Heritage Foundation Backgrounders

Washington, 31 October 1998

The Washington D.C.-based Heritage Foundation recently issued two reports regarding U.S. Taiwan Policy.

The first report is titled Promoting Freedom and Security in U.S.-Taiwan Policy, and was written by Stephen J. Yates. Mr. Yates presents an analysis of the policy of the Clinton Administration following the "Three No's" pronounced by Mr. Clinton in Shanghai on 30 June 1998. Mr. Yates writes that the President has changed U.S. policy toward Taiwan, and that his statement reflects a pattern of appeasement that is a far cry from the March 1996 Missiles Crisis, when the U.S. responded to Chinese threats against Taiwan by sending two aircraft carriers into the Taiwan Strait. Mr. Yates concludes that Mr. Clinton's new policies will make conflict with China more likely in the future and undermine U.S. credibility.

The second report is titled America's Response to the China-Taiwan Talks: Encourage but Don't Interfere , and was by former U.S. ambassador Harvey J. Feldman. In the paper, Mr. Feldman comments on the recently-held Koo-Wang talks, and states that President Clinton's "Three No's" in June/July 1998 unnecessarily complicated the cross-Strait dialogue. This tilt weakened Taipei's position. Therefore, the U.S. should return to its former position that the future status of Taiwan is something that the two sides will have to work out for themselves by peaceful means. He concluded that any solution should be arrived at peacefully, without coercion, and is acceptable to the people of Taiwan.

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