AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IN SHANGHAI
PORTMAN SHANGRI-LA HOTEL, SHANGHAI
SUNDAY, MARCH 30, 1997, 6:00 P.M.
I think that they are more aware now that we would defend Taiwan, if it were militarily attacked. And I think they are much more giving a message of patience and long-term evolution. I thought it was very helpful.
I said we accept the one-China policy. The one-China policy, as predicated in the Shanghai statement of 1972, and the Reagan statement of '82, both state on peaceful accession, peaceful discussion, peaceful decision -- and I said firmly, I said it again today with the person who is in charge of the talks, I said "We understand that, in principle, you will not renounce the right to use force. We want you to understand: We will defend Taiwan" -- period.
And the thing that was striking to me -- I said it in four or five meetings -- we never got into an argument. They never said, "Well, you can't have that right, that's interference." They said, "Okay -- noted." And they would say, basically, "Since we don't intend to attack, you won't have to defend. Let's go on and talk about how we're going to get this thing solved." And I think that's very healthy. But the worst thing that could happen would be an absence of clarity, the Dean Acheson problem of 1950. That's why I've been very calmly -- but again, I've said it very pleasantly, it's been passive, it's been "We will defend." It hasn't been waving a saber, it's just been reminding that the saber's in the scabbard and available.