October 26, 2002
ON THE OTHER HAND, A VERY BAD MOMENT:Bush says does not support independence for Taiwan (Reuters, 26 October, 2002)
U.S. President George W. Bush said on Friday the United States would use its influence to ensure China and Taiwan settle their differences peacefully and promised to make it clear to Taipei that Washington does not support independence.
In a news conference with Chinese President Jiang Zemin, Bush said the United States stood by the "one China" policy, which acknowledges that Chinese on both sides of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is only one China and that Taiwan is part of China.
"The 'one China' policy means that the issue ought to be resolved peacefully," Bush said.
"We've got influence with some in the region. We intend to make sure that the issue is resolved peacefully, and that includes making it clear that we do not support independence," Bush added.
No matter the demands of realpolitik, Mr. Bush should never speak so favorably of an enemy at the expense of a friend. But even what he said would have been okay had he added one fairly simple thing: "The 'one China' of which I speak will be a free nation like Taiwan, not a dictatorship like the PRC. And until the mainland is free, democratic and pluralistic, we will continue to help our friends in Taiwan defend themselves."
Posted by Orrin Judd at October 26, 2002 6:44 AM