Outdated Status Quo in the Taiwan Strait – Yenching Ho
From Asia Times Online:
US Senator Barack Obama, rising star in the Democratic primaries ahead of next year’s presidential election and dubbed “the black JFK” (a reference to the late president John F Kennedy) by some of the US media, has delivered his first direct comment on the relationship between mainland China and Taiwan since he became the fifth black senator in US history.
On May 23 in addressing the visit to Washington, DC, by Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi, Obama said on the Senate floor, “China’s rise offers great opportunity but also poses serious challenges … This means maintaining our military presence in the Asia-Pacific region, strengthening our alliances, and making clear to both Beijing and Taipei that a unilateral change in the status quo in the Taiwan Strait is unacceptable. Also, though today China’s military spending is one-tenth of ours, we must monitor closely China’s strategic capabilities while also pushing for greater transparency of its defense activities.” [Full Text]
Read also Chen Shui-bian’s Remarks at the Videoconference with the National Press Club:
… Looking back on US-Taiwan relations over the past seven years, I think we can best describe it with the saying: “a friend in need is a friend indeed”. Taiwan and the US have enjoyed a solid camaraderie over the years. Forming the crucial bedrock of our relations are our shared values of freedom and democracy, as well as our strategic interests in ensuring security and stability of the Asia-Pacific region. In this light, both of us are committed to maintaining and defending Taiwan’s democracy and the status quo of peace in the Taiwan Strait, and to preventing any unilateral change.
It is in the long-term interests for both our countries to see to a Taiwan that is growing ever-more free, more democratic, and fully protects human rights, a Taiwan whose national sovereignty is independent from the PRC, and a Taiwan that is committed to enhancing its self-defense capabilities.
In stark contrast, a Taiwan ruled by any political party that upholds the goal of “ultimate unification with China,” that heavily leans toward China, that strongly encourages alliance with the Chinese Communist Party to jointly control Taiwan, and that refuses to keep its commitments and does nothing but boycott and set hurdles for the national defense budget would pose a severe challenge and trial to the mutual trust and foundation for cooperation laid by our two countries over the years. [Full Text]
See also Stand Firm against China: Chen by Ko Shu-ling:
President Chen Shui-bian (Èô≥Ê∞¥ÊâÅ) yesterday called on candidates in next year’s presidential election not to harbor wishful thinking about China backing down over Taiwanese sovereignty.
“The lesson we have learned over the past seven years is that China’s fundamental position on the issue has not changed,” Chen said.
“It does not recognize Taiwan as a sovereign state and it considers Taiwan as part of its territory, a local government, a special administrative region and a second Hong Kong,” he said.
See Taiwan Ruling Party to Stir China with Three Referenda by Ralph Jennings:
The ruling political party will attempt three voter referenda and pursue other reforms to advance the island’s independence from China and rewrite its history, the party chief said on Tuesday.
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has prepared two voter referenda and begun researching a third to promote “transitional justice” after decades of authoritarian rule and make Taiwan a “normal country” free of Chinese pressure, said Chairman Yu Shyi-kun. [Full Text]
See Ma Ying-jeou to Sign Peace Agreement with China, If Elected by David Young:
Kuomintang candidate for president Ma Ying-jeou repeated yesterday he would sign a peace agreement with China, if he were elected in March next year.
In a keynote speech before the General Council for Service to Taiwan Businessmen in China, Ma said dialogue must be resumed at once to resolve all outstanding issues across the Taiwan Strait. [Full Text]
Read Missiles Must Go before Talks with China, Ma Says by Flora Wang:
The Chinese Nationalist Party’s(KMT) presidential candidate, Ma Ying-jeou (È¶¨Ëã±‰πù), yesterday said he would demand that China remove the missiles targeting the nation before Taipei and Beijing can resume negotiations or reach a peace accord.
“If the two sides of the Strait are to resume negotiations, reach any peace agreement or negotiate any kind of military or mutual trust mechanism, I will first request that China withdraw the missiles deployed along its southeast coast because we are not willing to conduct peace negotiations while we are threatened by missiles,” he said when approached by reporters at a conference for Taiwanese businessmen based in China.
He said Taiwan and China should regard freedom and democracy as the foundation for cross-strait dialogue. [Full Text]