Torricelli: do not miscalculate on Taiwan

Washington, 7 July 1998.

In his statement at the introduction of Senate resolution S.Res. 107, Mr. Torricelli urged that the United States and other nations should not isolate Taiwan, and accept Taiwan in international organizations, such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, and the Asian Development Bank.

Below is an excerpt from Mr. Torricelli's statement on the floor of the Senate:

United States Senate, July 7, 1998

Mr. TORRICELLI. Mr. President, it is sometimes said that international conflicts begin more often from miscalculation than design. I believe it is of service to the Senate and to our country to make clear upon President Clinton's return both what was said and accomplished and, indeed, what remains in place with regard to the U.S. relations with the people and the government on Taiwan.

American policy toward Taiwan is governed by the Taiwan Relations Act. There are 4 principle components of this Act, accepted by this Congress, the bedrock policy of this country, and they remain unchanged.

First, the future of Taiwan will be determined by peaceful means. The Taiwan Relations Act does not say that the people of Taiwan and the mainland will be reunited by peaceful means. It says the future will be determined by peaceful means. That has not been altered.

Second, the United States affirms that one of its principle objectives is the preservation and enhancement of the human rights of the people of Taiwan.

Third, that the United States does not maintain as its policy the isolation of Taiwan, its government, or its people but there are many members of this institution, and, indeed, in this government, that believe it would enhance the security of the region and both peoples if Taiwan were admitted to international organizations.

Fourth, the United States remains committed to sell those defensive means necessary for the security of the people of Taiwan.

Mr. President, at a time of economic turbulence in Asia, it is notable that there is one government and one people that are a bedrock of economic stability. Taiwan is a model of development of democratic capitalism. It is a leader in technology and international trade, with a standard of living obtained for its people that is the envy of Asia.

It is also notable that at a time when it is necessary for the President of the United States to discuss human rights with other countries, to discuss their means of government, that Taiwan remains a stable democracy, respecting the freedom of religion and of speech and of expression, where people choose their own leadership.

For all these reasons, Mr. President, it is important that there not be any miscalculation. The policy of this country toward Taiwan is governed by the Taiwan Relations Act. We remain committed to that democracy and to its security. This is not of some small moment.

This is, after all, the 19th largest economy in the world. Taiwan is the seventh largest trading partner of the United States--a vibrant democracy in the family of democratic nations.

There are many of us who believe that in future years the security of the region would be enhanced by Taiwan's enhanced relationship with the United Nations, by its entry into the World Trade Organization and the Asian Development Bank, where its economic power could be heard and, indeed, enhance its economic stability.

Mr. President, for all those who have watched this recent trip to Asia, it bears reminding that this Congress wrote the Taiwan Relations Act. The Taiwan Relations Act governs the relationship between the United States and all issues affecting the future of Taiwan and its people. Only this Congress can change the Taiwan Relations Act.

Mr. President, we are all proud of President Clinton's trip to China. I believe that he came home with real substantive accomplishments. I believe it is also useful, as the majority leader has pointed out, to make clear both what has changed and what has not.

The American commitment to Taiwan has not changed. It will not change. It is a bedrock of the American commitment to maintain special relationships with nations that choose their own leaders and live in the democratic family of countries.

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