Senator Jesse Helms
Statement for Asian and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee Hearing on Taiwan
Senate Foreign Relations Committee
July 21, 1999
MR. HELMS: Mr. Chairman, President Lee and Taiwan's government have
been exceedingly helpful to those of us who support the people on
Taiwan by clearing away some of the uncertainty that has surrounded
Taiwan's status for years.
By having the courage to state the obvious -- that the Republic of
China on Taiwan is a de facto sovereign state, the distinguished
President Lee has created an opportunity to break free from the
anachronistic, Beijing-inspired "one-China" policy which has
imprisoned U.S. policy toward China and Taiwan for years.
The "one-China" notion that crept into existence in 1972 has always
been a puzzling fiction. But even if one accepted its Cold War
strategic rationale, the end of the Cold War surely should have
diminished the notion that it was somehow essential to bow and scrape
to Red China by parroting Beijing's concocted diplomatic resolution.
Developments in Taiwan demonstrate that the "one-China" gambit is even
more than an insensible departure from reality. In 1991, the Republic
of China on Taiwan abandoned its claims to sovereignty over all of
China, providing unmistakable implications that there are two Chinese
Moreover, during Taiwan's years of stunning democratic development, a
model for the future of Chinese civilization has made crystal clear
the fact that the 21 million people of Taiwan do not consider
themselves part of the People's Republic of China.
Despite all of this, the Clinton Administration did everything it
could to drive the United States even deeper into the "one-China" hole
-- a good example is the Clinton Administration's caving into
Beijing's "3 Noes" demand last summer.
Now, in response to President Lee's remarks and Beijing's threatening
bluster, the Clinton Administration has, one again, tilted nervously
toward Beijing -- first by trotting out the banal "one-China"
language, then repeating Red China's "3-Noes" dictum -- twice! Not
until this past Thursday, after days of prodding, did the
administration finally bring itself back to a degree of common sense
by restating U.S. defense commitments to Taiwan under the Taiwan
At a time when the United States should be seizing every opportunity
to break free of Beijing's definition of "one-China" (not to mention
making pointed reminders to Beijing regarding our long-standing
defense obligations to Taiwan) the Clinton Administration is paralyzed
by its own anachronistic policy, better known as appeasement.
Mr. Chairman, I am among the growing number of Americans who are weary
of watching our good friends on Taiwan left twisting in the wind by
the Clinton strategists for surrender. Now is the time to support
President Lee and the people of Taiwan for their moral courage in
standing up for themselves in the face of Red China's bullying.