Taiwan's Future Relations with China Remarks by Dr. Joseph Wu.
Dr. Joseph Wu, Representative, Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States, has graciously agreed to speak on behalf of Taiwan's Minister of Foreign Affairs, James Huang. Due to an unanticipated change in Mr. Huang's schedule, he had to cancel his visit to the Bay Area. - World Affairs Council of Northern California
Jaushieh Joseph Wu
Dr. Wu Jaushieh (Joseph) is Taiwan's representative to the United States. He heads the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Washington, DC. Prior to this assignment, Wu chaired the Mainland Affairs Council (2004-2007) and served as Deputy Secretary-General to President Chen Shui-bian (2002-2004).
Before entering government service, Dr. Wu taught at National Chengchi University in Taipei. He earned his doctorate in political science at Ohio State University. He is the author of Taiwan's Democratization: Forces Behind the New Momentum （Oxford University Press, 1995）and the editor of Divided Nations: The Experience of Germany, Korea, and China (Institute of International Relations, 1995) and China Rising: Implications of Economic and Military Growth of the PRC (Institute of International Relations, 2001).
Representative Wu had an extensive career in Taiwanese Domestic Politics andInternational Relations before he was appointed Taiwan's chief representative in theUnited States last April. Dr. Wu was one of Taipei's top China policy officials, serving asChairman of the Mainland Affairs Council in the Executive Yuan, Taiwan's executivebranch of government. He has also held the post of Deputy Secretary General to PresidentChen Shui-bian. His experience for international politics includes the post as DeputyDirector of the Institute of International Relations at the national Chengchi University.And as an author of numerous books on topics as Taiwanese political development, crosstrades relationships and the history of divided nations. As Taiwan's chief representativein the United States he currently leads Taipei's efforts to maintain the level of supportwhich Taiwan has traditionally enjoyed in Washington in spite of increasingly complexinternational realities and the People's Republic of China's economic and political rise.Please join me in welcoming his Excellency Dr. Joseph Wu.Well, thank you very much George for the introduction. I am delighted to be here at theNorthern California World Affairs Council, to share with you some of my observationsand understandings of Taiwan's domestic situation, Taiwan-US relations and the crossroad relations. George mentioned about the this event as part of series on Eastern Asiademocratization. And Taiwan happens to a new democracy in East Asia. I still rememberquite vividly that when I was going to college in Taiwan, Taiwan was still under MartialLaw. And there were some occasions where college students tried to have a couple ofbeers and after a couple of beers the tongue started to get loose and then we started to talkabout politics at those days. And then usually what happen afterward was that we getthreatened, we get warned by the school authorities, by the secret police and things likethat. And since I was in a family where one of my close family members being arrestedand sentenced to 12 years without any reason, so you know, those kinds of they justtend to get me very scared.So after after one of those events, when I walked on the street in Taiwan, I had to keeplooking back to see that there is nobody following me, to make sure that I am not going todisappear from the street scene. Those were the good old days where things were certain.Those were the good old days where we don't have to determine our own future. It wasthe authoritarian leaders who determined our future. But luckily the Taiwan peopleworked very hard to help the democratization in Taiwan coming true. But I don't think itsTaiwan people alone who brought the reality of Taiwan's democracy. It was the UnitedStates, the US government and the US people who helped Taiwan relentlessly.Even in 1979, the year I came to the United States for higher education; that was a yearwhen the Taiwan Relations Act was passed. The Taiwan Relations Act was passed by theCongress of the United States in order to safeguard Taiwan's security, in order tomaintain a normal but unofficial relation with Taiwan. And I got a copy of that TaiwanRelations Act with me today, to show you how much we appreciate the American supportof Taiwan's democratization and let me read "Nothing contained in this act show counterviewing the interest of the United States in human rights, especially with respect to thehuman rights of the approximately 18 million inhabitants." It was 18 million at that time,now it's 23. The preservation and the enhancement of human rights of all the people onTaiwan are here by reaffirmed as the objective of the United States. And at those daysin those days the US government officials together with the US Congressmen and manypeople who advocate democracy and freedom at those days, tried to help the Taiwanpeople to establish democracy. To help Taiwan people do advance liberalism andfreedom. And finally in 1986, Taiwan was able to get rid of the Marshal Law that ran for 38 years.In the very next year the first genuine opposition party, now the ruling party, theDemocratic Progressive Party was formally established and a couple of years later aTaiwanese being elected into the presidency and then in 1991, the law or theconstitutional law part of our constitutional law called emergency decree was beingabolished by the newly elected president President Lee Teng-hui. And that gave thebasis for re election of Taiwan's Parliament, including the Legislative Yuan and theNational Assembly. And therefore that marked the very beginning of Taiwan'sdemocratization and then Taiwan marched on the road of no return of democratization.In 1996, we had the first direct presidential election. And people held Taiwan as genuinedemocracy. And we have free and open and you know, free and fair and periodicalelections ever since then. And I think Taiwan has become a full democracy. And we arerather proud of it. And I am sure the American people, American Congressmen andAmerican