(Tze-chung Li 李志鍾)

Tze-chung Li 李志鍾
Professor and Dean Emeritus, Dominican University &
President, One China Committee 一中會

       	Taiwan is an integral part of China.  Taiwan and China separated 
as a result of civil war in 1949, and since then have been governed separately.
 They are two political entities in China, but not two Chinas.

	Unification of Taiwan is a domestic issue and should be decided by Taiwan 
and China themselves. Since the United States is involved, unification becomes 
complicated and extremely difficult to achieve.  Four positions taken in 
the United States on the unification issue may be mentioned.
	1. The official position. The United States official position is constructively 
ambiguity.  It is constructive that the United States abides by the three 
Communiqu and supports one China and Taiwan a part of China.  It is ambiguous 
in that the United States continues sale of military equipment to Taiwan 
to make Taiwan capable of defending against China’s attack, insists to maintain 
the ill-defined status quo to exercise restraints on both Taiwan and China 
to avoid war, and makes it uncertain for military involvement  in defending 
Taiwan.  Though clarity of ambiguity had been made in favor of China or 
Taiwan in the past from President Clinton’s three nos 21  to President Bush’
s explicit statement of defending Taiwan, 22  the U.S. strategy  remains 
ambiguous.   The ambiguous strategy is considered safer, smarter, as well 
as more realistic.  It allows the United States if, when, and how might protect 
	The United States opposes any move contrary to the status quo.  Deputy 
Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick has summarized the U.S. position on 
Taiwan in six points.  The United States should (1) maintain "one China 
policy"; (2) abide by three Communiqu and Taiwan Relations Act; (3) assist 
Taiwan's accession to APEC and WTO as an economy; (4) make defensive articles 
available to Taiwan; (5) insist no unilateral change in the status quo by 
either side of the Taiwan Strait; and (6) support direct dialogue, including 
with elected leaders of Taiwan. 24   In responding to Rep. Diane Watson’
s complaints about how Taiwan's president was treated during his visit to 
Latin America, he said "we want to be supportive of Taiwan, while we're 
not encouraging those that try to move toward independence. Because let 
me be very clear: independence means war." 25   
	The United States clearly rejects independence for Taiwan and even change 
of the name of Taiwan.26   Deputy Secretary Richard L. Armitage considers 
that the Taiwan Relations Act requires the United States to keep sufficient 
force in the Pacific to be able to deter attack, but the United States has 
no obligation to defend Taiwan. 27   On the Taiwan government's attempt 
to change their official name of ROC to Taiwan, Adam Ereli, State Department 
Deputy Spokesman said: "there are reports of a number of sort of impending 
name changes. . . frankly, we're not supportive of them. As you know, the 
United States has an interest in maintaining stability in the Taiwan Strait. 
That's what we want to see, and we are therefore opposed to any unilateral 
steps that would change the status quo."28
	After the  Hu-Bush meeting April 20, 2006, President Bush remarked at the 
Oval Office regarding Taiwan: "We spent time talking about Taiwan, and I 
assured the President my position has not changed. I do not support independence 
for Taiwan."
	2. The position to defend Taiwan.  Others hold the view that the United 
States must defend Taiwan because American interest is at stake. As pointed 
out in the Annual Report  by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review 
Commission to Congress, China's economic integration with its neighbors 
in East Asia raises the prospects of an Asian economic area dominated or 
significantly influenced by China. The U.S. has an interest in China's integration 
in Asia if it gives all parties a stake in avoiding hostilities. Nonetheless,
 U.S. influence in the area could wane to a degree. 29   To defend Taiwan, 
the Commission recommends that the Department of Defense continues its substantive 
military dialogue with Taiwan and conducts exchanges on issues ranging from 
threat analysis, doctrine, and force planning. 30
	In contrast to Armitage’s position noted above, Deputy Assistant Secretary 
for East Asia and Pacific Affairs Randall G. Schriver who claims himself 
as pro-Taiwan, but not anti-China says: "[t]he Taiwan Relations Act not 
only talks about providing weapons for sufficient self-defense. . . we have 
an obligation to maintain the capacity to resist force if asked to do so. 
. . That's not a defense treaty, but there are some very important obligations 
	According to U.S.-Taiwan defense doctrine, the Taiwanese military would 
have to fight an invasion alone for at least four days until American naval 
forces arrive. But China could also go with a so-called decapitation strategy 
-- coordinated commando attacks and pinpoint bombing of the island's leaders 
and key institutions to paralyze the island before American reinforcements 
can arrive. 32
	The United States is concerned with the loss of influence in the Far East, 
if Taiwan is unified with China.  An Independent Task Force on U.S.-China 
relations, established by the Council on Foreign Relations, reports that 
one drive for Chinese military modernization is to have the ability to fight 
and win a war in Taiwan in the absence of U.S. intervention and recommends 
that the U.S. make its stance on Taiwan more explicit, that is United States 
does not rule out using force to deter Chinese attempt to compel unification 
through force. 33 
	A RAND report points out that the most likely conflict between the United 
States and China would be over Taiwan. 34   China could potentially defeat 
the United States in a future military conflict over Taiwan by using “antiaccess”
 strategies designed to limit U.S. military access to the combat zone.  
The net result of these strategies is that China could actually defeat the 
United States in a conflict -- not in the traditional sense of destroying 
the U.S. military, but in the sense of China accomplishing its military 
and political objectives while preventing America from achieving some or 
all of its objectives.    Another RAND report outlines three key security 
challenges to the United States, its interests, and its allies: terrorist 
and insurgent groups; regional powers with nuclear weapons; and increasing 
security competition in Asia, which could result in a military confrontation 
with China over Taiwan.  RAND suggests measures to overcome modern anti-access 
weapons and methods, particularly theater ballistic missiles and cruise 

