Pro-Taiwan (But Not Anti-China) – Randall Schriver
From Taipei Times:
In 2003, while still serving as deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asia, I was asked by Taiwanese reporters what the US view would be on the proposal for Taiwan to hold a national referendum in conjunction with the 2004 election.
I gave a rather lengthy, rambling and convoluted answer that could have been summarized in a more concise form by saying, “it depends.” The same remains true today.
Why does a referendum pose difficult questions for the US government? Why are US government officials unwilling to simply endorse any referendum on any subject of Taiwan’s choosing?
The core challenge faced by US government officials when such matters are considered comes from the tension that emanates from asking two questions: How can the US be pro-Taiwan, but not anti-China? And how can the US be pro-democracy, but not pro-independence? [Full Text]
Randall Schriver, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, is a Founding Partner of Armitage International LC.