Both the Democratic and Republican parties have now released their official foreign policy platforms — including mentions of Taiwan — ahead of the November US presidential election.
Democrats published their platform on Tuesday as they opened their three-day national convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, to renominate US President Barack Obama for a second term.
The Republicans issued their platform last week when they met in Tampa, Florida, to nominate former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney as their presidential candidate.
Coen Blaauw, an official with the Washington-based Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA), said that while the Republican stand on Taiwan was “a little stronger” than the Democratic stand, both were “pretty much as expected.”
He said that it was usual for the out-of-power party to be more assertive, while the party holding the White House was careful not to upset existing policies.
“We remain committed to a ‘one China’ policy, the Taiwan Relations Act and the peaceful resolution of cross-strait issues that is consistent with the wishes and best interests of the people of Taiwan,” the last paragraph of the Democratic platform on the Asia-Pacific region reads.
Some analysts, speaking privately, said that it appeared as though Taiwan had been mentioned “as an afterthought.”
The platform says that Obama is committed to continuing efforts to build a cooperative relationship with China, “while being clear and candid when we have differences.”
The world has a profound interest in the rise of a peaceful and prosperous China, the platform says, but China must also understand that it must abide by clear international standards and rules of the road.
“We will consistently speak out on the importance of respecting the universal human rights of the Chinese people, including the right of the Tibetan people to preserve their cultural and religious identity,” the Democratic platform says.
The Republicans devoted far more words directly to Taiwan.
“We salute the people of Taiwan, a sound democracy and economic model for mainland China,” the Republican platform says.
“America and Taiwan are united in our shared belief in fair elections, personal liberty and free enterprise,” it says.
The stated Republican policy goes on to oppose any unilateral steps by either side to alter the “status quo” in the Taiwan Strait on the principle that all issues regarding Taiwan’s future must be resolved peacefully, through dialogue, and be agreeable to Taiwanese.
“If China were to violate those principles, the US, in accord with the Taiwan Relations Act, will help Taiwan defend itself,” the platform says.
“We praise steps taken by both sides of the Taiwan Strait to reduce tension and strengthen economic ties,” it says. “As a loyal friend of America, Taiwan has merited our strong support, including free-trade agreements status, as well as the timely sale of defensive arms and full participation in the World Health Organization, International Civil Aviation Organization and other multilateral institutions.”
Recent opinion polls give Obama a narrow lead over Romney, but political analysts predict that the election will be very close.
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT: A US Air Force KC-135 tanker came less than 1,000 feet of an EVA plane and was warned off by a Taipei air traffic controller, a report said A US aerial refueling aircraft came very close to an EVA Airways jet in the airspace over southern Taiwan, a military aviation news Web site said. A report published by Alert 5 on Tuesday said that automatic dependent surveillance–broadcast (ADS-B) data captured by planfinder.net on Wednesday last week showed a US Air Force KC-135 tanker “coming less than 1,000 feet [305m] vertically with EVA Air flight BR225 as both aircraft crossed path south of Taiwan” that morning. The report included an audio recording of a female controller from the Taipei air traffic control center telling the unidentified aircraft that it was
A series of discussions on the legacy of martial law and authoritarianism are to be held at the Taipei International Book Exhibition this month, featuring findings and analysis by the Transitional Justice Commission. The commission and publisher Book Republic organized the series, entitled “Escaping the Nation’s Labyrinth of Memory: What Authoritarian Symbols and Records Can Tell Us,” to help people navigate narratives through textual analysis and comparisons with other nations. The four-day series is to begin on Thursday next week with a discussion between commission Chairwoman Yang Tsui (楊翠), Polish-language translator Lin Wei-yun (林蔚昀), and Polish author and artist Pawel Gorecki comparing
MOVING OUT: A former professor said that rent and early education costs in Taipei are the nation’s highest, which makes it difficult for young people to start families The population of Taipei last year fell to the lowest in 23 years due to high rent, more transportation options and the expansion of northern cities into a single metropolis, academics and city officials said on Monday. Data released this month by the Ministry of the Interior showed that the capital was home to 2,602,418 people last year, down 42,623 from 2019. The decline is second only to 1993, when the population fell by 42,828 people, while Taipei’s population was the lowest it has been since 1997. Taipei saw the biggest drop among the six special municipalities, while Taoyuan led the group in
A legislator yesterday called for authorities to investigate the sale of Chinese-made, Internet-connected karaoke machines containing “propaganda songs.” Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) said she was approached by a person who had discovered Chinese patriotic songs such as My Motherland (我的祖國) — which is commonly referred to as China’s “second national anthem” — in Chinese-made karaoke devices sold in Taiwan. The machines are popular, as they can connect to the Internet, providing access to thousands of songs, she said. One retailer, who asked to remain anonymous, said that the machines first entered the local market about three years ago, starting with