiu-bian (
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