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One issue we brought up with President Ma was the incarceration of the former President
Chen. One of the red flags of a democracy that it isn't working real well is that
the former president is in jail. That is true in just about any country. What are we doing
to seek either the humane treatment or the humanitarian parole for the former President
Chen?
As you know, the former president was convicted on corruption charges after his 2008 presidency,
including the transfer of presidential office funds to private Swiss bank accounts. We believe
that his conviction was in a system that is fair, impartial and transparent. Rule of law
exists in Taiwan. In regard to your specific question, certainly we have heard varying
accounts of the status of his health, and certainly we would want Taiwan to review his
health condition. I am not aware of any or I don't have an update
Let me go on to the next question. Taiwan is spending only half as much of GDP on defense
as we are, I don't mind going to my district and say, Let's pay taxes, but Taiwan is
on the front lines. I am sure you've had discussions when they say they can't afford
to spend anymore. We are all very concerned about the maintenance of their F16 aircrafts.
The US taxpayers may not be able to pay for that. Taiwan has only a 5% value added tax.
Has the US pushed Taiwan not just to spend more on its defense, but if they say they
don't have the money to make its value added tax or other taxes at the rate of our European
allies who we also push to pay for their own defense?
On the issue of spending more, we have encouraged Taiwan to fulfill what it has said in the
past that it will spend up to 3% of their GDP on defense.
Why do we accept 3% for them and including veteran benefits, 5% for us?
This is what President Ma has stated in the past, and so we do hope that  [interrupted]
I think the best way to get the 3% is to start demanding 6%, or insisting that a good ally
that seeks our support for a country that faces possible eradication or forced incorporation
ought to be doing well more than the US per capita, and I think if we start to talk about
the 6% then we may someday see 3 or 4% at the minimum. Finally, what are we doing to
push Taiwan to adopt better laws against the peer to peer websites for piracy movies?
I think that this is part of our economic engagement with Taiwan. What we've had said
in the past, and this is in terms of all our dialogues, we would like to have a little
bit more confidence, especially in areas such as intellectual property protection...[interrupted]
But are we specifically focusing on peer-to-peer websites, the lack of legislation in that
area, and the pirating of our movies?
I am not aware of...(both speaking at once)...Intellectual property protection definitely is a priority
of ours...
A general statement about intellectual property protection won't have the specific effect
or may have no effect, compared to the specificity, and I hope that you will specifically focus
their attention on the peer-to-peer website piracy of our movies. Finally, what steps
is the Administration taking to make sure that Taiwan has appropriate participation
in international organizations, such as WHO, ICAO, and the climate control (UNFCCC—UN
Framework Convention on Climate Change)?
As I noted earlier, international space is a priority of ours, and we are looking for
opportunities for Taiwan experts and professionals to shine in their fields in international
flora. We will continue to do that. That really does help those organizations; it really helps
the global community when they participate.
Over the past few years and across two different administrations, we have witnessed an alarming
number of gushing statements by senior American officials on the US's One-China Policy.
Last year, PLA (People's Liberation Army)'s General Chen Bingde, during a visit to Washington,
claimed that the then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the US policy maintains
that "there is only one China in the world", and that "Taiwan is part of China." Not
long after that, Admiral Mullen shared the view that "peaceful unification of China".
Let me ask you, the People's Republic of China, as we all know, is a dictatorship;
it is a gulag state and would we have wished that reunification of West Germany into East
Germany when Honecker was ruling as a cruel dictator in East Germany? I think not. So
I think those kinds of statements are not helpful. I do believe, and I want to ask your
view on this, as to whether the time has come for the Cold War relic, and I know all about
the Shanghai Communiqué, I've read it, and I've actually had an argument with Li
Peng in China, when we brought up the human rights [issues], and he said that the Shanghai
Communiqué said nothing about the human rights at all. That was true, but he used it as a
dodge and as a way of precluding any discussion on human rights. But shouldn't we have a
One-China, One-Taiwan policy?
And secondly, if you could, the Taiwan Relations Act Section 2 points out that the "enactment
of this Act is necessary to help maintain the peace, security and stability in the Western
Pacific". What are the consequences of the US if Taiwan were to come under PRC control,
and do we fully realize that such a shift would have devastating implications for US's
long standing security partners and allies of East Asia including Japan and South Korea?
