US President George W. Bush said again yesterday that the US would defend Taiwan if China invaded.
When asked in an interview with the Fox News TV Channel, "Do we [the US] still stand by an agreement, Mr. President, that if Taiwan is ever invaded, we will come to the defense of Taiwan?" Bush said: "Yes, we do. It's called the Taiwan Relations Act."
Bush also said he believed that "time will heal" the political dispute between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.
"My attitude is that time will heal this issue. And therefore we're trying to make sure that neither side provokes the other through unilateral action," he said.
Bush explained that the US stance supported a "one China" policy based on the Three Communiques.
Moreover, Bush said, the US adhered to the Taiwan Relations Act, which meant that it opposed either side of the Taiwan Strait unilaterally changing the status quo.
"In other words, neither side will make a decision that steps outside the bounds of that statement I just made to you. If China were to invade unilaterally, we would rise up in the spirit of [the] Taiwan Relations Act. If Taiwan were to declare independence, it would be a unilateral decision that would then change the US equation," Bush added.
Asked about his views on US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's recent criticism of China's rapid military buildup despite not facing any threats in the region, Bush said the US-China relationship was a complex one.
"It is complex because we deal with each other on a variety of fronts. One front, of course, is our defense posture," he said.
When asked whether he trusted China, Bush said: "So far, I do. We'll see ... time will tell."
In response, the Presidential Office yesterday said that its position was in sync with that of the US government, stating that, "Taiwan stands by safeguarding the peaceful status quo across the Taiwan Strait, and that the solution to cross-strait issues must be resolved via peaceful means."
What the international community should pay attention to, the Presidential Office said, is whether or not China uses "non-peaceful means" to alter the cross-strait status quo in the wake of enacting the "Anti-Secession" Law in March.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also welcomed Bush's affirmation of Washington's pledge that the US would help defend Taiwan if it were attacked by China.
"We welcome President Bush's reiteration of the US government's stance. He means that to achieve peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, all Pacific-rim nations must make an effort," Foreign Ministry spokesman Michel Lu (呂慶龍) said.
Lu said Bush sent a clear message to both sides of the Taiwan Strait that neither side should alter the status quo.
"We will not seek independence. Our constitutional reforms are a domestic issue which will not lead to Taiwan declaring independence. President Chen Shui-bian has promised this many times," he said.
also see story:
AIT reaffirms US commitment to Taiwan's defense
‘LOCAL TRANSMISSION’: The nation reported 11 new cases, including seven local infections in the north, the highest daily number of cases since the pandemic began The COVD-19 situation has entered the “local transmission” stage and enhanced disease prevention measures have been implemented until June 8, the Central Epidemic Command Center announced yesterday as it reported six locally transmitted cases with unclear infection sources. The center reported 11 new cases yesterday: four imported cases from India, and seven local infections in northern Taiwan, the highest daily number of cases since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that one of the local infections — case No. 1,201 — is a woman who is a family member living with
SIXTEEN LOCAL: Three COVID-19 infections are linked to a cluster at a gambling house in Yilan County, 10 to a case in New Taipei City and three had unclear sources The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday urged people to increase vigilance and thoroughly practice preventive measures against COVID-19 as it reported 16 locally transmitted cases of the disease. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that 21 cases were confirmed in Taiwan yesterday: 16 local cases, four imported cases and one case undetermined. The locally transmitted cases are three linked to a cluster of infections at a gambling house in Yilan County, 10 associated with a previous case in New Taipei City and three with unclear sources of infection. The CECC on Tuesday reported a cluster
‘DOWN TO ZERO 2.0’: All pilots are to undergo quarantine at government centers, while cabin crew on long-haul flights have to quarantine for 14 days The Central Epidemic Command Center yesterday announced stricter measures to contain a COVID-19 outbreak among China Airlines (華航) flight crew, as the nature of the confirmed cases indicated an unknown chain of transmission within the airline. The “Down to Zero 2.0” plan will be tough on China Airlines personnel, but is necessary to minimize the risk to society, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. Under the measures, all China Airlines pilots and copilots are to be recalled to undergo quarantine at government centers, while cabin crew who are returning from long-haul flights or who have
GRID PROBLEM: A Taipower spokesman said that the blackouts were not due to usage exceeding supply, nor were they because of a problem at the Singda plant There were rolling blackouts across Taiwan yesterday due to a grid malfunction at the Singda Power Plant (興達電廠) in Kaohsiung’s Yongan District (永安), while Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) said that it was working “as hard as possible to resolve the issue as soon as possible.” At 2:37pm, a malfunction at an ultra-high-voltage substation in Kaohsiung’s Lujhu District (路竹) triggered four generators at the Singda plant to go offline, cutting power output by 2.2 million kilowatts and prompting Taipower to initiate rolling blackouts nationwide as it worked on the problem. Taipower spokesman Chang Ting-shu (張廷抒) told a news conference in Taipei that