If US Republican candidate John McCain wins the presidency, he would continue to strongly support Taiwan’s efforts to gain WHA observer status and request Asian leaders do the same so that China’s leaders would understand the importance of the issue, McCain’s foreign policy adviser Michael Green said on Monday.
On Monday, the US’ National Bureau of Asian Research invited Green and his fellow foreign policy adviser Daniel Blumenthal, as well as their counterparts in Democratic presidential aspirant Barack Obama’s camp — Robert Gelbard and Frank Jannuzi — to a debate on the two candidates’ Asian policies.
The moderator, former US ambassador Thomas Pickering, asked how the two parties would handle a Chinese military intervention in Taiwan and a Taiwanese declaration of independence.
Jannuzi, a long time foreign affairs aide of Obama’s running mate, Senator Joe Biden, said he doesn’t answer hypothetical questions, but added that Obama supports a “one-China” policy based on the three Sino-US communique and the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA).
Jannuzi said that Obama would continue to help Taiwan maintain sufficient capabilities to defend itself, adding that the failure of US President George W. Bush’s administration to approve arms sales to Taiwan is a violation of the TRA.
Cross-strait relations have reached a historic moment and the US welcomes President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) administration’s policy to strengthen cross-strait trade and cultural exchanges, Jannuzi said.
He said he thought it was regrettable that some US observers saw these developments as a threat.
He said Obama believed that the longstanding “one-China” policy was effective and that the US should give Taiwan a strong security promise and insist that the ultimate cross-strait solution must be made by the Taiwanese in a democratic manner rather than being reached as the result of coercion.
He also said any decision by China to use military means would draw strong US concern.
In response, Green said McCain would not freeze military sales to Taiwan and that he would continue to strengthen US ties with other Asian countries to make it more difficult to China to consider military action.
He said McCain would make a public statement to stress the importance of Taiwan’s democracy, and that the Ma administration could lose domestic support if China does not offer a compromise to let Taiwan obtain WHA observer status in May next year.
He said the US must continue to affirm and support Taiwan’s democracy.
When taking questions from the press, Green said McCain would continue to strengthen relations with Taiwan to avoid a Chinese misunderstanding that the US does not value Taiwanese democracy.
He also said McCain would pressure Beijing to consider Ma’s daring suggestions.
Cross-strait relations have improved, but since Ma’s recommendations have not produced any concrete results, Japan, the EU and Australia have the responsibility to help Ma consolidate Taiwanese democracy and stabilize cross-strait relations, Green said.
He added that McCain had consistently supported the idea of the US using its diplomatic influence to draw international support for Taiwan to become a WHA observer.
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