What I'd like to point to is most recently, as you may probably have seen in the press
that there has been more dialogue between the two sides of the Strait recently, the
head of the Mainland Affairs Council of Taiwan Wang Yu-Chi with Zhang Zhe-Jun, head of the
Taiwan Office. We have gone on record as saying that we support that kind of warming of ties.
And I think that one of the reasons why there has been such discussions is that we have
been so supportive of Taiwan, giving them the confidence, so they can have this kinds
of dialogue. So I think we do have a very strong record of that. We do support the increased
dialogue between the two sides. In terms of consequences, I wouldn't want to get into
any sort of hypothetical scenarios here. I don't think that that is something that
we view as very likely right now.
What happens? We do have scenarios that we consider at the Pentagon and at the State.
It's not something that is sort of a normal feature of our discussions, these types of
hypotheticals. What I can say is that I heard your remarks about the One-China Policy. But
this is a policy that has endured through many administrations and...I think that what
we have done, and much of this has to do with the TRA but it has given Taiwan a great deal
of confidence over the last years to increase the kind of intensity of discussions with
the PRC, knowing that the US is always in support is greatly comforting to the Taiwan
side.
But frankly, some of our diplomats including our former Ambassador Bellocchi has suggested
that the ambiguity and the statements that may have made could send the wrong signal
to the PRC, particularly as they build up militarily in and around or in proximity to
Taiwan. And with the saber rattling we see occurring in the South China Sea and an ever
expansive foreign policy, the ugliness towards Japan coming out of Beijing, the useful diplomatic
affection, perhaps it was useful for a while, seems to me that it could inadvertently lead
to miscalculations by Beijing about what happens if they take Taiwan.
I don't think that Beijing questions US resolve on the Taiwan issue. We continue to
be extremely supportive and we continue to expand our unofficial relations and that I
think does a great deal to help strengthen and to allow for a more peaceful and stable
environment across the Strait.
I have a one statement before I ask any questions that echoes the Chair's comments. I recently
visited Taiwan and met with many government officials, and I found it very very educational
and I too believe very strongly that the State Department and the Government should understand
the importance of Taiwan being a part of the TPP. And I think that should be a message
back. So before I ask a question, many of us think strongly believe that we should do
whatever we can to encourage that kind of development.
When I was there, I was very impressed with the cross strait dialogue that was going on
between Taiwan and the PRC. I would like to know what is our State Department's involvement
in that dialogue between Taiwan [and China]. How can we be helpful in promoting engagement
between China and Taiwan? It seems to me that President Ma was very proud of the agreements
that already had been made, especially the trade agreement, the increased tourism that
was going on, the increased flights that were going on between. What are our involvement
in that has been? The second question is, what is your perspective on the current and
forthcoming political situation in Taiwan, including the 2016 presidential election in
which President Ma will be turned down. How will that affect the cross-strait relationships;
will that be one of the defining characteristics in terms of that election?
In terms of cross strait dialogue, we don't play a direct role. They've had direct talks.
In fact, the dialogue that I was referring to between Wang Yu-Chi and Zhang Zhe Zhen,
was really the first time in 60 years of such a discussion...What we have done is we have
given Taiwan a great deal of confidence, through our policies and through our direct assistance
and that has enabled them to have more engagement across the strait. We believe that more engagements,
especially if it's at a pace that is consistent with the aspirations of the people on Taiwan,
for people of both sides of the Strait, we would very much support that, because we believe
that creates a more stable and peaceful environment, but it does have to come at a pace that the
people on Taiwan feel comfortable with.
In terms of the upcoming election, we don't speculate on how that's going to affect
cross strait relations but it's a good time to highlight how we have been and still are
on the thriving democracy that exists in Taiwan. It is really remarkable. Just personally...the
first time I went to Taiwan was in 1978. You just cannot imagine the change that's taking
place there. Mr. Chairman, when you go to Taiwan, it just highlights the kind of values
that they share with us. You know very well that it is this kind of energetic kind of
democracy that exists there and so I won't speculate; we don't get involved in their
domestic policies and how that is going to play out in terms of the cross-strait policy
in the future. But it is really a good time to celebrate; it is a remarkable story in
Asia—the democracy that exists in Taiwan.
