Opinion: US two-faced stance on Taiwan damaging
( 2003-12-05 00:52) (China Daily)
The United States reportedly cancelled on Wednesday its plan to hold comprehensive defence talks and a computer war simulation with Taiwan's military later this month in a bid to avoid sending wrong signals to the island's pro-independence forces "amid rising tensions with the mainland.''
Washington this time seems to have made a rational decision at a critical juncture.
In its first reaction to Taiwan "president'' Chen Shui-bian's plan for a "defensive referendum,'' Washington said on Monday it would oppose any such referenda if it touched on the topic of independence for Taiwan.
"We would be opposed to any referenda that would change Taiwan's status or move toward independence,'' said State Department spokesman Richard Boucher. "We oppose any attempt by either side to unilaterally change the status quo in the Taiwan Straits.''
Nevertheless, the administration has given no indication that recent events have changed its strong support for Taiwan.
US officials in recent weeks have reiterated Washington's opposition to the use of force in the Taiwan Straits by the mainland and have indicated that the United States would be prepared, if necessary, to respond on Taiwan's side if Beijing resorted to military action.
The computer war simulation which would have been planned to start in Hawaii from December 15-17, when Taiwan military delegates visit the US Pacific Command, was prompted by the need for the United States to update its military contingency plans in case of escalating tensions across the Taiwan Straits.
The island's "vice-defence minister'' Lin Chung-pin told the legislature that the engagements would cover "routine military exchanges under the framework of the Taiwan Relations Act.''
The so-called "routine military exchanges'' is virtually a spree of closer US-Taiwan military co-operations, involving unceasing US arms sales to the island which seriously violate the principles laid down in the three Sino-US joint communiques and have greatly fueled the island's diehard separatists' much bolder steps towards independence.
The United States gives its commitment to adhering to the one-China policy and not to support Taiwan independence on the one hand, and gives the island oral and material support on the other.
Believing that US interests are best served by the status quo of the separation of Taiwan from the mainland, along with the subsequent tension, Washington has kept the deep-rooted contradictory policies towards Taiwan for ages at the sacrifice of the interests of the Chinese people across the Straits, no matter how it phrases its rhetoric.
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