2023-1221: U.S. Must End Its “One China” Policy: Rep. Tom Tiffany; Taiwan Retains No.1 in Asia on Freedom Index; U.S. Arms Sales to Taiwan

“America’s ‘One China’ Policy Is a Delusion We Can No Longer Afford”: Rep. Tom Tiffany’s Op-Ed

In a Washington Times op-ed on December 20, U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-WI) urges the United States to abandon its dishonest and dangerous “One China” policy, and recognize Taiwan for what it is — “a free, democratic and independent country.”

In his article, titled “America’s ‘One China’ policy is a delusion we can no longer afford,” Rep. Tiffany writes: “On New Year’s Day 1979, then-President Jimmy Carter severed formal U.S. ties with Taiwan and recognized the unelected Communist Party regime in Beijing as ‘the sole legal government of China.’”

“Many things have changed in the years since,” he observes. “Yet more than four decades later, Mr. Carter’s foolish ‘One China’ policy remains in place. It is little more than a decaying relic.”

He adds: “Presidents of both political parties have continued to dutifully repeat the State Department’s robotic mantra that [the U.S. acknowledged the Chinese position that] there is ‘One China and Taiwan is part of China.’ It’s a dogma that is as dangerous as it is dishonest.”

Rep. Tiffany emphasizes: “Taiwan has never been under the control of mainland China or part of its territory — not even for a single day. Taiwan elects its own leaders, administers its own territory, conducts its own diplomatic and trade relations, sets its own immigration rules, and maintains its own armed forces. All of these are the indisputable hallmarks of a sovereign state.”

“China’s bombastic claim that ‘Taiwan has always been an inalienable part of China’ also collapses under even the most basic scrutiny. Taiwan has been separately governed since before the People’s Republic of China was established in 1949 — and for the half century preceding the end of World War II, it was actually part of Japan.”

He points out: “In many ways, the ‘One China’ farce is reminiscent of the timeless Hans Christian Andersen tale ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes.’”

“Like the king in Andersen’s fable, America’s decision to acknowledge the Chinese Communist Party’s bogus claims over Taiwan has led other leaders to follow suit and accept fiction as fact. Currently, only 13 countries recognize Taiwan.”

He continues: “The results — much like the emperor’s birthday suit — are visible to everyone. In the West, this fealty to Beijing has led to debt traps, ballooning trade deficits, lost manufacturing jobs, a deadly fentanyl epidemic, and espionage on an industrial scale.” 

“In China, it has fueled a menacing military buildup and baseless territorial claims, and enabled forced labor, human rights abuses and even genocide.”

“It’s a delusion the world can no longer afford,” Rep. Tiffany concludes. “For too long, democracies around the globe have been pretending to see something that simply isn’t there. The United States should lead by example and end this tired charade.”

He adds: “The good news is that support is growing on Capitol Hill for a policy change, one that rejects the ‘One China’ sham. In fact, 50 House lawmakers have already co-sponsored legislation [H.Con.Res.10] calling for a reality-based framework that recognizes Taiwan for what it is: a free, democratic and independent country.”

(Read the full article HERE)

[1] Washington Times: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2023/dec/20/americas-one-china-policy-is-delusion-we-can-no-lo/

Taiwan Retains No.1 in Asia on Freedom Index

Taiwan was listed as the freest country in Asia in the 2023 Human Freedom Index (HFI), retaining its position from the previous year. The index report was jointly published on December 19 by the U.S.-based Cato Institute and the Canada-based Fraser Institute.

Using 86 distinct indicators in two major categories — “personal freedom” and “economic freedom,” the HFI presents the state of “human freedom” in the world.

Among the 165 jurisdictions covered in the 2023 report, Taiwan scored 8.56 (out of 10) for human freedom, which was well above the global average of 6.75 and put the country 12th in the world and the freest in Asia.

Taiwan scored 8.98 for personal freedom, ranking 12th globally (unchanged from 2020). In economic freedom, Taiwan scored 7.97, ranking 11th (up from 24th in 2020).

The report defines freedom as negative freedom or the absence of coercive constraints.

Personal freedom variables include the rule of law; security and safety; movement; religion; association, assembly, and civil society; expression and information; and relationships.

Economic freedom variables consist of the size of government; legal system and property rights; sound money (focusing mainly on inflation); freedom to trade internationally; and regulation.

Switzerland once again ranked the freest country in the world in the 2023 HFI. It was followed by New Zealand, Denmark, Ireland, Estonia and Sweden (tied for fifth), Iceland, Luxembourg, Finland, and Norway.

Japan was the second-highest country in Asia at 16th, followed by South Korea at 28th, and Singapore in 44th.

China was 149th, while Syria was the lowest-ranked country.

According to the report, human freedom “deteriorated severely” in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, with nearly 90 percent of the global population experiencing “significant declines in the rule of law; freedom of movement, expression, and association and assembly; and freedom to trade.”

[1] Focus Taiwan: https://focustaiwan.tw/politics/202312200005
[2] Taipei Times: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2023/12/21/2003810932

U.S. Announces US$300 Million Arms Sales to Taiwan

The U.S. Department of State has approved a US$300 million Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to Taiwan that includes life cycle support and related equipment to maintain Taiwan’s C4 (Command, Control, Communications, and Computers) capabilities of its military forces. It was the 12th announcement of arms sales to Taiwan under U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration.

The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) had delivered the required certification to the U.S. Congress, notifying it of the possible FMS, according to its statement dated December 15.

According to the DSCA, Taiwan had requested to purchase follow-on life cycle support for the C4 capabilities managed under its “Syun An” (Swift Security) program, which maintains and modernizes military ability.

“The proposed sale will improve [Taiwan’s] capability to meet current and future threats by enhancing operational readiness and maintenance of its existing C4 capabilities and sustaining capabilities that provide secure flow of tactical information required for the development of a Joint Common Operational Picture [COP],” the DSCA added.

A COP is a continuously updated overview of information shared by more than one command that enables them to make informed and accurate decisions.

Meanwhile, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said that the arms sale would help maintain the effectiveness of its joint combat command and control systems so it can improve battlefield awareness.

The ministry expressed gratitude to the U.S. for its continual provision of defense articles under the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) and the Six Assurances, which is the foundation of regional peace and stability in the face of an increasingly aggressive China.

In a statement, Taiwan’s Presidential Office said the latest arms sale signified the U.S.’ unwavering commitment to Taiwan’s security under the TRA and the Six Assurances.

Taiwan will continue building up its capability to attain “defense autonomy,” deepening Taiwan-U.S. relations, and working with like-minded countries in ensuring peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region, it said.

[1] Focus Taiwan: https://focustaiwan.tw/politics/202312160005
[2] Taipei Times: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2023/12/17/2003810735