	Jed Babbin and Edward Timperlake consider China’s military growth poses 
a threat to American security. 36   There is possible certainty of war with 
China. With respect to Taiwan, they state: "President Bush and his successors 
must take a   ‘tough force’ approach with the Taiwanese. If the Taiwanese 
are unwilling to spend the necessary money to defend themselves they should 
be told in unmistakable terms that we will not spend blood and treasure 
in their defense. The Taiwanese need a big dose of reality.”37

	The Hudson Institute reports China's rising high technology and military 
power pose a challenge to the United States.   In China-Taiwan conflict, 
China may  (1) seize the initiative early by forcing an adversary to react 
to China's move; (2) pursue limited strategic aims, by winning and securing 
Taiwan with a fait accompli to avoid harming any of the United States main 
interest; (3) strike five "key points", namely command systems, information 
system, weapon systems, logistics systems, and the linkage among these; 
and (4) avoid direct confrontation, by defeating a handful of critical defenses; 
and (5) utilize high technology war and prepare against the military intervention.
 It is a seven-day war (blitzkrieg operation) to occupy Taiwan.  The U.S. 
must be prepared to fight the twenty-first century version of war. 38

 	At his confirmation hearing before the Senate armed services committee 
March 8. U.S. Navy Adm. Timothy Keating warned that as China increases its 
military spending, the United States needs to keep a watchful eye over Taiwan.
 The admiral emphasized that the United States should be prepared to step 
in to protect Taiwan should the need occur, even though some members of Congress 
have warned that Taiwan has sometimes gone out of its way to provoke a hostile 
confrontation with China in an attempt to declare independence from the 
Communist state. 39  Adm. Keating also said April 15 in Guam that tensions 
over Taiwan are a factor in the military buildup of Guam but the U.S. was 
working with China and Taiwan to avert any conflict over the island.40
	In a report to Congress on China’s military  power, the Department of 
Defense points out China is now building capacity for conventional precision 
strike. Beijing has strengthened position relative to Taipei by increasing 
the mainland's economic leverage over Taiwan, fostering Taiwan's diplomatic 
isolation, and shifting the cross-Strait military balance in the mainland's 
favor. But the U.S. Department of Defense, through the transformation of 
U.S. Armed Forces and global force posture realignments, is maintaining 
the capacity to resist any effort by Beijing to resort to force to dictate 
the terms of Taiwan's future status. 41

	The Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Institute for 
International Economics consider that military conflict between China and 
Taiwan is not inevitable. When it to occur, however, it would very likely 
lead to serious political, and potentially military, conflict between the 
United States and China. U.S. policy toward the Taiwan impasse has been 
primarily concerned with process; the United States urges that any resolution 
be peaceful and non-coercive (thus pursuing a declared policy of "peaceful 
resolution" rather than Beijing's "peaceful reunification"). Washington also 
has declared its opposition to unilateral actions by either side to change 
the status quo. But, the ball of unifying China is in China's hand to display 
more creativity in its approach to Taiwan to truly win the hearts and minds 
of the island's people in order to ensure the peaceful achievement of unification.

	3. The hands-off position.  James McGregor considers that U.S. and China 
have manageable differences and complimentary interests. The United States 
could help China and itself at the same time. He suggests that domestic 
politics should stop at the U.S. border and stop preaching instant democracy. 
	The issue of Taiwan could lead to a disastrous war between the United States 
and China, says Ted Galen Carpenter.  The United States, China, and Taiwan 
are on a collision course, and unless something dramatically changes, an 
armed conflict is virtually inevitable within a decade. Carpenter explains 
what the United States must do quickly to avoid being dragged into war. The 
United States should make it clear and firm that the United States will 
not become involved in any armed struggle between Taiwan and China if a 
conflict between Taiwan and China occurs.44

	Richard C. Bush points out three aggravating factors on the relations: 
(1) the impact of domestic politics in each country, as in Taiwan, there 
is a strong Taiwanese identity and significant fear of outsiders; (2) decision-
making on each side on the cross-Strait issue is centralized and personalized; 
and (3) the zero-sum leverage game, that is there is little that Taiwan 
can do to influence Chinese politics. Bush cautions the danger that both 
sides consider that time favors its adversary. For some forces in Taiwan 
to conclude that the only way to secure the future is to go for independence 
while China is relatively weak and constrained by the Olympics, whereas 
to China, preemptive military action is needed to keep the door to unification 
from closing. The danger is to invite unnecessary conflict. Both sides should 
take option of shaping the current situation to maximize their shared interests 
and minimize the risk of a foolish conflict. 45

	4. The pro-independence position.  Lawrence B. Wilkerson, the U.S. Army 
Colonel who was Collin Powell’s chief of staff through two administrations, 
points out  that ”neocons” in the top of the administration quietly encouraged 
Taiwanese politicians to move toward a declaration of independence from 
mainland China.  They included such key architects of the Iraq War as Paul 
Wolfowitz, the deputy defense secretary, Douglas Feith, the undersecretary 
for policy, and Steven Cambone, Rumsfeld’s intelligence chief, and  President 
Bush’s controversial envoy to the United Nations, John Bolton. The Defense 
Department  was dispatching a person to Taiwan every week, essentially to 
tell the Taiwanese that the alliance was back on. 46

	Reports James Fallows, former senator Gary Hart, who served as co-chair 
of the "U.S. Commission on National Security in the 21st Century," the Hart-Rudman 
Commission,  mentioned Mrs. Lynne Cheney on the commission opined that the 
overwhelming threat was from China. Sooner or later the U.S. would end up 
in a military showdown with the Chinese Communists. There was no avoiding 
it, and we would only make ourselves weaker by waiting. No one else spoke 
up in support. The same argument happened at the second meeting. Finally, 
in frustration, she left the commission.  Hart added. "I am convinced that 
if it had not been for 9/11, we would be in a military showdown with China 
today." Not because of what China was doing, threatening, or intending, 
he made clear, but because of the assumptions the Administration brought 
with it when taking office .47

	Another key character in the hawkish group was Therese Shaheen, wife of 
Rumsfield's spokesman, DiRita, the former chief of the U.S. office of the 
American Institute in Taiwan.  She openly championed the independence movement,
 at one point even publicly reinterpreting President Bush's reiteration 
of the "one China" policy, saying that the administration "had never said 
it opposed Taiwan independence."  Colin Powell asked for her resignation. 

	On February 16, 2007, Representative Thomas G. Tancredo  introduced Bipartisan 
Resolution that would call for the United States to resume normal diplomatic 
relations with Taiwan.49   U.S. lawmakers introduced a resolution June 26, 
2007 for an end to restrictions on visits to the United States by high-level 
Taiwanese officials.  The resolution was unanimously adopted by a voice vote 
on July 30, 2007.  A parallel resolution is in the works in the Senate. 
 The resolution's sponsor in the House, Republican Steve Chabot, says it 
is time to send a clear message to Beijing over Taiwan, which the United 
States is legally bound to defend in any military conflict.50   Rep. Steve 
Chabot is a strong supporter of Taiwan. In his letter to Examiner a year 
ago, Rep. Chabot considers that "there is a lot more at stake for the U.S. 
than who controls power in Taipei. Should Taiwan decide to move in the direction 
of accommodation with the PRC, U.S. interests in Asia would steadily be 

	Bruce Herschensohn, another staunch supporter of Taiwan, states that the 
first Shanghai Communiqué was intentionally misinterpreted as a basis for 
 the other two Communiqu.52   He produced President Nixon’s letter to 
President Carter in which President Nixon expressed concern about President 
Carter’s recognition of China with no adequate guarantees against the use 
of force to resolve the Taiwan issue. 53   The letter appears to be contrary 
to the declassified President Nixon’s assurance noted earlier.  Herschensohn 
urges the United States to defend Taiwan as a democratic nation.