administrations are all very proud of it, because this is the product of theirpolicy towards freedom and democracy. But after Taiwan attained freedom anddemocracy, somehow something become not very right in between Taiwan and the United States.I think in the first classes, when I took the PhD degree in Ohio State University., theprofessors at the courses on democratization started to tell us that democracy meansuncertainty. Certainty is only associated with those authoritarian regions. And thereforewhen Taiwan becomes democratic, there is something hard to control in Taiwan and thepeople feels that they have to exert their own assertions. People feel that they have to talkabout their own destinations and therefore all kinds of political views in Taiwan are beingprotected under our constitution. People are free to evocate what they want to say, andwhat they want to believe and that was democracy. And that became some of theproblems in between Taiwan and the United States.And the source of that problem actually is not the United States who does not likeuncertainty. Actually the source of problem is because China does not want to see Taiwanfeels the way it wants to feel, or Taiwan people want to determine their own future. Chinawants to incorporate Taiwan. China wants to see Taiwan become part of China. Andthat's the source of the problem. And I think in recent years, especially after the "anticessation law" was adopted by the national people's congress in March 2005; we startedto see so many incidents that China want to suffocate Taiwan internationally, that Chinawants to squeeze Taiwan out of international politics and out of international arenasaltogether. And I can read you just some of the examples to show you how extreme Chinais willing to go to squeeze Taiwan out of the international arena and to show you that thisbecome part of the problem.October 2005, the Google in order for the Google to get a license in China, itrecognized China's One China principle. And in this English map, register Taiwan as aprovince of China. And the ninth International Firefighter's Game held on February 13th2006, Taiwan was forced by the organizer to call itself no longer as Taiwan or as theRepublic of China, our former title, but as Taipei China. And the fire fightersparticipating in that game could not tolerate it and they protested and protested, but to noavail. So they withdrew from the game. There is an international organization calledInternational Standard Organization and it does not agree Taiwan to participate as amember but it accepts China's request to call Taiwan not just Taiwan but Taiwanprovince of China. And I can go on the list it's too very long list of how China is tryingto deal with Taiwan and those non governmental organizations, and of course whenChina squeezes Taiwan, Taiwan has to react; especially the Taiwan people who sufferedbecause of that kind of pressure by the Chinese government. The Taiwanese people whowanted to participate international activities, who are no longer able to do so after theChinese pressure, they have to react and the President on behalf of the Taiwan people orthe government on behalf of the Taiwan people have to react as well. And when we reactsomehow the international community thinks that Taiwan is making some trouble. But Ithink we have to make things very clear at this point.Let me give you some very specific examples of why Taiwan people are so extremelyangry at some of the Chinese tactics adopted against Taiwan and therefore Taiwan has tomake some reactions. The first is the WHO participation. We have been applying for theWHO Observership for more than 10 years and we started to apply this year as anobserver, as a member. But then when we apply as a member there were a lot people whothink that Taiwan is making trouble because Taiwan is asserting itself as a sovereigncountry. Well, I think when you hear the story that it's about to be rattier, I am sure youwould agree with Taiwan that Taiwan needs to participate as a member.In May 2005, China and the WHO Secretariat signed a memorandum of understandingsecret memorandum. We still don't know what that memorandum is like. But there is animplementation of that memorandum and that has been circulated around and we got ahold of it at the beginning of this year and part of this implementation is is things like,whenever Taiwan needs experts not to be invited by the WHO, to participate in someWHO related events, the WHO Secretariat needs to send the request to the ChineseCommission in Geneva. And then the Chinese Commission will send it to the Ministry ofHealth in Beijing for approval and when the Beijing authority approved that the WHOcan invite the Taiwanese expert to participate in those events then the WHO can invitethe Taiwanese experts to participate. And if there is any emergency event in Taiwan andthe WHO wants to see if it needs to send experts to Taiwan, it needs to make a request tothe Beijing authorities, to ask Beijing authorities whether those disasters or events arecertainly disasters. And then when Beijing authority says that it's a disaster that the WHOcan send experts to Taiwan, then the WHO can sent expert to Taiwan.So this is the implementation of the memorandum signed in between the Chinesegovernment and the WHO Secretariat. Under such kind of circumstances, Taiwan peopleor Taiwan experts who want to participate in the WHO, as long as they continue toparticipate in the WHO, and I think Taiwan sovereignty is going to suffer because weparticipate because of the approval of the Chinese government. So this is a very extremeexample. But this is not alone. This is just part of the series of the Chinese tactics insqueezing Taiwan out of international play.Let me read you another international organization and the Chinese attempt to squeezeTaiwan out. That is the World Health's World Organization for Animal Health. Youknow they not only deal with Taiwan's people's health but also animal health. In themeetings this year in Paris, of this World Organization of Animal Health, the Chinesegovernment wanted to push forward for a resolution to affirm that there is only one Chinathe One China Principle and Taiwan is but a part of China and to call Taiwan as TaiwanChina. And