US pays tribute to ‘six assurances’

REASSURING::Two US Representatives celebrated the anniversary of the pledges by making an entry in the Congressional record that Taiwan still enjoys US support

By William Lowther  /  Staff Reporter in Washington

Sun, Jul 15, 2012 - Page 3

Two members of US Congress — Republican Representative Michael McCaul from Texas and Democratic Representative Shelley Berkley from Nevada — are commemorating the 30th anniversary of former US president Ronald Reagan’s “six assurances” and the 25th anniversary of the lifting of martial law in Taiwan by entering special statements in the US Congressional Record.

Both representatives said they were acting “to further underline our unwavering commitment and affirm our support for the strong and deepening relationship between the US and Taiwan.”

Reagan issued the “six assurances” on July 14, 1982, to reaffirm US policy toward Taiwan and stipulate that the US would not pressure Taiwan to negotiate with China. On the same date, five years later, then-president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) lifted martial law in Taiwan. It had been in place for 38 years — the longest period of rule by martial law of any regime in the world.

“The coincidence in dates of these two critical junctures in Taiwan’s history, five years apart, highlights the indispensable role that the US and the Taiwan Relations Act each played in the island’s democratization,” Formosa Association for Public Affairs president Mark Kao (高龍榮) said.

“Beijing does not believe in the legitimacy of either the ‘six assurances’ or the Taiwan Relations Act because both documents fly in the face of its aspiration to annex Taiwan by force,” Kao said.

McCaul and Berkley said in their Congressional statements: “The people of Taiwan continue to live day after day under the ominous shadow cast by over 1,400 short and medium-range ballistic missiles that China has aimed at them.”

“The PRC [People’s Republic of China] persists in claiming Taiwan as a ‘renegade province’ refusing to renounce the use of force to prevent Taiwan’s formal de jure independence,” they added.