FAPA strongly condemns the “Anti-Secession Law” vowing to seek Congressional Support to counter the Chinese Anti-Secession Law
FAPA today strongly condemns the passage of the Anti-Secession Law by China’s National People’s Congress. The law unnecessarily heightens the cross-strait tension, provokes U.S. interests in the region, and erroneously defines Taiwan as part of China. This law has created a legal framework, paving the way for ultimately a Chinese military attack against Taiwan. FAPA urges the U.S. Congress, the Administration and the international community to strongly condemn the “Anti-Secession Law” and demand that China publicly renounces the use of force against Taiwan.
It is seen as a wrong move by FAPA that the Chinese government uses the word “secession”, allegedly an inspiration stemming from the U.S. civil war in the 1860s. By evoking the history of the civil war, China attempts to attract support from the U.S. Judging from the reactions from U.S. scholars, Members of Congress and government officials, the Chinese government obviously misreads the public mood. For anyone who has a basic knowledge of the U.S.-Taiwan-China relationship would easily agree that there is no parallel between the U.S. civil war and the current situation in the Taiwan Strait. Moreover, the loss of lives and the damage the Civil War caused to the U.S. economy during the civil war left a permanent scar on generations of Americans. This move by the Chinese only alienates the Americans further.
The claim of the “Anti-Secession Law” that Taiwan is part of China ignores the current reality in the Taiwan Strait. It contradicts the status quo and negates the fact that Taiwan is a de facto independent country. It is also a direct violation of U.S. policy that simply acknowledges the Chinese position on Taiwan but does not take position on Taiwan’s sovereignty as reconfirmed in President Reagan’s “Six Assurances.” The “Anti-Secession Law” that characterizes China’s ownership of Taiwan’s sovereignty contradicts U.S. policy.
FAPA believes that the Anti-Secession Law also seriously threatens the national interests of the U.S. in the region. Section 8 in the “Anti-Secession Law” irrevocably gives China the right to unilaterally change the status quo. It also reaffirms Chinese determination to use force against Taiwan and creates a legal framework for Chinese unification through force. Section 8 which lists three conditions for China to launch non-peaceful methods against Taiwan clearly indicates that it is up to Chinese interpretation to determine what actions that Taiwan will undertake will constitute a reason to attack Taiwan. It gives China the right to unilaterally define and change the status quo. It also contradicts U.S. long-term policy and seriously threatens the U.S. regional security interests.
As Robert Kagan from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace pointed out in his recent op-ed in the Washington Post, the three conditions listed in Section 8 in the Chinese “Anti-Secession Law” means all of the above – whether Taiwan declares independence or not, as long as Taiwan refuses to submit to the communist rule, China will have the right to attack Taiwan. When the U.S. is obliged to help Taiwan sustain its self-defensive capability, based on the Taiwan Relations Act, FAPA worries that the “Anti-Secession Law” which allows China to unilaterally define the conditions for a war in the Taiwan Strait, raises the chances of U.S. involvement in such a war.
FAPA President Ming-chi Wu said, “FAPA has been making the rounds on Capitol Hill. We have suggested to several Members of Congress to hold a press conference, publicly and together condemning this provocative action by the Chinese. We will also suggest to Members of Congress that they take concrete actions, such as passing legislation to support Taiwan’s democracy, reaffirm U.S. commitment to Taiwan’s security and emphasize a peaceful resolution for the future of Taiwan that has the express consent of the 23 million of people of Taiwan.”
Wu concludes, “The mere existence of Taiwan’s democracy is a thorn in the China’s thigh and a roadblock on China’s reunification agenda. Only by standing with Taiwan and demanding that China publicly renounces the use of force against Taiwan will the international society see an eventual peace in the Taiwan Strait.”