Sat, Mar 30, 2002 - Page 3 News List

Lu asks US to beef up Taiwan ties

POLICY REVIEW The vice president says the three communiques were drawn up during authoritarian rule and she feels Taiwan's democratization warrants a new position from the US

By Lin Mei-chun and Lin Chieh-yu  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday called on the US government to ditch the three communiques with China and consider reviewing and strengthening relations with Taiwan based on the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA).

Lu also said that Taiwan should strive to sign agreements similar to the TRA with countries without official ties.

Signed in 1979, the TRA binds the US to provide Taiwan with defensive arms and to maintain Taiwan's ability to resist any military force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize its security or social and economic systems.

The vice president said a lot has changed since the issuance of the Shanghai Communique, which states that the US believes that there is only one China and that Taiwan is part of China.

When the communique was signed, Taiwan was under martial law imposed by the KMT and the government at that time did not have much public support, Lu told a group of Japanese scholars yesterday.

Some 30 years later, Taiwan is now a democratic nation. The environment recognized by the US back then has changed enormously, the vice president said.

Given the new conditions in Taiwan, the US should re-examine its position, she added.

On cross-strait relations, the vice president said Taiwan should break free of the restrictions of "one China" because "one China" no longer exists.

Lu said a policy of "one Chinese" should replace "one China" because both Taiwan and China are Chinese in terms of blood and cultural heritage.

Meanwhile, the vice president called for the creation of a Pacific Democratic Alliance, through which free countries in the region could work on strengthening cooperation.

Commenting on the disclosure of the secret National Security Bureau accounts, Lu said she worries that too much press freedom might have undermined Taiwan's security.

Taiwan would be seriously harmed if the media continue to expose the nation's secret information regarding national defense and foreign affairs to China, she warned.

Meanwhile, Lu, speaking in a TV interview yesterday, said that since US President George W. Bush didn't mention the three communiques during his recent visit to China, he has shown that the US-Taiwan relationship is entering a new era.

Taiwan should be more aggressive in improving US-Taiwan ties, Lu said.

During the Taiwan Television interview, Lu said that she is also optimistic about developing relations with the EU, some of whose members have expressed their willingness to open the door to Taiwan.

Lu said that at least four EU countries asked her about ways to improve contacts with Taiwan during her travels to Europe over the past two years.

"I believe my diplomatic visit, which displayed Taiwan's soft power, has successfully brought down the diplomatic Berlin Wall, which was built by China to encircle Taiwan internationally," Lu said.

Lu returned to Taiwan from a visit to Hungary on Sunday.

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