The Taiwan Travel Act if passed is a political statement from the U.S. Congress to influence the U.S. Administration’s China Policy. The US-China Forum (UCF) is formed by a group of Chinese Americans caring about the unification of Mainland and Taiwan and the future welfare of Chinese people. The majority of the forum supporters live in California but the readers of the Forum is nationwide and gradually becoming worldwide. The members of UCF sent a letter to Senator Feinstein to urge her to vote no on the Taiwan Travel Act and they received a reply letter from Senator Feinstein as published in this forum. I am impressed and moved by Senator Feinstein’s taking the time responding quickly to UCF’s letter. Even though more Chinese Americans live in the State of New York, I have not seen New York Congressmen or Senators responding to Chinese Americans so promptly on their political concerns.
As a New Yorker, I read and like to respond to Senator Feinstein’s letter, in my column, hopefully I can reach the other Congressmen and Senators about the Chinese Americans’ view on this issue of One China Policy. The major points in Senator Feinstein’s letter are 1. “The U.S. must maintain a policy of engagement with China.”, 2. “Not call into the question of the above policy every time we have controversial issue or differences.”, 3. “I also support One China Policy. ..The One China Policy has worked well. ...Taiwan has become a model of fledging democracy.”, and 4. “I fully support the development of a democratic Taiwan and the absolute necessity of a peaceful resolution of its differences with China.” The following is my comments.
Senator Feinstein is so right on her first point. The U.S. and China are two greatest powers on this planet today. We must engage in a collaborative manner for mutual benefits as well as for world peace and prosperity. The Uni-Polar World Order never existed and will remain as an illusion as past imperialistic foreign policy of any past world power had demonstrated. However, the key word, ‘collaborative’ not confrontational must be in the engagement policy to be productive. Senator Feinstein is also right that whatever issues the U.S. wishes to influence China should not call into the question of the U.S. standing policy of engagement with China and One China policy. Rather, the U.S. should engage in a positive diplomacy not a negative diplomacy to engage China on the world stage. The U.S. must maintain a ‘consistent’ not a ‘convenient’ foreign policy especially on the China Policy.
It is so great to hear from Senator Feinstein to say that I also support One China Policy. It implies that many Senators do support One China Policy. China agrees with the U.S. to a peaceful reunification with Taiwan so long Taiwan is not seeking separation or independence. This is easily understandable. For example, if a group of Californians promote and declare independence of California, don’t the rest of the U.S. have the right to oppose such a ridiculous attempt. In fact, the Catalonia independence episode in Spain is a real case. The U.S. and many EU States are supporting Spain unification, even though it is Spain’s domestic issue. So on the Taiwan issue, the U.S. must take a honest position in supporting the One China Policy. Encouraging Taiwan government to seek independence even resisting reunification is an inconsistent even hypocritical “engaging China” “One China Policy”.
Senator Feinstein is right about not to call into the question of “engage China” and “One China” policies. Human rights, political freedom, security issues and Taiwan reunification with Mainland must be dealt with on their merits under the One China Policy. We have witnessed day and night change on human rights, political freedom and security issues over the years; conservatively, more than 500 million Chinese had been brought above the poverty line, 12.6 million in 2016 alone. It took us 150 years from Independence Day to give women voting rights. In China, democracy is used as a tool in many levels and many places but not touted as an ideology, a correct political science point of view. Democracy can take different forms to serve ideology just as Robert’s rules can be applied differently in different institutions such as unions, corporations, town governments, school boards and Congress.
We all have genuine concern for the welfare of People in Taiwan. Most of the world (majority of UN members) believe in One China Policy and its ultimate benefit to the Taiwan people. “A fledging Democracy” does not mean that a ruling party should prosecute the opposing political party, deny constitution, engage in separatism among its citizens, does it? The Mainland China legislated clearly that the reunification will be peaceful unless Taiwan seeks independence. Therefore, it is obvious, if the U.S. believes in One China Policy, She should legislate laws or declare resolutions to encourage Taiwan and Mainland China to move to reunification peacefully, for example, participating in Olympics under One China (like the two Koreans courageously did in 2018 Winter Olympics) or joining The WHO under One China Policy for the health benefits of all Chinese people. Taiwan government politically refuses humanitarian aid from Mainland China when a 6.4 degree earthquake hit Hualian to make a political statement is beyond our comprehension.
Knowing that Senator Feinstein will closely monitor our foreign policies is assuring. I thank her office paying attention to Chinese Americans’ concerns. I hope the other senators and Congressmen will be as conscientious in dealing with China Policy.