Sat, Dec 25, 2004 - Page 3 News List

KMT warns that the US' support is `deceptive'

`CLEAR WARNING' Pan-blue officials blasted the president for `lying' to the Taiwanese people about the US' willingness to support and defend the country against Beijing

By Caroline Hong  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) should acknowledge the recent warning from the US government and stop deceiving the Taiwanese people about the extent of US support for Taiwan, said the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday.

Speaking in response to recent comments by US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage that the US is not legally bound to defend Taiwan in the case of a cross-strait war, KMT spokesman Chang Jung-kung (張榮恭) said yesterday that the remarks constituted yet another clear warning from the US government to Chen.

The US already issued a previous warning to Taiwan, when US Secretary of State Colin Powell said in October media interviews that Taiwan was not a sovereign nation, Chang said.

The current warning from Armitage, coming on the heels of the increased pressure Taiwan is facing from China with its recently-proposed anti-secession bill, indicates that the US is trying to distance itself from Taiwan, said Chang, in a move which is disadvantageous to Taiwan.

During a television interview Monday, Armitage identified Taiwan as the biggest landmine in US-China relations. The Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) does not require the US to defend Taiwan in case of Chinese military action, Armitage said in the interview, adding that the act only commits Washington to sell defensive arms to Taiwan and maintain sufficient force to deter a Chinese attack.

At the press conference yesterday, Chang urged the Chen administration to acknowledge the warning by the US and curtail pro-independence activities.

"If the government can verify, and even tell the people that the situation is serious, the US will feel their warning to us has had its intended effect. If the government continues saying there's nothing wrong, that the US is only communicating China's words, then the US will feel that its words haven't had any effect. Its next words might be even blunter, even clearer, and wound Taiwan even more deeply," Chang said yesterday.

The current situation proves that the KMT's positions on cross-strait relations and sovereignty issues have been right all along, added Chang yesterday.

In comparison with the DPP, which during the run-up to the legislative elections advocated changes to Taiwan's national title and re-writing the constitution, the KMT has staunchly supported retaining the title of the Republic of China and the retention of the status quo, Chang said.

"We knew at the time what kinds of policies a responsible party should take, and now time has proven that our direction was right," Chang said.

Part of the reason why the US has chosen to make its second warning, said Su Chi (蘇起), a professor at the Institute of China Studies at Tamkang University and newly-elected legislator-at-large for the KMT, is to debunk two myths propogated by the Chen administration.

The first myth, said the former Mainland Affairs Council head at yesterday's press conference, is that China is too busy to wage an attack on Taiwan, due to a number of reasons, such as the 2008 Olympics to be held in Beijing.

The second myth, said Su, is that even should China attack Taiwan, the US will defend Taiwan.

Through these two myths, the Chen administration has been encouraging pan-green supporters not to be afraid, we can work for Taiwan's independence, a new constitution, a rectification of Taiwan's name, Su said.

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