I would like to personally thank Mr. Sherman for raising the issue of President Chen, which
he did strongly when we were on the Co Del (Congressional Delegation) recently in Taiwan.
Prior to that trip, I've been there about a year ago, with another of my Democratic
colleagues, the ranking member of the Asia Pacific Committee, Eni Faleomavaega. And on
that particular Co Del, Eni and I went down to the prison where President Chen is being
held. He has been there going on five years now. You are correct, there is conviction
for corruption charges. We understand that completely. There's a whole lot of aspects
of that which we can discuss in great detail. For example, there is an argument that there
was a judge that was more favorable to him that was replaced by a judge who was less
favorable. There are all kinds of stories that you hear; I don't want to go to all
the details about that.
But the fact is that he has been in prison now for going on five years. I've read the
medical reports; I've talked to the doctors who have examined him. I have seen him with
my own eyes. I have met with him many times when he was the President of Taiwan. He is
the second democratically elected president, served for eight years. And I think Mr. Sherman
is absolutely right when he says that there is something wrong when one administration
comes in, and the previous administration is in prison. Something is not right. I've
seen, again, with my own eyes. The man has Parkinson's; he shakes constantly; he's
got cardiovascular problems, depression, a whole range of things. We've talked to President
Ma and others about it, and I believe that medical parole, as Mr. Sherman mentioned,
is a logical Chen medical parole. We are not saying that he'd be free, but at least he can go home to his
family for whatever years that he has left.
As I noted earlier, we have the confidence in the fairness and the impartiality and transparency
in Taiwan's judicial system. And we have made clear to Taiwan our expectation that
procedures governing the terms of Chen Shui-Bian's imprisonment and access to health care will
be transparent, fair, and impartial, and so if there are occasions, and this is just a
general statement from the US Government, when there are cases, when there are such
health concerns, we would...make note of that to, in this case, the Taiwan Authorities,
but other governments as well, when there may be some humanitarian considerations that
could be made. But certainly, we believe that the original case was tried [interrupted]
I am not talking about the original case; I am talking about NOW. Still that was an
excellent answer. But my question is, does the Administration have a position on medical
parole? Well, is there a position? You said he ought to be treated humanely in prison;
we are saying that he shouldn't be in prison at this point in time. He has been in prison;
he is there now. We are saying that medical parole should be granted...Do you have a position
on that? Should he be granted? If you don't have one, that's okay. But I just would
like to know.
I don't think we take the position [interrupted]
Okay. All right. Thank you. That was my question. I will ask you another position if you have
this. The President, the Vice President, the Defense Minister and the Foreign Minister
[of Taiwan] can't come to Washington, D.C. We want to meet with them, we have to go to
San Francisco, or Baltimore, or [somewhere]; they are not allowed to come to the capital
of the United States, which I think is a travesty for a close ally of the US. We have introduced
legislatures innumerable times to dump that policy, which I think is unfair to Taiwan.
Does the Administration have a position on that?
We continue to have our One-China Policy that is set forth in the Three Joint Communiqués...[interrupted]
I am aware of that. Do you have a position on whether they should come here?
In terms of the travel of Taiwan Authorities that is consistent with those policies—our
One-China Policy ... [interrupted]
So you believe we should continue the President, the Vice-President, the Foreign Minister—so
they should not be able to come to Washington, D.C.?
I think our policy has been very consistent over a number of administrations [interrupted
by "I am asking for an answer of yes or no"] and I believe that we will continue.
So you are saying that they are not to be allowed to come here; continue with that policy.
We are saying that we should change that policy. You say stick with it.
I say that our policy has been consistent and I believe
we will be consistent in the future.
Briefly, what, in
your opinion, or the Administration's opinion, does the TRA commit United States to do with
respect to the military relationships with Taiwan?
As noted earlier, we are obligated to make available to Taiwan defense articles and defense
services that are necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability.
