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Press Release

Remarks Delivered at Press Conference-- Dr. Richard C. Bush, AIT Board Chairman and Managing Director July 8, 1998 at the Taipei American Cultural Center (as Prepared for Delivery)

PR9828E | Date: 1998-07-08

Over the past few days I have had a very productive visit. My only regret is that, because I must go soon to Guam to greet Premier Siew, I cannot stay longer.

From my point of view, I had very productive meetings here, with a number of leading figures inside and outside government. This was consistent with our standard practice of talking with all major figures on the political spectrum. In all cases, I was warmly received and our exchanges were substantive. I deeply appreciate the hospitality shown to me.

The purpose of this press conference is for me to answer your questions. Before I do so, I would like to make a few points.

First, we should not lose sight of the fact that in general closer relations between the United States and the PRC do contribute to global peace and security. Recent developments in South Asia have created a tense and dangerous situation. North Korea still threatens South Korea militarily. The Asian financial crisis is not over, and it does not respect international borders. In all these areas, the U.S. and the PRC share common or parallel interests. If we do not cooperate, the problem could easily get worse. If we work together with others, perhaps we can contain or solve these problems. Greater peace and stability will benefit all in the East Asian region.

Second, President Clinton during his summit visit to the PRC made a strong appeal for freedom, democracy, human rights, and a government that serves the people. He discussed topics not usually mentioned, and did so to hundreds of millions of people. He rejected the idea of Asian values being inimical to the development of democracy. Whether the seeds he planted will bear fruit remains to be seen. What is already clear is that his statements constitute an implicit endorsement of Taiwan. I probably do not have to tell you that the American people have profound respect for Taiwan's accomplishments in the past twelve years, and respect for the opinions of the Taiwan people. We care about their welfare and their security.

Third, as I have said repeatedly: President Clinton did not change policy toward Taiwan and did not damage Taiwan's interests. Whatever achievements occurred in U.S.-PRC relations did not have a negative effect on Taiwan. This is not a zero sum game.

I deeply appreciate and wholeheartedly agree with President Lee's statement that the United States abided by its commitments concerning the summit. Let me emphasize that all of the elements of our policy before the summit -- each of these elements is long-standing -- remain in place: Let me list them all for you so there will be no misunderstanding:

- our one-China policy
- the three communiqu廥
- the TRA, including the mandate to provide defense articles to assume Taiwan's
sufficient self-defense capacity
- the so-called "three nos" are three statements of non-support
- our abiding interest that the Taiwan issue be settled peacefully
- our encouragement, expressed to both sides, that cross-strait dialogue resume
- the six assurances of 1982
- the elements of the Taiwan policy review of 1994, including support for Taiwan's voice
in international organizations and membership in organizations for which statehood is not a requirement

Let me expand on the points about peaceful resolution and resumption of cross- strait dialogue.

The United States has an abiding interest that the process of resolving cross-strait differences be undertaken peacefully.

With respect to the content of cross-strait discussions, with respect to agenda, level, and timing, the U.S. takes no position. Those issues are up to the two parties on a mutually acceptable basis.

I would like to conclude by paraphrasing a statement that President Clinton made in Hong Kong. The President did not intend to change the substance of our policy on Taiwan, and in no way did so. There has been no change.

Thank you. I now welcome your questions.