The U. S. official position insists on the status quo and peaceful resolution 
on unification and remains ambiguous in defending Taiwan. The U.S. Congress 
is incredibly supportive of Taiwan.   Congressional support takes a number 
of bipartisan initiatives to focus more U.S. attention on Taiwan and to raise 
its international status which include House establishment of the Congressional 
Taiwan Caucus in 2002, Senate establishment of the Senate Taiwan Caucus 
in 2003, 54  and fairly recently House resolution to lift restrictions on 
Taiwan high officials visit to the United States, noted earlier.  While opposing 
Taiwan’s move for independence, Senator Dianne Feinstein gave scary remarks: 
there is a “mind-set in Congress” and “China is destined to become an 
enemy of the U.S.” 55     

	American public, however, tends to support one China and Taiwan a part 
of China. In 2003, the Foreign Policy Association released its National 
Opinion Ballot Report which highlights its findings on Taiwan: (1) 26 percent 
yes and 74 percent no to the question, should the U.S. make an explicit pledge 
to defend Taiwan against an invasion from the mainland; (2) 35 percent yes 
and 65 percent no to the question, should the U.S. encourage Taiwan's quest 
for independence.56   But, public opinion is volatile.
To unify Taiwan with China may be achieved by force at a risk of possible 
conflict with the United States.  The result will be devastating in a heavy 
loss of human lives and properties.  To pursue peaceful unification, though 
not an up-hill fight, has roadblocks in the way.  

	Chinese in the United States who believe in a strong, unified, prosperous 
China is to their interest and pride, are supporting with passion and tenacity 
unification of Taiwan.  They have formed organizations to advocate, advance, 
and promote unification, such as Hetonghui (Peaceful Unification of China 
Association), Cutonghui (Advocating Unification Association),  One China 
Committee, New York Association for Peaceful Unification of China, Taiwan 
Alliance for One China Action,  and others.  Both Hetonghui and Cutonghui 
have a number of chapters in the States, with slightly different names.  
Hetonghui will hold its Global Summit for China’s Peaceful Unification 
in Washington, D.C., on November 16-18, 2007.   The New York Association 
and the Taiwan Alliance are organized by Chinese Americans born in Taiwan. 
 The One China Committee was formed by a group of Americans and Americans 
of Chinese descent.57

	Their mission and efforts are in unison. It is their challenge to campaign 
vigorously to the American public and private sectors on one China and Taiwan 
is a part of China.  Efforts are to be devoted  to (1) inform and update 
members of Congress on unification of Taiwan; (2) try to change the mind-set 
of Congress in favor of unification; (3)  provide the media, scholars and 
the general public with information on the cause of unification;  (4) start 
a grassroots campaign for one China;  (5) suggest the United States to diminish 
or abandon involvement in Taiwan; and (6) reiterate no legal obligation on 
 the United States to defend Taiwan.


