Saturday, January 29, 2011

Some positive noises from the US

AP & the Taipei Times reported that AIT Chairman Raymond Burghardt slammed China's interference in US internal affairs, saying Beijing had hurt the feelings of America's 300 million people ....

American Institute in Taiwan Chairman Raymond Burghardt on Tuesday said Chinese pressure on Missouri Governor Jay Nixon to cancel a visit to Taiwan was “unacceptable” and inconsistent with Beijing’s claims it sought to improve ties with Taipei.

Nixon last month scrapped plans to visit Taiwan after a Chicago-based Chinese diplomat warned the trip could imperil a project by China to turn St Louis airport into a hub for Chinese cargo in the US.

Over the previous two years, eight US governors have visited Taiwan.

Speaking to reporters in Taipei, Burghardt called China’s actions “absolutely unacceptable.”

That's a positive note. Burghardt took pains to point out that such actions are not compatible with the "warming relations" that the CCP and KMT are currently experiencing. Meanwhile Kyodo News (behind paywall) reported on another positive development....
The United States refused to issue a joint communique after last week's summit between U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao and kept Taiwan's interests in mind during the negotiations for a joint statement, the head of the de facto U.S. mission to Taiwan said Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters in Taipei after being briefed by U.S. officials who took part in the negotiations, Raymond Burghardt said the U.S. side ''purposefully...constructed a document that in no way violates any of Taiwan's interests.''

''We kept Taiwan in mind,'' he said. ''The result is a document that in no way breaks any new ground on any issues that would be of concern to Taiwan.''
Burghardt said that China had wanted a communique loaded with the phrase "core interests" but the US had refused to have any part of such a thing.

These are both positive moves, the second very important. The US makes a lot of noise about how happy it is that the CCP and the KMT are kissing and making up over the dead body of Taiwan's independent future, but it is carefully avoiding any words that might indicate actual changes in the US stance. In other words, it is possible to interpret all the happy noises the US makes about the KMT sellout as simply meaningless noise -- what else, really, can Washington say? Burghardt is also signaling China while talking to Taipei: our position hasn't changed and we categorically refuse to talk about Taiwan as a core interest of the PRC. Good work, AIT folks.

Meanwhile, can someone thwack VOA over the head? Beijing already has Xinhua, they don't need VOA to spew this kind of crap:
U.S. support for Taiwan is one of the biggest obstacles to closer relations between the United States and China, which considers the island a breakaway province and claims a right to retake it by force if necessary.
There are two problems with this presentation. First, US support for Taiwan is not an obstacle to closer relations between Washington and Beijing. Rather, it is Beijing's desire to annex Taiwan and its threats to maim and murder Taiwanese in order to do so that are the problem. Second, even if we handed them Taiwan, as Beijing's constant flow of new claims and intensification of old ones shows, they'd simply say some other desired objective was the obstacle to closer relations.

Apropo the status of Taiwan, the LA Times still hasn't corrected its massive error on the US position on the status of Taiwan, dating from 5 days ago now....
Although economic relations between the People's Republic of China and Taiwan are warming, China still insists — and most major nations, including the United States, agree — that there is only one China and that Taiwan (which calls itself the Republic of China) is a part of it.
I wrote them several days ago, and so did others. *sigh* It is not difficult to find this information on the internet. Apparently people get confused since both Beijing and Washington use "One China" to designate their policies even though they are completely different policies. AP's Washington office has twice said the US considers Taiwan to be part of China in the last year alone....
Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums! Delenda est, baby.


Marc said...

I think the Burghardt message to China is quite clear: Hands of the $6M deal Missouri has with Taiwan; hands off US economic interests. These are the US 'core interests.'

Whether this unambiguous rebuke is meant to spread to defense matters is open to interpretation.

Readin said...

"Burghardt is also signaling China while talking to Taipei: our position hasn't changed and we categorically refuse to talk about Taiwan as a core interest of the PRC. Good work, AIT folks."

Sadly, I think the reason we refused to use the term "core interest" again is that China has now called the South China Sea a "core interest". Back when China was only calling Taiwan a "core interest" the U.S. seemed willing to use that term.

Burghardt's statements about Nixon are encouraging (tough name for an American politician, I would think), though they should have come from a higher level official.