Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Thursday, January 17, 2002

US Sends Four Delegations to Taiwan for Secret Talks

Four US expert delegations hurried to Taiwan recently. The questions regarding what tasks these high-level delegations are entrusted and what information or "instructions" they would transmit to the Taiwan authorities have aroused the close concerns of various social circles on the Island.


Following are excerpts of the article written by Peng Ming, a special correspondent of the Global Times, on the United States sending four delegations to Taiwan for secret talks and its tightening control over Taiwan.

Four US expert delegations hurried to Taiwan recently. The questions regarding what tasks these high-level delegations are entrusted and what information or "instructions" they would transmit to the Taiwan authorities have aroused the close concerns of various social circles on the Island.

Four Delegations Together to Visit Taiwan
The first one was a five-member delegation from the "US Taiwan security examination committee". This committee was set up with allocations from the US Congress, which submits a classified report on the security of the Taiwan Straits to the Congress in June every year, exerting significant influence on American arms sales to Taiwan.

After hearing the two-hour report given by Cheng Chien-jen, "representative of Taipei to the United State" on December 31 last year, the delegation set out for Taiwan on the morning of January 1. After arriving in Taiwan, the delegation immediately unfolded a series of activities. On January 7, it met with Chen Shui-bian and had talks with officials from Taiwan's "defense ministry" and "foreign ministry" to get to know Taiwan's "defense needs", military training, US-Taiwan military exchange, etc. They showed much more concern about security matters after WTO entry by the two sides of the Taiwan Straits.

A member, "a friend of Taiwan", named Teh-fang Kim, of the delegation, is a university professor. When interviewed by Taiwan media on January 6, she agitated that Taiwan and the United States not only should share intelligence, but also should carry out joint military maneuvre. She even said that strengthening military cooperation between the United States and Taiwan would, of course, enrage the Chinese mainland, but "we shouldn't care too much about this".

The second one going to visit Taiwan on the heels of the "US Taiwan security examination committee" was a US scholar visiting delegation. Setting out from the United States on January 6, the delegation planned to stay in Taiwan for a week.

The third US delegation went to Taiwan "to attend a symposium" which was scheduled for January 11, the theme of which was related with maritime rights and interests. At the invitation of the Taiwan authorities, the delegation would visit a naval base of the Taiwan armed force.

The fourth one was the Atlantic Council visiting delegation which arrived in Taiwan at midnight of January 9. It was a very high-level delegation, the most attractive delegation member was a former US deputy defense secretary who had been in charge of US defense policy for seven years and had held an important post related to national security. He once declared that "Taiwan's military vessels are in urgent need of modernization". He vigorously stood for arms sales to Taiwan. It was reported that before the visiting delegation started off, it had prepared an outline for discussion. It repeated the same old tune on the question of Taiwan, claiming that any use of force would entail inestimable consequences". During its visit in Taiwan, the delegation would conduct "exchange of views" with senior Taiwan government officials and would hold a small-scale seminar with the Island's scholars on the afternoon of January 11.

US Arms Sales to Taiwan Cause Much Concern
Of these four delegations, some "went to Taiwan to attend an academic symposium", some aimed to acquire on-the-spot knowledge about the status quo concerning the cross-Strait relations, so as to write a relevant report", but their common point was related to the movement of Taiwan armed forces and US arms sales to Taiwan. The most attractive one was related to the plan for the sale of an early warning radar system.

In 1999, the then US President Bill Clinton agreed to sell the early warning radar system worth US$1 billion to Taiwan, pro-Taiwan elements all regarded this as "a major breakthrough". However, senior officers of Taiwan armed forces and many members of the "Legislative Yuan" opposed the purchase, thinking that the cost was too high and would thus affect the purchase of other weapons; in addition, the target of such warning radar was too large, being as high as a 10-floor building, making it prone to be locked and destroyed. So the Taiwan authorities purposefully delayed the dealing, and even wanted to cancel the purchase.

This practice of the Taiwan authorities sparked the dissatisfaction of some personages of the US side, they repeatedly warned, saying that the early warning radar concerned whether Taiwan could set up a missile defense system, and that "Taiwan shouldn't think the United States would provide Taiwan with a protective umbrella when it was subjected to attacks"; Besides warning, they also sent someone to Taiwan to ask Taiwan's "defense minister" Wu Shi-wen to "report" to them about the plan for the purchase of long-range radar.

