Former US national security adviser Stephen Hadley said on Tuesday that “a lot of the heat” had gone out of what he called “the Taiwan issue.”
He credited President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) economic cooperation with China and expectations that “security and the political side” would now be discussed.
“I think the Chinese are pleased about that,” he said.
Hadley and former US Treasury secretary Henry Paulson — who had just returned from meetings in China with government and corporate leaders — were addressing the Atlantic Council in Washington on US-China relations.
During the question-and-answer session that followed their presentations, one member of the audience said: “In an hour of very strategic discussion by two world-class thinkers, Taiwan wasn’t mentioned once. That is interesting and encouraging. Some of us put up with the Taiwan homily every time we go to China. Did you put up with the Taiwan homily this time, and if not, why not?”
Paulson, who served under former US president George W. Bush, said that in his most recent talks in China, Taiwan had not been raised, but that generally, senior Chinese leaders did raise the Taiwan question with him and that he considered it to be “very important.”
“What I think has happened, is through very wise policymaking in the US — going through multiple administrations — we have been able to thread that needle,” Paulson said.
Taiwan’s continued existence was very important to the US, he said.
Hadley, who was also a member of the Bush administration, said that Taiwan was mentioned during his most recent talks in China.
He said the Taiwan issue had been managed in “a pretty constructive way.”
However, Hadley said China had brought up one “troubling” argument for the first time. One Chinese leader had said to him — with reference to Taiwan — that “deals were done when we were weak.”
The leader added that China was now strong and its interests should be given greater weight, and the modus vivendi that had been worked up on issues like Taiwan needed change.
“On the one hand you can see some merit for that argument,” Hadley said.
On the other hand, he said, if it was “a naked argument that we are stronger and therefore people should pay us homage,” it could be a destructive way of framing issues.
“I think that this new China is going to be hard to manage,” he said.
“The other thing that comes up all the time now — and it is bigger than Taiwan — is the South China Sea,” Hadley said.
He said the US narrative was that China was becoming more assertive, while the Chinese narrative was that countries like the Philippines and Vietnam were using the issue to provoke.
“These are two very different narratives and I think this is going to be a bigger issue to handle than Taiwan,” he said.
Paulson presented a paper at the meeting that the Atlantic Council said would serve as a memo to the winner of the US presidential election in November.
The paper outlined five “key principles” that Paulson said the US must adopt to improve economic ties with China and ensure global competitiveness. The principles are greater openness to Chinese investment in the US; more transparent markets with strong oversight; strengthened market confidence in both economies; a freeing up of bilateral trade; and a more efficient technology flow to promote innovation.
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb
The National Taiwan Museum’s Railway Department Park in Taipei is to open to the public today. The park in Datong District (大同) near the North Gate (北門, Beimen) is one of the museum’s four branches. During the Japanese colonial era, the site housed the railway department of the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan’s Bureau of Transportation. After World War II, it served as the headquarters for the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) for several decades. In 2007, it was listed as a national monument under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法). At an opening ceremony yesterday, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung