Changes in Taiwan and on the international stage warrant reconsideration of the US’ “one China” policy, New Power Party (NPP) Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) said on Friday, as party officials wrapped up a visit to Washington.
“The ‘one China’ policy was born under the backdrop of the Cold War, when Taiwan was still a one-party authoritarian state that had not realized a true democracy. Now that we are in the 21st century and Taiwanese use truly democratic means to select their leaders, and given developments in Southeast Asia and the South China Sea, we feel there is sufficient ground for the United States to re-examine the ‘one China’ policy,” Huang said at a news conference at the Capitol Hill Hotel in Washington, as NPP officials wrapped up a whirlwind tour of Europe and the US before the start of the fall legislative session.
The “one China” policy refers to the US’ policy on Taiwan as stated in the Shanghai Communique, in which the US “acknowledges” and “does not challenge” the position of “all Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait” that there is “one China, and Taiwan is a part of China.”
“We are not so naive as to expect changes in a day, or a short period of time, but at the very least, discussion can begin,” Huang said, citing increasing the level of official exchanges as one area where changes could be considered.
NPP officials met with numerous members of US Congress and experts from think tanks, but no representatives of the US’ executive branch, which Huang said were not arranged due to a lack of time.
According to Huang, the DPP declined offers of assistance in arranging meetings by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US, instead relying on the Formosan Association for Public Affairs, a Washington-based Taiwanese-American lobby group.
“After news got out of our plans, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reached out to us, but while we thanked them for their good intentions, we did not want to add to their burden,” he said.
The pan-blue background of some members of the foreign policy bureaucracy have led to distrust from pan-green politicians, with former national policy adviser Wu Li-pei (吳澧培) recently criticizing President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) appointment of David Lee (李大維) — a member of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), which has temporarily suspended his membership — as minister of foreign affairs.
In addition to expressing the NPP’s stance on sovereignty issues, the likelihood of ratification by the US of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Taiwanese accession to the trade agreement were also discussed, said Huang, who avoided staking a position when asked about the possibility of relaxing restrictions on US meat imports.
“On US beef and pork, our position is that it is impossible to discuss either issue in isolation,” he said.
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