21. Three nos policy by Clinton: (1) no support for an independent Taiwan; 
(2) no recognition of "two Chinas" or one China and a separate Taiwan; and 
(3) no support for Taiwan's admission to any international organization 
that requires statehood as a condition for membership
22. President Bush stated on the ABC Good Morning America April 25, 2001 
that the United States would do whatever it takes to help Taiwan to defend 
itself. In April 2001, the President also approved a substantial sale of 
U.S. weapons to Taiwan, including Kidd-class destroyers, anti-submarine P-3 
"Orion" aircraft, and diesel submarines. The White House also was more accommodating 
to visits from Taiwan officials than previous U.S. Administrations.
23. Nancy Bernkopf Tucker, “Strategic Ambiguity or Strategic Clarity?”
 in Tucker, ed. Dangerous Strait: The U.S. – Taiwan – China Crisis (Columbia 
University Press, 2005), pp. 205-210.
24. In his presentation on U.S.-China relations before the Committee on 
International Relations, U.S. House of Representatives on May 10, 2006.
25. Ibid.
26. Sean McCormack, U.S. Department of State Spokesman at daily briefing 
on March 4, 2007,  stated  “as is well established, the United States does 
not support independence for Taiwan. President Bush has repeatedly underscored 
his opposition to unilateral changes to the status quo by either Taipei or 
Beijing because these threaten regional peace and stability, U.S. national 
interest and Taiwan's own welfare.”
27. U.S. Department of State released December 20, 2004 the transcript of 
an interview of Charlie Rose with Deputy Secretary Richard L. Armitage on 
PBS on December 10. Mr. Armitage also repeated the U.S. official position 
that “[w]e all agree that there is but one China, and Taiwan is part of 
China. We are guided in our own relationship with China by three communiqu
, which have been negotiated by successive Administrations, and the Taiwan 
Relations Act. And successive Administrations since the time of normalization 
in 1979 have been able to carry forth, develop relations with China and maintain 
good relations with the people of Taiwan."
28. At the daily press briefing of the State Department on December 6, 2006 
 in Washington, D.C.  
29. U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) released its 
2006 annual report on November 16, 2006. The Commission is a bipartisan 
organization established by Congress in 2000 to investigate, analyze and 
provide recommendations to Congress on the economic and national security 
implications of the U.S.-China relationship
30, Ibid.
31. Testimony in Congress on February 7, 2004.
32. Peter Enav, San Francisco Chronicle, August 12, 2006.
33. Council on Foreign Relations, U.S.-China Relations: An Affirmative Agenda,
 a Responsible Course (2007), pp. 47-54, 86-87.
34. Released on March 29, 2007.
35. A New Division of Labor: Meeting America's Security Challenges Beyond 
Iraq, prepared by RAND Project AIR FORCE, the U.S. Air Force's federally 
funded research and development center for studies and analyses.
36.  Showdown: Why China Wants War With the United States (Regnery, 2006). 
an essay and a fiction, presenting hawkish and provocative view on China's 
fast growing military strength. 
37. Ibid., p. 150.
38. China’s New Great Leap Forward: High Technology and Military Power 
in the Next Half-Century (2005).
39. Shihoko Goto, United Press International, Mach 10, 2007
40. Audrey Mcavoy, Terrorism Research Center, Apr 16, 2007
41. U.S. Department of Defense released May 25 a report to Congress on China’
s military power pursuant to the National Defense Authorization Act Fiscal 
Year 2000.  Precision capacity includes Short-Range Ballistic Missiles (SRBMs)
, Medium-Range Ballistic Missiles (MRBMs) (1000-3000 km). Land-Attack Cruise 
Missiles (LACMs), Air-to-Surface Missiles (ASMs). And Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles 
42. Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Institute for 
International Economics,  China: The Balance Sheet (Public Affairs, 2006).
43. James McGregor,  “Advantage, China. In This Match, They Play Us Better 
Than We Play Them," Washington Post, July 31, 2005. 
44. Ted Galen Carpenter,  America’s Coming War with China: A Collision 
Course over Taiwan  (Palgrave Macmillan , 2006). Dr. Carpenter is Vice President 
for Defense and Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute.
45. Richard C. Bush, Untying the Knot: Making Peace in the Taiwan Strait. 
(Brookings Institution Press, 2005). Mr. Bush is former chairman and managing 
director of the American Institute in Taiwan, based in Washington, D.C. 

46. Reported by Jeff Stein, CQ, June 1, 2007.
47. Hart’s conversation with James Fallows in an article, The AtlanticOnline,
 July 5, 2007.   The Philippine LaRouche Society gave the article an alarming 
title: "The Cheney Gang Planned War on China." 
48. Note 45, 
49. H. Cong Res 73. 
50. Yahoo!News, June 26, 2007. The resolution was passed unanimously by 
a voice vote on July 30, 2007.  A similar resolution which was introduced 
by Rep. Chabot in 2004 and again in 2006 went nowhere. Washington Post, 
August 1, 2007.  
51. Letter to Examiner, June 30, 2006.
52. Bruce Herschensohn, Taiwan: The Threatened Democracy (World Aheard, 
2006), p. 26.
53. Ibid., pp. 32-33.
54.  In an update report in March 2006, "Taiwan: Recent Developments and 
U.S. Policy Choices," by Kerry B. Dumbaugh. 
55. In a question-and-answer session, Feinstein said after her speech at 
the annual meeting of the Committee 100 in San Francisco on April 21, 2006. 
Reported David Armstrong, San Francisco Chronicle, April 21, 2006
56. Foreign Policy Association 2003 annual Great Decisions which includes 
the National Opinion Ballot Report. The national opinion ballot survey has 
conducted since 1955.

Copyright(c) 2005, National Association for China's Peaceful Unification(NACPU), Washington D.C., USA. All rights reserved.