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USCPF Hosts Congressional Dialogue with Chinese Scholars: “The Taiwan Issue and US-China Relations”

On September 25, 2002 at the Capital Building, the US-China Policy Foundation held a congressional dialogue between staffers from both the House of Representatives and the Senate and three Chinese scholars. Xu Shiquan, President of the Institute of Taiwan Affairs at the Chinese Academy of Social Science, Su Ge, Vice-President of the China Institute of International Studies, and Yang Jiemian, Vice-President of the Shanghai Institute of International Studies addressed the staffers over breakfast, sharing their respective views on US-China relations as well as the Taiwan situation.

As part of his third visit to the United States this year, Professor Xu began by stating that the scholars’ mission is to help promote the bilateral relationship between the United States and China and to help improve the dynamics surrounding the Taiwan issue. Xu feels this is especially important in light of Jiang Zemin’s visit to President Bush’s Crawford Ranch and the press’ increasing coverage of Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian.

Professor Yang furthered that the United States and China have expanded areas of cooperation as a result of joint efforts to end world terrorism. Yang cited the addition of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), a Uighur separatist group, to the US list of terrorist organizations as an example of US and Chinese cooperation. Other examples of positive cooperation according to Yang, include non-proliferation efforts and WTO cooperation between the United States and China.

Speaking last, Professor Su compared US-China relations to a sailboat in a river saying both countries would like to raise the water level to ensure smooth sailing. In this sense, Su feels that both countries have many of the same interests. The United States and China would both like to see peace between India and Pakistan and between North and South Korea, as well as continued economic development in the Asia Pacific region.

All three scholars believe this optimistic view should be applied to settlement of the Taiwan issue. According to Professor Xu, the United States and China both want a peaceful reunification for Taiwan. He believes that China is committed to the one country – two systems concept and wants to uphold the rule of law within Taiwan. This is further manifested by the faith of both young Taiwanese and mainland Chinese in increased political and economic ties between the mainland and Taiwan.

The US-China Policy Foundation plans to hold the next congressional dialogue for staffers from the House and Senate in November to cover the outcome of the Chinese government’s 16th Party Congress.

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