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U.S. Is the Factor Affecting the Cross-Strait Mutual Trust
By Li Jiaquan Translator Sheng-Wei wang
July 1, 2010

Editor’s Note: We thank the editor of the China Review News for the permission of translating this article into English and publishing it on www.ChinaUSFriendship.com. The article first appeared on http://www.chinareviewnews.com, 2009-11-20 00:19:35.


The United States President Barack Obama has made the first visit to China since he took office, and held a summit with Chinese President Hu Jintao, which had historic significance. The meeting discussed the economic interest, security and many other important issues of both parties and achieved fruitful results. Finally, the two sides issued a "Joint Statement" that stressed: "the fundamental principle of respect for each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is at the core of the three U.S.-China joint communiqués which guide U.S.-China relations." The statement pointed out that this point is of particular importance. I deeply feel that the “trust” in China-U.S. relations has tremendous impact on the "trust" of the cross-strait relations. Not long ago, I published an article entitled "Obama's Visit to China and the Sino-U.S. Mutual Trust." I feel that there are still statements to be made, so I am making a special effort to add more opinions on this issue.


1. United States is the Root of the Taiwan Issue


 I remember a very famous saying from Deng Xiaoping: "The final analysis of the Taiwan issue is an American problem." The world knows that the reason why the U.S. wants to seize Taiwan is to achieve "using Taiwan to wrestle with China" (yǐ taí zhì zhong), namely "making Chinese go against Chinese" (yǐ huá zhì huá), in order to contain China.


Taiwan has always been an integral part of Chinese territory. According to the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Declaration, and other important international documents, the Chinese government has long recovered Taiwan officially from the hands of the Japanese aggressors. On January 5, 1950, President Harry S. Truman issued on behalf of the United States Government "Document 3 United States Policy toward Formosa," which reaffirmed the "international agreements on the Taiwan issue," expressing that "the United States will not pursue a course which will lead to involvement in civil conflict in China." However, before the ink of this statement dried, the United States made a 180-degree turn after the outbreak of the Korean War by directly sending the U.S. Seventh Fleet to station in the Taiwan Strait; the U.S. 13th Air Force also went to Taiwan. Today, the Korean War has been over for more than half a century. After China and the United States established diplomatic ties in 1979, the United States has pledged to "abrogate the Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty, withdraw troops, and terminate diplomatic relations,” and has signed three joint communiqués - the Shanghai Communiqué, the Joint Communiqué of the People's Republic of China and the United States Concerning the Establishment of Their Diplomatic Relations and the 817 Communiqué with the Chinese government. But the United States overtly or covertly, directly or indirectly, has continued to intervene in the Taiwan issue. This has increased the complexity of the issue and prevented its proper solution.


Here two points in particular are worth noting: First, the United States Government in September 1951, disregarding the opposition by China, the Soviet Union, and other major relevant countries, single-handedly planned and led the so-called San Francisco Peace Treaty and illegally concocted the "Taiwan’s Status Is Undetermined" theory. Later, the separatists on the island of Taiwan took advantage of this so-called “peace treaty” and the “undetermined status,” established the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and passed the Taiwan Independence Party Platform. It should be said that this was caused by the United States alone, achieved under its direct authorization and encouragement and is the result of U.S. interference in China's internal affairs.


Second, the U.S. government in April 1979, soon after the United States established diplomatic relations with China, adopted a so-called Taiwan Relations Act. Under this so-called "law", the United States has the right to sell defensive weapons to Taiwan. This is very absurd and is a violation of the Joint Communiqué of the People's Republic of China and the United States Concerning the Establishment of Their Diplomatic Relations. China and the U.S. Government for this purpose signed the 817 Communiqué on August 17, 1982, in which the U.S. Government “intends to reduce gradually its sales of arms to Taiwan, leading over a period of time to a final resolution.” For 27 years the United States failed to comply with its commitments. The U.S. Government imposes its domestic law on China. This is an entirely hegemonic act.


The reason why the Taiwan issue is still unresolved is entirely the result of the United States acting alone and a result of U.S. interference in China's internal affairs.


2. The United States is the Biggest Obstacle to the Cross-Strait Mutual Trust


On December 31 of last year, Comrade Hu Jintao spoke about the cross-strait “peace agreement” and the "military confidence-building measures" at the 30th anniversary in memory of the unveiled “Message to Compatriots in Taiwan.” These are obviously the most important two questions at present.


On May 9 of this year, Ma Ying-jeou made a comment which perhaps was an informal response to Hu's speech. When he accepted Singapore Zaobao reporter’s exclusive interview, concerning the cross-strait "military confidence-building measures," he answered: "This issue is too sensitive, which involves the relationship between Taiwan and the United States. Our main armaments come from the United States." Very quickly after that, a heavyweight among Taiwan scholars published an article in a Hong Kong journal on this subject saying that: "From Ma Ying-jeou's position we can see that the U.S. has not given the green light to the 'peace agreement' and the 'military confidence-building measures. '" This comment has really hit the point. It is really enough to see what kind of role the United States is playing on the issue of cross-strait mutual trust.


