Government officials yesterday welcomed US President George W Bush's reiteration of Washington's stance on Taiwan in his talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤).
Bush met Hu at the White House in Washington on Thursday, where the two leaders discussed a wide range of issues including trade, human rights, nuclear proliferation and Taiwan.
"In his welcome speech on the White House's South Lawn, President Bush reiterated the US commitment to peace across the Taiwan Strait. [Bush said that] the US would uphold its `one China' policy based on the three Sino-US communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act, remained opposed to any side unilaterally changing the status quo, and that Taiwan's future must be resolved peacefully," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
"This shows that the US policy remains consistent and unchanged. This shows that the US takes the issue of peace in the Taiwan Strait seriously and remains committed to preserving that peace," the statement said.
Taiwan watched nervously as Bush and Hu held their summit at the White House, fearing that Bush might publicly criticize President Chen Shui-bian (
Although Bush did not say he was opposed to Taiwanese independence, he did say that he did not support it.
Analysts in Taiwan pointed out that Bush saying "I do not support" did not amount to a declaration of opposition.
Minister of Foreign Affairs James Huang (
Huang commented on Hu's reaction to a question from the press regarding when China would be democratized in which the Chinese president said that he didn't know the definition of "democracy."
"To most people, it's a simple question. Democracy is about people being able to choose their own leader, participate in the policy-making process and that minority opinions are respected and protected," Huang said.
Mainland Affairs Council Deputy Chairman You Ying-lung (游盈隆) said that Bush's remarks that "We [the US] believe the future of Taiwan should be resolved peacefully" dealt a severe blow to China's "Anti-secession" Law.
Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said he appreciated Bush's support for Taiwan's democracy and maintaining peace across the strait.
While extending gratitude to Bush for reaffirming the US commitment to Taiwan, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Yu Shyi-kun criticized Hu for calling Taiwan "a part of China."
Hu "upheld the `one China' principle, excluding Taiwanese freedom to opt for independence," Yu said.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday said Bush's statement on cross-strait relations was a "reiteration of the common stance shared by seven previous US presidents."
Saying the government's action on the National Unification Council had impacted on US-Taiwan relations, Ma said: "We need to be extra careful because even a seemingly insignificant act of negligence could be interpreted as changing the status quo unilaterally."
Additional reporting by Jimmy Chuang and Mo Yan-chih
Also see stories:
NO CONSENSUS YET: Local governments and the CECC have agreed to change the ‘3+4’ self-isolation policy, but are still mulling what to replace it with The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) and local governments have agreed to ease restrictions on close contacts of COVID-19 cases, although the details are still being discussed, the center said yesterday. The discussions follow Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) on Saturday approving a proposal to shorten the “3+4” policy — three days of home isolation followed by four days of self-disease prevention — for close contacts who have received booster doses. “We did not reach a consensus on how to revise the current restrictions, but we all agreed that the administrative burden must be reduced and the intensity of restrictions must be eased,
OPPOSING CHINESE ‘HOSTILITY’: The bill orders the state secretary to create a plan to regain observer status for Taiwan, saying Taipei is a model contributor to world health US President Joe Biden on Friday signed a bill into law to help Taiwan regain observer status at the World Health Assembly (WHA), demonstrating Washington’s support for Taiwan’s international participation. Friday was the deadline for Biden to sign the bill (S.812), which directs “the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to regain observer status for Taiwan in the World Health Organization (WHO), and for other purposes.” The 75th WHA, the decisionmaking body of the WHO, is scheduled to meet in Geneva, Switzerland, from Sunday next week to May 28. The bill, introduced by US Senator Bob Menendez, chairman of the US Senate
REACHING OUT: President Tsai expressed condolences to the deceased man’s family and wished a speedy recovery to those who were wounded in the shooting The Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) on Monday called on the US to label organizations associated with the suspect in the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church shooting as domestic terrorists, following accusations that he was a member of a group backing unification with ties to the Chinese government. David Wenwei Chou (周文偉), 68, was arrested on Sunday and is being held in lieu of US$1 million bail at the Orange County Intake Release Center over a mass shooting at the California church that left one dead and five wounded. Local police suspect the shooting was politically motivated after they found notes in
‘DAMOCLES SWORD’: An Italian missionary said the arrest of cardinal Zen is a blow for the church in Hong Kong, China and the world, signaling great danger ahead China yesterday defended the arrest of a 90-year-old Catholic cardinal under Hong Kong’s National Security Law, a move that triggered international outrage and deepened concerns over Beijing’s crackdown on freedoms in the territory. Retired cardinal Joseph Zen (陳日君), one of the most senior Catholic clerics in Asia, was among a group of veteran democracy advocates arrested on Wednesday for “colluding with foreign forces.” Pop singer Denise Ho (何韻詩), veteran barrister Margaret Ng (吳靄儀) and cultural studies academic Hui Po-keung (許寶強) were also arrested, the latter as he attempted to fly to Europe to take up an academic post. Cyd Ho (何秀蘭), a democracy