Fri, Mar 09, 2012 - Page 3 News List

US has ‘strengthened’ relationship with Taiwan: Clinton

By William Lowther  /  Staff Reporter in Washington

“I am not sure that we haven’t generally misled the Chinese as to what our Taiwan policy could possibly be,” Kagan said. “We have perhaps encouraged them to believe that we are moving faster and more determinedly toward abandoning Taiwan than we have in fact been able to do.”

“Right now things seem to be fairly stable, but I don’t think we have heard the end of where this whole policy will wind up. I think there is a great opportunity for tension and possibly, if not managed well, even conflict,” Kagan said.

However, on the question of Taiwan during the Nixon visit to Beijing, Kagan said: “We were a little more generous and forthcoming than the Chinese expected.”

Stapleton Roy, director of the Kissinger Institute on China, said: “If you look at Taiwan’s current situation, where it is among the more affluent entities in the world, Taiwan has benefited enormously from the tough decisions that president Nixon and [former US] president Jimmy Carter later made in order to carry out the breakthrough to China.”

Former National Security adviser Brent Scowcroft said the US might now propose that China dismantle some of its missile deployment against Taiwan and in return the US could cut arms sales to Taiwan.

“That’s a distinct possibility, I think,” Scowcroft said.

Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser to Carter, said that at some point in the next decade the US would have to address — “maybe not directly, but indirectly” — the fate of Taiwan.

He said it was an issue that had to be faced.

“We have to be realistic and patient, but also sensitive to the meaning of this issue to China,” Brzezinski said.

In answer to a question about how he expected the US and China to resolve the “Taiwan issue,” Brzezinski said: “In my judgment, it is not realistic to assume that the US can indefinitely be the source of arms for Taiwan.”

Brzezinski said that eventually the arms sales were certain to “negatively affect” the US relationship with China.

“It is a matter of common sense,” he said. “However, I also think that in the long run the relationship between China and Taiwan will be resolved on the basis of accommodation between the two parties, depending on the scale of China’s own national success, and also depending on the degree to which China and Taiwan grow closer together by the peaceful expansion of closer and closer ties creating, in effect, a situation in which one China with several systems becomes reality.”

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