this is the drafted resolution by the Chinese government and it force theorganizer, or forced the secretariat of the OIE or there World Organization of AnimalHealth to adopt and almost, the OIE Secretariat adopted that resolution. There is only oneword different in between the Chinese version and the OIE Secretariat version. SoTaiwan almost became Taiwan China in participating in the OIE, and I think the earliertactics of the Chinese government some of the cables I saw was that if Taiwan does notaccept this arrangement, Taiwan is going to be kicked out of the OIE. Taiwan was anoriginal member of the OIE.So this is the Chinese way of doing things and you know; this is the document. And it'snot only that. And recent events includes ICANN, Internet Corporation for AssignedNames and Numbers that's ICANN, the Chinese government you know, we are originalmember, but the Chinese government is trying to squeeze Taiwan out or change Taiwan'stitle. This is one of the most recent events. And then Olympics is something that a lot ofpeople are interested in to see if Taiwan is going to welcome Olympic torch relays. Andthis is downloaded from the Chinese website, it's still hanging on the official website inthe official it's official website of the Chinese Olympic Committee and their tour list ofcountries that the Olympic torch are going to be passed. And that the first part isinternational route. But that doesn't include Taiwan. And the second part it's a secondstage the first stop is Taipei and it puts Taipei as part of china in its Olympic relay. Andas I spoke with some of the American officials that deal with directly with relationswith Taiwan, they feel just as we feel, that the Chinese government is using itsoverwhelming diplomatic influences in the international organizations everywhere, insqueezing Taiwan out and this is the most recent example of how Chinese maneuver isaffecting Taiwan's sovereignty, it's affecting Taiwan's international participation.Now on behalf of Taiwan's NGO, trying to participate in the UN and this organizationcalled The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination againstWomen, and this is a letter sent back by the Secretary General and let me just read onesentence to you. In the resolution 2750-58 the General Assembly decided to recognize therepresentative of the People's Republic of China as the only legitimate representatives ofChina to the United Nations. This is original resolution. But the second part was not onthe original resolution and that's how far the Chinese would go. In accordance with thatresolution, the United Nations considers Taiwan for all purposes to be an integral part ofthe People's Republic of China. And of course these kinds of thing would anger theTaiwan people. These kinds of thing would limit Taiwan's international participation andthese kinds of thing would prompt Taiwan's reactions, and I think that the reaction isalready is being seen and this is what we see as the most difficult part in Taiwan'sinternational participation.Of course there were people who say that, "Well Taiwan should not pursueindependence." But look at Taiwan today, Taiwan does not have any relations withChina. Taiwan and China have been separated after 1949 and on Taiwan part we have apresident with a parliament, both represent the highest sovereignty in the territory. Andafter 1949 the government of Taiwan exercises exclusive jurisdiction over the territoryunder its control. So Taiwan in effect is independent and thus what a lot of peoplehave been describing Taiwan as de facto independent. So if Taiwan is independent, whypeople are so bothered by Taiwan's independence, since it's already a reality.So I think this is has to do with China's attempt to incorporate Taiwan, to make Taiwanbecome part of the PRC, that is causing a lot of confusion, that is causing a lot of troublein between Taiwan and the United States and causing a lot of trouble in between Taiwanand China. But luckily we have the United States on our side almost all the time, in allparticipation in international activities. For example you know after I came to theUnited States in April, I started to handle the OIE participation, the World Organizationfor Animal Health, the administration officials understand the Chinese tactics insqueezing Taiwan out of international arena and therefore worked very hard with theTaiwan side in order to safeguard Taiwan's membership in the OIE and try to preserveTaiwan's title, in trying to preserve Taiwan's rights in participating in the OIE; andtherefore Taiwan's membership is preserved. Taiwan is able to use a different form of ourtitle, the Chinese Taipei, even though we don't like it, because it's not our national titleand it's not Taiwan. But we can temporarily live with it.So that is how far the United States is willing to go in safeguarding Taiwan'sinternational participation. And I think I also had a chat with some administrationofficials over the letter send by the Secretary General of the United Nations, and I thinkthe urgency of the matter was also understood and I believe that the administrationofficials are going to help Taiwan so that Taiwan does not legally become part of Chinain China's legal warfare against Taiwan internationally. And I think in the relationsbetween Taiwan and the United States, as I said, Taiwan can have it's democracy partlybecause of the effort of the American people, American Congress and the Americanadministration officials and we are proud of the fact and we are treasured we treasurethe relations with the United States. And I often say that relation between Taiwan andUnited States is going to be very long lasting and it's going to be very solid, and just lookat me you know, one who was educated in the United States for almost 10 years, andcarried back to Taiwan was me the American values and even the American way ofthinking about things, and therefore the United States has all sorts of allies in Taiwan,like me, and we will stand by the United States when the United States is spendingfreedom and the democracy. And we also hope that the United States can help Taiwansafe guarding its freedom and peace and democracy as well.And I'll end here in order to take your questions. Thank you.