Sun, Aug 31, 2003 - Page 3 News List

US congressman pushes for diplomatic recognition

SOVEREIGNTY Peter Deutsch plans to make a speech to the US House of Representatives calling on the Bush administration to recognize both Taipei and Beijing

By Charles Snyder  /  STAFF REPORTER IN WASHINGTON

A long-time ardent US congressional supporter of Taiwan's independence has announced that he plans to urge the House of Representatives to support full diplomatic recognition of Taiwan when Congress returns from its August break this week.

Representative Peter Deutsch, a Democrat, made public Friday the text of a speech he plans to make on the floor of the House this week. A copy was made available to the lobbying group Formosa Association for Public Affairs (FAPA).

"I call on President George W. Bush to implement the same policy his father fought for [in 1971]: dual representation for both Beijing and Taipei in the UN, participation by Taiwan in all international fora, and full diplomatic recognition of Taiwan by the United States," Deutsch will say.

Deutsch blamed the lack of US recognition of Taiwan on former national security advisor and secretary of state Henry Kissinger and on former president Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石).

While Bush's father tried to gain dual representation in the UN for Taipei and Beijing, with Taiwan in the General Assembly and China in the Security Council, his efforts were "undercut" by Kissinger and Chiang, Deutsch said.

Kissinger, at the time of the October 1971 debate on admitting China to the UN, was on a trip to Beijing in preparation for then US president Richard Nixon's historic trip the following year, and Chiang opposed dual representation, "clinging to the absurd position that he and his Kuomintang government were the sole legal government of all the Chinese people," Deutch will say.

"It behooves us," he will say, "to fully recognize Taiwan as a sovereign, independent nation, a democratic ally in the war on terror, a forceful nation of 23 million citizens working for a better world."

"The brave citizens of Taiwan deserve nothing less and the global community striving to defeat terrorism will be strengthened by Taiwan's recognition and participation," he will say.

Deutsch, an 11-year veteran of the House, was one of the sponsors and main protagonists for the Taiwan Security Enhancement Act, which would tighten military and other ties between Washington and Taiwan.

He was also the initiator of legislation in 1994 that enabled Taiwanese-Americans to list "Taiwan" as the place of birth on their US passports, instead of "China."

Reaction to the advance copies of Deutsch's comments were guarded.

FAPA president Wu Ming-chi (吳明基) noted, "the US establishing full diplomatic relations with Taiwan is not something that will happen overnight. However, Con-gressman Deutsch's statement will mark the start of a debate in Congress about an idea whose time has come, and that is long overdue."

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