Mon, Jan 27, 2014 - Page 8 News List

US must be clear on core values

By Nat Bellocchi 白樂崎

The Shanghai Communique clause stating that “all Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of China” has become rather irrelevant: In the latest Taiwan opinion poll, 78.1 percent of those polled said they are Taiwanese, while 12.3 percent identified as Chinese (“Independence beats ‘status quo’ in poll,” Dec. 31, 2013, page 1). A large majority does not consider Taiwan to be part of the PRC. (“Taiwanese identity stays strong: poll,” Aug. 13, 2013, page 3).

The US indeed needs to be crystal-clear on Taiwan: It needs to support the right of the Taiwanese to determine their future. If their choice is that they want to be accepted by the international community as a free and democratic nation, the US needs to respect and support that choice. This would be in line with the country’s values and the principle of self-determination as enshrined in the UN Charter.

Nat Bellocchi served as chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan from 1990 to 1995. The views expressed in this article are his own.

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