Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Wednesday, December 10, 2003
It's no good for US to play game of balance
On December 1, US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said to the media about Taiwan's "referendum legislation" that the United States opposes any "referendum" that would change the status quo of Taiwan or lead to Taiwan independence, clearly expressing Washington's stance for the first time on Taiwan's "referendum".
On December 1, US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said to the media about Taiwan's "referendum legislation" that the United States opposes any "referendum" that would change the status quo of Taiwan or lead to Taiwan independence, clearly expressing Washington's stance for the first time on Taiwan's "referendum". Although his expression of US stance came late, it is of positive significance and to some extent, worth affirmation against the background of Taiwan's "referendum legislation" which includes the clause of so-called defensive referendum.
Chen Shui-bian sliding farther and farther down the road to Taiwan independence is not without relations with the American ambiguous attitude. On the one hand, the United States claims that it adheres to the one-China policy and the three Sino-US joint communiqu��|s and opposes Taiwan independence; on the other hand, taking its internal law "Taiwan Relations Act" as the basis, it "helps Taiwan in defense", sells weapons to Taiwan and connives at the divisive acts of Taiwan authorities. This policy is itself contradictory, as is manifested in the United States playing the game of balance between the two sides of the Straits, at one moment, this policy tilts toward the mainland, at another moment, it swings slightly toward Taiwan, drawing the biggest benefit therefrom.
Experts point out that the US contradictory China policy originates from its contradictory strategic interest. There is extensive common interest for the United States to safeguard world peace and regional stability and promote economic development, so it hopes to develop relations and expand cooperation with China. However, as the sole superpower in today's world, the United States does not want to see China grow in strength and fears that the expansion of China's rising position and influence would weaken its "leadership position" and affect its global strategic interest, therefore it hopes to contain and restrain China through the Taiwan issue. Though the US government denies this formulation, its acts across the Straits cannot but arouse people's doubt about its real motives. By playing the game of balance between the two sides of the Straits, the United States indeed can gain the biggest benefits at a certain time and under a certain condition. Given this, some Americans are pleased with their own "ambiguous policy"-because people across the Straits do not know what's in the mind of America, what card it will deal, and so they would not go into action rashly, in that case, the United States could come to maintain the situation featuring neither reunification nor independence and this is to the best interest of the United States.
The game, after being played, may give rise to much trouble. Lee Teng-hui's visit to the United States in 1995 was a political game played mainly by US Congress and endorsed by the White House. This American action that transcended the bottom line of the Chinese mainland triggered a crisis to Sino-US relations, China recalled its ambassador to the United States, relationship between the two countries was thus plunged to a slump. In face of the reality, the United States had to set strict restriction on the Taiwan leader's visit and stopover in the country.
Henry Kissinger once made the following meaningful remarks: The United States failed to win two wars (the Korean War and the Vietnam War) after World War II because it refused to take Chinese leaders' words seriously-During the Korean War, Chinese leaders gave America the warning that they would send out troops, the United States, however, misjudged the situation, thinking that China dared not challenge the United States; during the Vietnam War, Chinese leaders repeatedly indicated that China had no intention to dispatch troops, but the United States asserted that China wanted to expand to Southeast Asia, so it would definitely take a full part in war as it did in the Korean War. On such a major principled issue as Taiwan that concerns China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, there was no room for China to compromise, the Chinese leaders meant what they said. But to this date many Americans still cherish the mistaken idea that so long as the United States rigidly backs up Taiwan, the Chinese mainland dare not use force. While Taiwan authorities also mistakenly believe that the mainland dare not do anything with the Island which has the backing of the United States no matter what twists and turns it may face.
The United States should realize that China's national unity, economic development and social progress conform to China's interests as well as to the interests of the United States. The United States should play a constructive role in the process of China's reunification instead of obstructing and even damaging this process. In the final analysis, the United States should not expect that China would still engage in all-round cooperation with it even if it connives at and gives tacit permission to the separatist activities carried out by a locality of China. The US government should wake up at an early date, cast away illusion, unequivocally oppose Taiwan independence, doing so is beneficial to itself and others.
This commentary by Yu Fei appears in PLA Daily; translated by People's Daily Online