Answering questions following a major farewell speech in Washington on Wednesday, Hadley addressed the China-Taiwan issue in more extensive terms than he has done before in public.There's not much more you can say about the Bush Administration's complete reconstruction of the status quo, except satire -- thank all gods the Bush Administration was so tough on the status quo with China, otherwise we might be facing 1,400 missiles across the Taiwan Strait.....
He said the framework of US President George W. Bush’s policies with respect to China and Taiwan had been based on keeping the “status quo” in place while “at the same time making very clear to China that we would carry out our obligations under the Taiwan Relations Act to make sure that Taiwan had the capacity to provide for its own defense.”
“Bush has tried to have a course that basically respects the ‘one China’ policy ... and the three communiques, which are the bulwark of our policy with respect to China, but also to make very clear that both sides, China and Taiwan, need to respect the status quo and there needs to be no unilateral actions by either side,” he said.
“The President stood very firm with respect to those principles ... And I think that helped get through a difficult patch in the relations between China and Taiwan, and [has] helped encourage what is really a very hopeful turn in relations between China and Taiwan,” Hadley said.
As chief White House adviser on security issues, Hadley appeared to be going out of his way to stress — in a way that he has not done before — that under Bush the US was ready to make sure that Taiwan was able to defend itself in the case of an attack by China.
It is significant because much of the speech, which dealt with hotspots around the world, was directed at the incoming administration of president-elect Barack Obama.
“When President Bush approached Asia, he approached it not by starting first with our relations with China, but starting first with our relations with our traditional allies. A central feature of his Asia policy was to strengthen those alliances and to try and deal with a pretty long list of unresolved issues and irritants in those relationships,” Hadley said.
As for addressing the nation's traditional allies, the Japanese Institute of International Affairs wrote this week:
Many American experts argue that the Bush administration had many diplomatic successes in Asia, such as a stronger Japanese-U.S. alliance, a stronger partnership with China, and an improved strategic alignment, if not yet an alliance, with India. But many Japanese, including myself, are inclined to disagree.The US tilt toward China is placing Japan in a very awkward position. The Bush Administration worked assiduously to get Ma Ying-jeou elected, and the KMT is rewarding the administration by putting Taiwan directly into China's orbit, blowing a hole in 50 years of diplomatic effort.
Many Japanese also believe that the United States has become too dependent upon China's financial and trading power and thus has reduced its strategic options. With its huge dollar reserve, China now has the United States in a bind, as it now would have difficulty confronting China's military power, helping defend Taiwan, or imposing sanction on Beijing in response to its poor record on human rights and treatment of minorities. Japan, too, is in a similar situation, since China is the largest trading partner. Nonetheless, it would like Washington to have a wider array of strategic options for Japan's and its own security.
Great work, guys.
Hadley's Remarks in Full from White House Press Release...(wait until blog loads COMPLETELY!)January 7, 2009
Remarks by National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley at the Center for Strategic and International Studies
White House News
We have built a stronger relationship with China based on cooperation where we agree and candor where we disagree. Tensions with -- over Taiwan have eased considerably. And we continue to press China on human rights and religious freedom.
Q Sir, you mentioned U.S.-China relations. You touched upon cross-strait relationship, the reduction of tension. How -- could you elaborate a little bit more on the current state of U.S.-China relations, which seems to be one of the bright spots of President Bush's foreign policy successes, and also the current state of U.S.-Taiwan relations, which experienced some very hard times over the last eight years? Thank you very much.
MR. HADLEY: What President Bush has tried to do is have a course that basically respects, you know, the One China policy and all the rest, and the three communiqués which are the bulwark of our policy with respect to China, but also to make very clear that we -- that both sides, China and Taiwan, need to respect the status quo, and there needs to be no unilateral actions by either side. And that was very much his -- the framework of his policy with respect to China, and at the same time making very clear to China that we would carry out our obligations under the Taiwan Relations Act to make sure that Taiwan had the capacity to provide for its own defense.
And the President stood very firm with respect to those principles. And I think that helped get through a difficult patch in the relations between China and Taiwan, and have helped encourage what is really a very hopeful turn in relations between China and Taiwan.
But I want to make another point, which is that when China -- when President Bush approached Asia, he approached it not by starting first with our relations with China, but starting first with our relations with our traditional allies. And he took, as part of his -- a central feature of his Asia policy -- to strengthen those alliances and to try and deal with a pretty long list of unresolved issues and irritants in those relationships, dealing with our force presence, the location of our forces, and all the rest, and working with successive governments in Japan and South Korea.
We have really worked through that list over these last eight years. And I think those relationships are very strong. And that provides a platform for the United States in dealing with China, both the opportunities and challenges presented by China.
So I think it is also very important for the new administration to think in the same way about how they are going to approach the issue of Asia more generally, and to see our relations with China in that broader context.
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