Under American strong pressure, the senior officers of Taiwan's "defense ministry" submissively indicated that the early warning radar was an established item in US arms sale to Taiwan, and the Taiwanese side had no intention to change the decision. For this arms deal, Taiwan had to waste a lot of money on buying the "good thing" peddled by the Americans.

CIA Hire Men and Buy Horses
While "extending political support and exercising military control" over Taiwan, the CIA of America stepped up its infiltration into Taiwan.

On January 3, the Taiwan "national security bureau" proved that the American CIA attempted to buy over an official just quitting his post in Taiwan's "Administrative Yuan", but CIA attempted to recruit him at high salary, and put him in charge of "collecting information about the Taiwan government, but this offer was rejected.

The fact that the United States carries out intelligence activities related to Taiwan has long been an open secret. A widely known case was Chang Hsien-yi with the "Sun Yat-sen Academy of Sciences" who leaked the secret of Taiwan's R&D of nuclear weaponry, causing Taiwan's nuclear weapon R&D plan miscarried. After the "severance of diplomatic relations" between the United States and Taiwan, America still maintained intelligence cooperative relations with Taiwan, and had not mitigated its infiltration into Taiwan, there has been constant talks about US buying over people in Taiwan. Taiwan media hold that the targets for the CIA to buy over are the "cipher officers of the government", thus laying bare the American strong attempt "to control Taiwan's official trends at any time".

Although the senior officials of the Taiwan authorities were "quite astonishing", they, however, dared not offend the "big boss". The "Administrative Yuan" deliberately kept a low key, only stressing that they would "henceforth go all out to guard against the occurrence of similar incidents".

Political Implications Unusual
US high-level delegations visited Taiwan at a special time, and the CIA directed its targets at Taiwan authorities, the political connotations revealed behind this are naturally extraordinary. Analyses said that CIA's buying over men in Taiwan was a visible act of infiltration, whereas large batches of US delegations visiting Taiwan not only contain the elements of infiltration, but "controlling Taiwan" seems to have a stronger flavor.

After the occurrence of the "September 11" incident, the United States needed to enter into anti-terrorist cooperation with China, thus objectively providing an opportunity for improving China-US relations; after the APEC summit in Shanghai, the trend of China-US cooperation strengthened. The Taiwan authorities fear that the "US Taiwan Strait policy would be partial to the mainland"; in addition, after the Chinese mainland and Taiwan joined the WTO, there was a growing demand for starting the three direct links of mail, trade and transport in the Island, thus putting the Taiwan authorities' mainland policy in quite a passive position.

It was against the above special background that the United States organized four delegations within a short space of time to visit Taiwan, especially the delegation from the "US Taiwan security examination committee" with a semi-official nature, its aim was no more than indicating that the United States would not change its strategy of "using Taiwan to contain China", and that it would, as always, support the Chen Shui-bian authority, thereby lifting Chen Shui-bian out of his "internal affairs, foreign affairs and mainland policy" predicament. The-fang Kim said undisguisedly that "it is impossible for the military cooperation between Taiwan and the United States to end in the signing of a treaty", adding "but there is, in fact, a "hidden defense treaty" between both sides. It is not hard to see that these words spelled out a strong flavor of backing Chen Shui-bian up.

At the end of January, the "cabinet" reshuffle of Taiwan is imminent, the United States is eager to see who will be appointed as the new "defense minister". It expects that a person who understands the United States and can work in coordination with America would be elected, and who can "continue to boost military reform". Since last September, there have been unceasing talks about the shake-up of ranking army officers by Taiwan authorities. The United States is worried that it would be impossible for it to control the future development of Taiwan military forces in the name of "US-Taiwan military cooperation". When a senior US visitor met with Chen Shui-bian, he showed particular interest in the feasibility of a man of letter to take up the post as Taiwan's "defense minister", his intention to influence the selection of person to be Taiwan's "defense minister" and convey the American wish to the Taiwan authorities is quite evident.

By People's Daily Online

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