Sat, Oct 30, 2004 - Page 1 News List

MAC welcomes Kerry's comments about Taiwan

By Joy Su  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Mainland Affairs Council yesterday welcomed Senator John Kerry's remarks that the "one country, two systems" model could not be replicated in Taiwan, saying that it was a recognition of Taiwan's situation as unique and different from that of Hong Kong.

"The "one country, two sys-tems" approach was designed to protect Hong Kong's freedoms while respecting China's sovereignty. The "one country, two systems" model can't be replicated for Taiwan" Kerry told the Sing Tao Daily in an exclusive interview conducted by written exchanges.

"If China will not respect Hong Kong's full rights under the current system, it sends a negative message that will further complicate efforts to resolve issues with the Taiwanese," Kerry wrote in response to questions about the applicability of the "one country, two systems" framework to Taiwan.

Kerry's remarks on cross-strait relations have been sparse, but his statements in the newspaper effectively reverse previous remarks.

He had suggested in January during a radio interview with six other democratic candidates that the "one country two systems" model could be implemented in Taiwan as a solution to the cross-strait impasse.

Council Vice Chairman Chiu Tai-san (邱太三) told the Taipei Times yesterday that the council welcomed the senator's remarks as they clearly identified Taiwan's circumstances as unique, and as such unsuitable for the "one country, two systems" framework.

"The [US] election is so close. Both candidates want to make sure that they do not lose the election on a simple mistake," Chiu said.

"Taiwan is not the central issue in the elections, and as such neither candidate wants to take the risk that comes with endorsing uncertain variables," he said.

He added that Kerry's remarks were effectively a reaffirmation of the US' "one China" policy.

Chiu reiterated that the US' overall stance, specifically its insistence on its "one China" policy and the six assurances forged under former president Ronald Reagan's administration, would continue to be the cornerstone of US cross-strait policymaking.

"I will reaffirm the US' `One China' policy, whose core is an insistence that the Taiwan Strait issue should be resolved peacefully and with the assent of the people of Taiwan," Kerry said in the interview, vowing to "minimize misperceptions and misplaced expectations" and encourage the resumption of cross-strait dialogue.

"Taiwan is the most difficult and sensitive issue in US-China relations. The goal of United States policy is to deter Beijing from taking military action and to restrain Taipei from political initiatives that would provoke a use of force," Kerry said, pointing out that the US did not support Taiwan independence.

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