Excerpt from Daily Press Briefing of U.S. Department of State, by Tom Casey, Deputy Spokesman on September 28, 2006
QUESTION: On Taiwan. Do you have any comment on Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian’s new remarks yesterday saying that Taiwan and China are different countries? And his party also talked about 10-year timetable to turn Taiwan into a normal country. Thanks.
MR. MCCORMACK: Our longstanding position is clear and remains: We do not support Taiwan independence. We are opposed to unilateral changes to the status quo by either side. We take seriously President Chen’s repeated commitments not to permit the constitutional reform process to touch on Taiwan’s status, including territorial definition. President Chen’s fulfillment of his commitments will be a test of leadership, dependability and statesmanship.
QUESTION: A follow-up. The President said that his new remarks do not oppose, you know, his earlier commitment. Do you have any — do you get any clarification from Taiwan so far?
MR. MCCORMACK: I don’t have anything to add to what I just read you.
It is sad Mr. Chen’s dependabiity is criticized publicly by a U.S DoS spokeman again. According to China Times, Mr. Mccormack usually replied questions without paper; however, on this Taiwan question, he slowly spelled out all words on prepared paper. That showed Department of State prepared the answer well and waited for a very question to state it openly. I still remembered on Chen’s first election on 2000, Mainland goverment stated they will listen to Chen’s words and observe his behaviors (听其言，观其行). The observation period was over soon. Beijing then drew a red line and did everything unilaterally, keeping blind on Taiwan’s elected goverment (at least tried or pretended to). Now U.S. goverment almost follow the same strategy.
It is sadder that both Mr. Chen and his predesessor, Mr. Li Denghui share the same incredibility. Mr. Li’s slow but steady transition shocked many political observers as well as Beijing. Mr. Li’s road from the chairman of pro-unification party to the spirit of independence extremists, I think, set a Guiness World Record in political circle.
In economics, when one after one follow the same inappropriate way, we should not only check the personality of the person, but also study the environment and the system around them. Unfortunately Taiwan leader’s problem falled into this category. When Beijing, Washington and international world co-produce a big lie on Taiwan’s status quo, Taiwan’s leaders have no other choice but to distort their own personality one after one.
The saddest thing here is: everybody in the circle know the truth; however, due to current atmosphere of distrust cross Taiwan strait, there is no hope to improve it in the near future. Even all three parties want stabilty and cooperation, they can’t find any baseline and framework. For Beijing and Washington, to put their heads in sands and hope things not to deteriorate, is their only practical choice.