Friday, April 21, 2006

Nelson Report on Hu Visit to Bush

The latest Nelson Report, a quickie on Hu-Bush is out.....I've excerpted the part on Taiwan....



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HU/BUSH ON WHITE HOUSE LAWN...NO NEW GROUND...BUT TAIWAN WARNED

For now, the opening ceremonies at The White House this morning were notable in that both presidents made a point of warning each other, and Taiwan, about the risks of unilateral changes in the status quo, while both reassured the other that the US-China relationship remains firmly based on the "One China" principle, the three communiques, and, for Bush, the Taiwan Relations Act.

The language each president used did not deviate from the traditional, or "catechism" language which gets so carefully parsed by both sides, and on Taiwan, although some observers feel that Bush has not used one particular word before...a warning against "confrontational" actions.

Here's what our notes have each saying: Bush said the basis of US policy remains the one China principle the three Communiques, and the TRA, and that the US wants no unilateral changes in the status quo. He said that the US has urged both China and Taiwan against "confrontational and provocative actions" and that on the basis of all this, the US remains committed to a peaceful settlement of the Cross Strait situation.

Hu's response echoed Bush on "One China" and the "Three Communiques" and he thanked the US for supporting both, but also for "opposing Taiwan independence" and, of course, Taiwan is "an integral part of China". Hu went on to use language which sounded like a practical summary of the intent, if not the letter, of the controversial Anti-Secession Law passed last year, over strong US objections (as being provocative and unnecessary in view of US pressure on President Chen Shuibian and his government).

As observers in the crowd immediately noted, the "oppose" word is China's. Even though US officials have, from time to time, slipped a bit in their recital of the US version of the catechism, the official US policy has always been that the US does not "support" Taiwan independence; occasionally a sophisticated official will add the qualifier, 'but neither do we oppose it, that is a matter to be decided by the people" etc., etc.

Hu today warned Chen, without naming him, that while China "will do anything we can for peaceful unification" and will "work with the Taiwan compatriots for peaceful unification". China will "never allow anybody to work for Taiwan independence or secession from China for any reason." It is this last qualifier, "for any reason" which the Bush Administration objected to during the ASL debate period, pointing out, or arguing to China, that it could be a blank check allowing China to build-up missiles or to otherwise provoke Taiwan into action which then prompted Chinese militaryactions of some kind.

In any event, a very pro-Taiwan observer on the scene said that taken as a whole, both Bush and Hu "made very even handed statements, nothing really new" although he agreed that there might not be a prior US presidential use of the word "confrontational"..not a big deal in the larger scheme of things.

Heritage Foundation's John Tkacik, reviewing the summary of Bush/Hu statements, quipped, "each basically said what they wanted the other to say, but neither said what the other wanted them to say!" One possibly amusing note: it sure sounded to us like the White House announcer, when it came time, proudly proclaimed "and now, the national anthem of The Republic of China" Hummm...he may not be on his way to the countryside....[END]

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Looks like the Nelson Report seems to be saying that, so far, the Bush Administration isn't selling out Taiwan, or putting down Chen Shui-bian, and is at least, in a subdued way, letting China know that its military build up directed at Taiwan is unconscionable. Kudos to an otherwise hopeless White House for standing firm on Taiwan, unlike his predecessor.

And the humorous moment, currently being widely reported, of the slip-up in which Hu was identified as being from the "Republic of China" by the announcer. As David from jujuflop quipped in a private email, it looks like Ma Ying-jeou's visit to the US was more influential than we thought.......

BTW, I've been reading the Nelson Report for several years on and off, and there's often great stuff in it. If you are interested in Beltway politics, you might want to recommend that your company or library get a subscription.


4 comments:

STOP_George said...

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I'm sure you've all heard of this story of the Falun Gong protester interrupting Hu's speech at the White House.

Here are photos, and the links to the full CNN video that was censored in China.

I've heard rumours that she has been arrested and charged with, among other things, in violation of "intimidating a foreign official". Can anyone confirm these charges?
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STOP_George said...

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For those interested, apparently the protester (Dr. Wenyi Wang, 47) confronted former President Jiang Zemin -- face to face in 2001 (wow!)

Here's another good piece on the White House protest, as well.
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Jason said...

Nelson charges $7,000 per year for a paid subscription (or about 292 one-year subscriptions of Boy's Life!), but he's been known to put people on his subscription list in exchange for inside info.

STOP_George said...

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Check this satirical take on the White House follies yesterday. Hilarious!
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