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US should abolish 'Taiwan Relations Act'

By Peng Guangqian (People's Daily Overseas Edition)

16:57, September 26, 2011

Edited and Translated by People's Daily Online

The U.S. administration finally announced a long-planned round of arms sales to Taiwan on Sept. 21. Although the United States will only offer an upgrade package for Taiwan's existing F-16 A/B fighters instead of the newer model F-16 C/Ds requested by some right-wing U.S. forces and Taiwan in a hope to "maintain a delicate balance between China and the United States," the new round of arms sales has still seriously interfered in China's internal affairs, jeopardized its national security and undermined the cause of its peaceful reunification. It is natural for the Chinese government and people to express their strong indignation and opposition to the plan.

The U.S. government had clearly pledged in the Aug. 17 Communiqué signed by the United States and China in 1982 that it "does not seek to carry out a long-term policy of arms sales to Taiwan" and "intends to reduce gradually its sales of arms to Taiwan, leading over a period of time to a final resolution." Instead of reaching "a final resolution" after three decades, the United States has continued to expand the scale of the sales of more and more advanced arms to Taiwan. The United States is a country that has always boasted about its commitment to the rule of law, yet it has reneged on its pledges to such an extent. This is rarely seen in the international community.

The United States has argued that they have decided to sell arms to Taiwan based on the Taiwan Relations Act passed in 1979. This is even more ridiculous. The Taiwan Relations Act is a domestic law of the United States and an abnormal act designed by the forces that were unwilling to give up their vested interests and sought to impede the normal development of China-U.S. relations.

The United States blatantly claimed that it would provide some separatist forces within a sovereign country with so-called "defensive" arms. Using domestic acts to interfere in other countries' internal affairs and defy the principles of international law is a great invention of the United States. Publicly putting a country's domestic laws above the principles of international law can only be interpreted as hegemonic politics and Cold War mindsets. It could be said that the Taiwan Relations Act was illegal and invalid from the scratch. Using the Taiwan Relations Act as a cover for arms sales to Taiwan simply does not make sense.

The late U.S. President Richard Nixon's historic visit to China and handshake with Chinese leaders 40 years ago changed the two countries as well as the entire world. The two countries are far more interconnected and interdependent than they were 40 years ago. The healthy development of their relations will benefit both nations and all human beings.

However, certain people who are unhappy to see the healthy development of China-U.S. relations or peace and harmony around the world, always want to use Taiwan as a political tool to contain China.

The U.S. arms sales to the island in accordance with the so-called Taiwan Relations Act is a classic case of the Cold War mentality and power politics, which are obviously outdated, pointless and will eventually hurt itself and others.

An increasing number of far-sighted Americans have been calling for repeal of the Taiwan Relations Act in recent years as more and more people have realized that the act is outdated and is against the trend of the peacefully evolving cross-Taiwan Strait relations. Furthermore, it is not conducive to the establishment of a cooperative partnership between China and the United States and does not serve the strategic interests of the United States. This legal obstacle must be removed to ensure the smooth development of China-U.S. relations.

The normalization of China-U.S. relations needs great wisdom, great courage and great vision, and so does the healthy development of their bilateral relations. Instead of playing little cheap tricks and weighing the pros and cons of selling F-16 C/D jets or upgrading F-16 A/B jets, U.S. statesmen and strategists should have great vision, courage and wisdom to grasp historic opportunities, to shake off the disruptive influence of certain interest groups, to repeal outdated laws and regulations, and to remove all obstacles hindering the development of China-U.S. relations and damaging the fundamental interests of the United States in order to usher in a new and better world for all mankind.

Nixon made it. What about Barack Obama?


Leave your comment8 comments

  1. Name

Brian at 2011-09-2768.48.106.*
Why not let the island vote?
PD User at 2011-09-27207.6.123.*
Carlos Romanov at 2011-09-27117.135.84.*
It is a great article, but the last sentence presumes too much. President Obama does not have that much power. When former president Clinton made a speech in Beijing in 1989 that was perceived as anti-Taiwan, the US Senate rebuked him by a public vote 89-0 and the House by 390-1. The reaffirmation of the Taiwan Relations Act in 1999 passed 429-1. The feeling is too deep for any president to negate it.
wende at 2011-09-2771.251.47.*
Let US keep "Taiwan Relation Act" so that China can emulate them when China is on top and use the same on US. It show hegemony at its raw state. China should not be afraid to use the same. US has the nerve and is shameless to use that as an excuse. The three communiques were established between sovereign nations and "Taiwan Relation Act" is a law passed by US congress. One cannot even put these 2 laws on a scale and claim they are equal in statue. US congress knows this reality but they just have no shame. Remember, most of them are lawyers. They know treaties between nations rank high than local laws. Yet they don"t give a damn. China needs to say more! Just retaliate!
Bill Jobs at 2011-09-26149.171.43.*
What a load of crap.

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