United States Can't Be Trusted on Taiwan

The Taiwan question is nothing less than the question of China's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The United States' sales of advanced weaponry to Taiwan, a gesture of connivance to the island's separatist factions, are a serious affront to China's sovereignty.

The US decision to sell US$1.78 billion in advanced radar systems to Taiwan is a blatant violation of the principles laid down in the three Sino-US joint communiques and its one-China policy commitment.

By sending wrong signals to the island's pro-independence forces, the US move will only jeopardize China's peaceful reunification and the political foundation of Sino-US relations.

It also risks torpedoing peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, in particular the current complex and sensitive situation across the Taiwan Straits.

If the United States truly values its relations with China, as it claims, it should abide by its promises.

Taiwan, an integral part of China, is not Washington's military satellite.

Washington made explicit commitments in the Sino-US joint communique signed on August 17, 1982, which states the US "does not seek to carry out a long-term policy of arms sales to Taiwan, and it intends gradually to reduce its sale of arms to Taiwan, leading, over a period of time, to a final resolution."

Instead of keeping its word, the United States has never severed its military connections with Taipei, and has in fact increased those ties at a time when the island's separatist forces led by Chen Shui-bian have been seeking independence more boldly and overtly than ever before.

The United States has repeatedly reiterated its commitment to adhering to the one-China policy and not to support Taiwan independence, yet continues to give the island moral and material support.

Washington eats its words and loses credibility by trying to balance its two-faced stance towards Taiwan.

What makes the United States so aggressive about the island, however, is its extensive self-interests.

The Taiwan authorities' fantasy of independence would not have run so rampant without US connivance, and Taiwan would not have become a question at all had the United States not intervened.

Neither a united China nor a war across the Taiwan Straits fits in with the United States' perception of its own interests in the Asia-Pacific region.

While admonishing Taiwan against declaring independence, the United States has always vowed to intervene if the mainland resorted to force to ensure the nation's reunification.

Washington has maintained a deep-rooted contradictory policy towards Taiwan for decades in order to cement its own interests in the Asia-Pacific at the sacrifice of the interests of the Chinese people across the Straits.

No amount of mealy-mouthed rhetoric can disguise that objective.

(China Daily April 4, 2004)