The text of the letter
July 2, 1998
Despite the settled policy of the Shanghai Communiqué
and the Taiwan Relations Act, the PRC has long urged the United
States to issue a new joint statement on Taiwan. One June 30,
1998, in Shanghai, you stated: "Our policy has been that we
think reunification has to be done peacefully, that is
what our law says and we have to encourage the cross-strait
dialogue. And I think it will bear fruit if everyone is patient
and works hard."
Section 2(b)(3) of the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act reads: "...the
future of Taiwan will be determined by peaceful means."
Both this law and our longstanding policy have left the question
of just what Taiwan's future is -- reunification
with the mainland, independence, or something else -- to
cross-strait negotiations. The concept of reunification does not
appear in any of the three communiques which are
the framework for U.S. -- China relations.
While I am pleased that you rejected the opportunity to issue
a new joint statement that would recodify any aspect of U.S.
policy towards Taiwan, your remark about Taiwan's future have
left the distinct impression that the P.R.C. and the U.S. have
foreordained Taiwan's destiny without regard to the outcome of
peaceful dialogue, and without regard for Taiwan's right to
American policy must continue to uphold, unequivocally, the
right of the people of Taiwan to determine their own future.
I hope you will soon find an opportunity that is just as
public as were your remarks in Shanghai to clarify this point,
and to reaffirm the unwavering U.S. support for the right of
self-determination for the people of Taiwan. To do otherwise
would risk P.R.C. misunderstanding of American resolve,
encouraging unnecessary military conflict.