Mr. Clinton: blunders out of China

Washington, 30 June 1998

During Mr. Clinton's public appearances in China, he attempted to present himself as the great advocate of liberty and human rights. However, with regard to the Taiwan issue, he committed two major blunders, violating the basic human rights of the Taiwanese people.

In his speech at Beijing University, he said that U.S. policy is "no obstacle to peaceful reunification of China and Taiwan." We would like to remind him that it has always been U.S. policy to be in favor of a peaceful resolution of the tension across the Taiwan Straits. The word "reunification" does not appear in the Taiwan Relations Act or any other U.S. policy documents. 

However, it was the second blunder, in Shanghai, which was the most outrageous one. There, in a June 30th meeting with academics, he kowtowed to Beijing, and publicly reiterated the so-called "three noes" (no US support for "One Taiwan, One China", for an independent Taiwan, and for Taiwan membership in the UN).

As American citizens of Taiwanese descent we are deeply shocked and outraged by this betrayal of the right of the Taiwanese people to determine their own future. His statement is a slap in the face of the basic principles of human rights and self-determination, for which the United States should stand. 

We emphasize that at least two of the three noes (no US support for Taiwan independence and for Taiwan's membership in the United Nations) were not part of any American political vocabulary until now, and never should be

The argument of the Clinton Administration seems to be that they were implicit in the "One China" policy. In fact, they go much further than anything said earlier by Mr. Clinton's administration or any earlier administrations. It thus emboldens China to move even more aggressively in isolating Taiwan, and would limit Taiwan's options in any future negotiations. 

We emphasize any explicit mention of these "three noes" amounts to a sell-out of Taiwan, and is therefore totally unacceptable to us as American citizens of Taiwanese heritage. A U.S. policy that attempts to preclude Taiwan's road to independence and its full membership in the international community represent the worst kind of meddling in Taiwan's future. 

We urge Mr. Clinton strongly to define a new policy towards Taiwan and China, which adheres to the basic principles on which the United States is founded. We ask him to disassociate himself from the "three noes." It is important for stability in East Asia -and therefore in the interest of the United States- that Mr. Clinton clearly expresses U.S. support for: 

  1. the right of the people of Taiwan to determine their own future, under the principle of self-determination as enshrined in the charter of the United Nations; 
  2. acceptance by China of Taiwan as a friendly neighbor, instead of perpetuation of the hostility and rivalry dating from the Chinese Civil War with the Kuomintang; and 
  3. acceptance by the international community of Taiwan as a full and equal member, including membership in the UN; in particular by those nations which profess to adhere to democratic principles. 
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Back to: News and Current Events