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Official Text

Departure Statement By AIT Chairman and Managing Director Dr. Richard Bush, July 25, 1999 CKS International Airport (as Prepared for Delivery)

BG9910E | Date: 1999-07-26

I would like to thank so many friends in the media for coming to meet with me today. I apologize that we have to meet on a Sunday.

I have had a full and productive visit. I will make a statement, which I believe will address to an appropriate degree all the major issues. There are other questions, but it is inappropriate for me to answer those.

As I said, I had a very busy schedule and had the opportunity to exchange views with Taiwan's senior officials. I came here not to mediate or exert pressure but to understand.

I met with President Lee, Vice President Lien, Premier Siew, Foreign Minister Hu, National Defense Minister Tang, Secretary General Yin, Senior Presidential Advisor Ding, MAC Chairman Su, and SEF Chairman Koo. I was received warmly and courteously by all. Our discussions were thorough and direct, as befits conversations among friends. My personal respect for Taiwan's leaders was deepened even more.

As a result of those discussions, I have better understanding of Taipei's views on cross-Strait relations and Taipei has a better understanding of Washington's views. I will leave it to the Taiwan side to discuss its views.

For my part, let me be very clear: the friendship of the American people and the people on Taiwan is rock solid. All the elements of the Administration's policy towards Taiwan remain in place. The United States remains committed to faithful implementation of the Taiwan Relations Act.

Most important among the elements of US policy is our abiding interest in the peaceful resolution of the cross-Strait issue. American officials in recent conversations with PRC officials have stressed this point many times. The U.S. has also stressed the importance of cross-Strait dialogue. The United States has a simple approach to very complicated issues: steps that promote a reduction of tensions, cross-Strait dialogue, and peace and stability in the region are good. Steps that result in increased tensions, a freezing of dialogue, and regional instability and conflict are not good. Obviously, progress must occur on a mutually acceptable basis. Each side must have some measure of confidence in the intentions of the other.

The "one-China" principle is the cornerstone of U.S. policy. Six administrations - four Republican and two Democratic - have adhered to it over the past twenty-plus years. That principle has contributed to an environment in which peace has prevailed, Taiwan has become prosperous and democratic, and cross-Strait cooperation has flourished.

How specifically to define the "one-China" principle and how concretely to realize it are best left to the two sides of the Strait on a mutually acceptable basis. How to promote cross-Strait dialogue, exchanges, and cooperation is up to the two sides.