The U.S. current cross-strait policy is “no unification, no independence, and no war."  It means, first, peace, and, second, no independence and no unification. Does Taiwan dare to disobey this? Is Ma Ying-jeou's "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" not an active echo to this U.S. policy? For a period of time, many people in the Nationalist Party (the Kuomintang, KMT), not only wavered and even retreated on the one-China issue. Does this have anything to do with the U.S. pressure and influence?  In the United States’ view, peace agreement and military confidence-building measures are all important steps toward the peaceful reunification. Hence are they not allowed to take place?


Not long ago, words leaked out from Taiwan that the cross-strait political dialogue should have three elements. They should be completed in this order: signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) and an economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA), the formation of a consensus within Taiwan, and receiving international recognition. The third one is an international factor, naturally referring mainly to having U.S. approval and support. However, the Taiwan issue is originally China's internal affair, so why should it obtain the consent and support of the United States? Has the United States become an overlord of the cross-strait relations? This shows that the Taiwan authorities in handling cross-strait relations take orders from the United States. So, how can Taiwan and the mainland of China build up mutual trust between them?


The second requirement in the three elements, the formation of a consensus within Taiwan, after all is also a U.S. problem. In Taiwan's political arena, not only the KMT, but even the opposition DPP has to take orders from the United States. The DPP’s slogan in the recent municipal elections is "against poison beef, against sell-out and against deception." Anyone who has intelligence knows that the emphasis is on "against sell-out.” Naturally, this is in accordance with U.S. wishes to tightly focus their attention on and pressure the KMT to prevent it from getting too close on the cross-strait relations with China to avoid being “downgraded," or to "lose sovereignty." I think the DPP, at least the faction that advocates independence, and some of the key figures, in fact, have been tools of the anti-communist, anti-China right-wing policy of the U.S. right-wing forces.  How can the KMT authorities under such an internal revolt and foreign threat build mutual trust on cross-strait relations with the mainland of China?


3. China-U.S. Mutual Trust Is the Basis for the Mutual Trust of the Cross-Strait Relations


I used to write articles on Sino-U.S. relations, in which I expressed this viewpoint: the Sino-U.S. relations are "big cross-strait relations" between the two sides of the Pacific Ocean; the Taiwan-Chinese mainland relations are "small cross-strait relations" between two sides of the Taiwan Strait. The big cross-strait relations determine the small cross-strait relations, and the small cross-strait relations are subordinate to the big cross-strait relations. With this analogy, now the mutual trust of the big cross-strait relations decides the mutual trust of the small cross-strait relations. If there is a lack of mutual trust in the Sino-U.S. relations, at least this will have a considerable influence on the mutual trust of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.


The reason for the U.S. to send warships to station in the Taiwan Strait was the Korean War while China and the U.S. were in a hostile state. Now the Korean War has long ended and so has the Cold War. China and the United States have long established diplomatic relations. As exchanges of interests increase, strategic cooperation and friendly relations between the two countries also strengthen and develop. Does the United States need to maintain the state of hostility with China on the Taiwan issue?


The U.S. had reason to meddle in Taiwan since it was afraid of the impact of communist ideology and expansion. Now it should notice that China is backward compared to the United States for many years. And the elements of socialism of the United States are far greater than those of China's. Is there any reason for the United States to fear the impact of China's socialist ideology? Is it still necessary to engage in "using Taiwan to wrestle with China" and to split China into two parts?


The fact that China was able to recover Taiwan from the hands of the Japanese invaders and make it return as China’s own territory was due to the strong support of American friends to jointly fight against the Japanese and achieve the last victory. The Chinese people were filled with gratitude toward the United States. Today, is it necessary for the United States to meet the requests of that small number of Taiwan separatists in spite of inciting the national feelings of China's 1.3 billion people and causing antagonism?


China in history was a China with five thousand-year-old culture and tradition. It was a civilized China and a peace-loving China. New China's peaceful rise is primarily aimed against other people’s aggression and oppression. The Chinese people now have a strong sense of national patriotism which was largely elicited by the foreign invaders. Let me say the following without denying that this includes the emotional reversal caused by the U.S. practice of the Taiwan issue. Let us believe that a powerful China will not go after any other country with aggression and oppression. China’s future practice will for sure prove this point. American friends can set their minds at ease entirely with it.


In short, I personally hope that, for the sake of the eternal friendship and cooperation between the people of the two countries, they should establish a trust relationship based on mutual respect of each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The United States should arrive at some sort of relief on the Taiwan issue as soon as possible, the sooner the better, and better be active than passive.  The two countries can then work together and make more, greater, and better contributions for a wonderful future of Asia, the world, and mankind.

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Li Jiaquan is a senior fellow at the Institute of Taiwan Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The Chinese government has in August 1993 and February 2000 issued two white papers on the Taiwan issue; Li was the author or the participant.
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