Beijing allows for 'very broad' 'one China' policy: WikiLeaks
By Alan Fong, The China PostTaiwan's participation in international organizations can be achieved through a “very broad” interpretation of the “one China” policy, mainland China's vice foreign minister said, according to one of some 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables leaked by the whistleblower Website WikiLeaks.
December 1, 2010, 10:45 am TWN
In the cable wired on April 30, 2009 from the U.S. embassy in Beijing, classified “secret” by the Charge d'Affaires Dan Piccuta, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei said at a working lunch with Piccuta that “Taiwan's participation as an observer at the upcoming May World Health Assembly (WHA) meetings demonstrated what could be achieved based on 'one China, very broadly interpreted.'”
He Yafei also said that Beijing hoped the improvement of cross-strait relations would make the U.S. feel “less burdened, frustrated and nervous.”
The official, however, warned the U.S. that arms sales to Taiwan could “derail” China-U.S. relations. The cable pointed out He's concern on “reports of possible 'very important' and 'potent' arms sales to Taiwan, including 60 Blackhawk helicopters and F-16 C/D fighter aircraft.”
“Such arms sales were a 'very serious issue' for China,” the cable quoted He as saying.
In response, Piccuta was quoted by the Beijing cable as saying “that there had been no change to our one China policy based on the three joint communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA). In accordance with the TRA, the United States made available to Taiwan defense articles that allowed Taiwan to maintain a credible defense.”
Piccuta also “urged China to take steps to reduce military deployments aimed at Taiwan,” it continued.
Singapore's Lee on Beijing's Taiwan Policies
Taiwan was mentioned in another WikiLeaks cable wired by the U.S. embassy in Singapore, also classified “secret.”
In the Singapore cable on a conversation between the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Glyn T. Davies and Singapore's former prime minister and Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, Lee commented on the cross-strait policies by several mainland Chinese presidents.
The cable recorded Lee as commenting that “Jiang wanted to show he was a great man by solving the Taiwan issue in his lifetime, but Hu is more patient and does not have any fixed timeline,” referring to former Chinese President Jiang Zemin and his successor, the incumbent Hu Jintao.
“On Taiwan, Hu will be pragmatic,” the cable paraphrased Lee as saying. “It does not matter to Hu if it takes 10 years or 20 or 30. The key is building links with Taiwan. As in the case of Hong Kong, if necessary the tap could be turned off.”
Under this context, Lee said that “Hu could live with Ma's positions on the '92 consensus' and on not addressing the reunification issue during his term in office. What mattered to Hu was that Taiwan not seek independence,” according to the cable.
Lee's assessment is that “Beijing's calculation seems to be to prevent Taiwan independence in the near term, then bring Taiwan 'back to China,' even if it takes 40 or 50 years,” the cable showed.
Lee also expressed his belief that Xi Jinping, who is believed to be the next Chinese President, will continue Hu's Taiwan policy.