Fri, Jan 09, 2004 - Page 4 News List

At conference, Kristol calls US' Taiwan policy `outdated'

IN WITH THE NEW The prominent US analyst spoke at the US-Japan-Taiwan Trilateral Strategic Dialogue Conference, saying that US policy on Taiwan has failed to adapt

By Stephanie Wen  /  STAFF REPORTER

The confusion and uncertainty in the US' policy toward China and Taiwan are only transitional, according to William Kristol, one of the keynote speakers who appeared at Wednesday night's session of the US-Japan-Taiwan Trilateral Strategic Dialogue conference in Taipei.

Kristol made the remark during a speech on "the Bush doctrine and its implications for Taiwan's democracy," in which Kristol discussed his belief that the US upholds democracy in other parts of the world but not in this part of Asia.

Kristol said the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 began a new historical era and that in response to the attacks, US President George W. Bush has articulated what is called "the Bush doctrine" of US foreign policy.

"The two main aspects of the doctrine are strength and democracy. Strength -- because of the lessons of Sept. 11 -- not that the US has become too imperial but whether the US has become too weak or slow to react. And secondly, democracy is closely tied to peace."

"The US administration is most focused on issues that are most urgent," Kristol said, referring to the Middle East. "But in other parts of the world, the US administration aims to stabilize regions rather than adjusting its policies according to new realities."

Kristol said the US' policy toward China and Taiwan needs reconsideration in light of the development of Taiwan's democracy.

Referring to a speech made by US Secretary of State Colin Powell two weeks before the US visit of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (溫家寶) last November, in which Powell said that the US remains committed to the "one-China" policy and its own responsibilities according to the Taiwan Relations Act, and that the US does not support Taiwanese independence -- Kristol said that the US's policy toward China and Taiwan is outdated.

"China and Taiwan in the past were very different from how they are today. The world has changed a whole lot and Taiwan has changed a lot. We will have to adjust our policy in the new century.

"But we can only do so much at once," Kristol said. "Principles we stand by so strongly in other parts of the world -- strength and democracy -- we don't comply with so strongly in this part of the world. But for now, we are committed to the status quo of the region, and that's not such a bad thing.

"Policy will change in the next few years in a positive way because the status quo has changed,"Kristol predicted.

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