UNITED STATES: Colin Powell, China and Taiwan

Ross Rogers, Jr. forwarded this article from The Christian Science Monitor (11/.  For the full text,see
http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/1105/p09s01-cods.html  Here is an excerpt:

"Four more years - but not with Powell" by  Daniel Schorr

It was the kind of slip Colin Powell could make only if his mind and heart were not in what he was doing. The secretary of State, who played no part in the election campaign, was on a quickie trip of less than 24 hours to Beijing, trying to work out strategy for the stalemated negotiations with North Korea. Asked in a television interview about the status of Taiwan, he deviated from the language that has been standard since 1972, urging peaceful resolution of the dispute between China and its breakaway province off the mainland. Instead of speaking of "peaceful resolution," the secretary spoke of eventual "reunification," a word that sends supporters of Taiwan's independence up the wall. The Chinese government was, of course, delighted. A Foreign Ministry aide said, "I think this visit to China by Powell is a very meaningful visit." The State Department has been busy ever since explaining that Mr. Powell misspoke and meant no change in the 1972 formula contained in the Nixon-Mao Zedong "Shanghai Communique."

The irony is that if there is any pressure in the Bush administration  to depart from that formula, it comes from the Pentagon and from the neoconservatives who lean toward supporting Taiwanese aspirations for independence.

Your comments are invited. Read the home page of the World Association of International Studies (WAIS) by simply double-clicking on:   http://wais.stanford.edu Mail to Ronald Hilton, Hoover Institution, Stanford, CA 94305-6010. Please inform us of any change of e-mail address.

Ronald Hilton 2004


last updated: December 5, 2004