Fri, Feb 18, 2005 - Page 1 News List

US bill would scrap `one China' policy

CONGRESSIONAL RESOLUTION Five US representatives backed a proposal that would call for the Bush administration to re-establish diplomatic ties with Taiwan

By Melody Chen  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH CNA

A resolution was introduced in the US House of Representatives Wednesday calling for the Bush administration to scrap its "one China" policy and resume formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

In presenting the bill, Representative Tom Tancredo, a Colorado Republican and the leading author of the bipartisan resolution, said that the "one China" policy, in which Washington recognizes Beijing's stance that Taiwan is a part of China, is pure fiction.

"Taiwan is a free, sovereign and independent country that elects its own leaders. It is not, nor has it ever been a local government of communist China -- and everyone knows that," Tancredo said.

He said the time has come "to scrap this intellectually dishonest and antiquated policy in favor of a little consistency and honesty."

"There is absolutely no good reason that the United States cannot maintain the same kind of normal relationship with the democratically elected government in Taiwan that it maintains with the autocratic regime in Beijing," Tancredo continued.

He stressed that when former president Jimmy Carter decided to sever ties with Taiwan and shift US recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979, Carter did not consult with Congress in advance, let alone seek its approval.

Tancredo noted that despite Carter's unilateral decision to cut diplomatic relations with Taiwan, the nation has remained a staunch and reliable ally of the US.

The bipartisan resolution was jointly introduced by Tancredo and four other lawmakers, including Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Florida Republican who is chairwoman of the House International Relations Subcommittee.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday thanked the five US representatives for introducing a resolution demanding resumption of diplomatic ties with Taiwan, while analysts said the move could be a reaction to China's proposed anti-secession law.

"We are grateful for the US Congress' long-standing support for Taiwan and its participation in international organizations, such as the World Health Organization. We have obtained sufficient understanding of the contents of the resolution," said Victor Chin (秦日新), director general of MOFA's Department of North American Affairs, in a press conference.

"This is not the first time a resolution demanding resumption of official ties with Taiwan was introduced in the House of Representatives. We hope that [President George W. Bush's] administration and policymaking agencies can agree with [the bill]. The bill would not go too far without the backing of the administration," Chin said.

Senior presidential adviser Koo Kwang-ming (辜寬敏), who traveled to Washington to lobby the Bush administration to rethink its "one China" policy in October, welcomed the bill yesterday, but acknowledged it would not be an easy thing for Washington to scrap the policy.

"However, if the US gives up the `one China' policy, many countries would follow its lead. Then it would be easier to solve the Taiwan problem," Koo said.

"The US Congress represents its people. The introduction of the resolution indicates that many American people support Taiwan's participation in the UN," he added.

Also see story:

China slams US Congress backing for Taiwan ties

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