It is an obligation that we don't shirk these obligations. The needs of Taiwan are
under constant review.
Good. I would agree with you. Would you also agree that something Beijing doesn't understand
is that big stick of Teddy Roosevelt. We can talk softly, but they got to also know that
we also carry a big stick, and that we mean it, that we keep our commitments, and that
whatever happens, ultimately, in the Taiwan Strait will happen peacefully. It is not going
to happen by military force, and the US is prepared to make sure that it doesn't happen
by military force. You think, especially in light of Chinese behavior, in the [Senkaku?]
Islands throughout the Pacific Rim that that message is maybe more important than ever
from the US with respect to Taiwan?
As I noted earlier, I don't think that the PRC doubts our resolve, our continued positive
presence in the East Asia Pacific region [interrupted by "Really? With respect to Taiwan?"]
Absolutely.
United States, in 2001, tentatively agreed to sell diesel submarines to Taiwan. Thirteen
years later, where are we in the submarine sale?
As you know, we continue to review the defense needs and we make decisions that are appropriate
[interrupted]
Have we sold a single one of those diesel submarines to Taiwan13 years later?
I am not aware of that, sir.
Did, by any chance, Beijing object to that sale?
We don't discuss arms sales of defense...
Did they express themselves either publicly or through private channels that you are aware
of?
I am not aware of...
So why the hang up? Why not sell the diesels then?
Again, we make decisions not with the PRC in mind. We make those decisions based on
what we feel are our needs.
Oh. So the decision tentatively to sell submarines to Taiwan in 2001 is still under consideration
as to whether it meets your definition of our appropriate defense for Taiwan.
There are a range of systems, there are a range of different packages that we constantly...[interrupted]
What about F16s? The Congress has repeatedly said the sale of F16s makes sense to us. Is
that all under review for whether it is appropriate part for the defense of Taiwan?
We've made the determination that the F16 retrofit...was the most appropriate type of
weapon systems to sell to Taiwan and we continue to believe that that is the case.
What about the military exercises? Any considerations to include Taiwan, for example, in RIMPAC
(Rim of the Pacific Exercise)?
We always consider, and this is our policy worldwide, we are always considering different
participants. I am not aware of such consideration, but I think my colleagues in the Defense Department
can better address that.
We don't want to ever be provocative, but we need to stand by our alliances. We want
a good, productive relationship, it seems to me, with the PRC, but I also know from
history, that Beijing respects strength, peace through strength, and our commitment to Taiwan
is an extraordinary test case, and it seems to me that we have to follow through on our
commitments with respect to Taiwan. Beijing doesn't have to like it, but it will have
to respect it.
You said earlier that when you make decisions, that y'all don't consider Beijing; you
just reaffirmed that with my colleague Mr. Connolly. I think Chris Smith raised the issue
of the One-China Policy. Does it not bother you that that exists? That there are statements
that people have made--high level officials--have made that agree on the One-China Policy? Does
the Administration not view that as a problem?
Our One-China Policy is one that existed for several decades now...several administrations...
I'll take that as a no. So you haven't sold submarines yet; you don't take Beijing
into account. People around the world watch us. Words and actions have consequences. Would
you agree that y'all would be okay with a One-Russia Policy when it comes to Crimea
in the Ukraine? Is that akin to the same kind of ideology?
I can't speak to those issues. But again, we are obligate d to provide those defense
materials and services to Taiwan. We have been through several administrations, I think,
vigilant in terms of providing them...
But in view of recent events, wouldn't you agree that the Administration ought to be
thinking about revamping its policy, that perhaps we would want to get in gear...[it
has been] 13 years [since the talk about the sale of submarines]...has the world changed
in 13 years?
In what sense, sir?
How about in your view of the imminent danger of perhaps mainland China...trying to take
back over Taiwan. We've said that they are our close friend and ally. The fact that their
officials cannot come to Washington D.C. is a problem. Events around the world should
indicate that now more than ever we need a stronger relationship with Taiwan. Does the
Administration understand the seriousness? Especially under the recent event of Russia,
Ukraine, Crimea...Things aren't getting any better, so is there a possibility y'all
might step up the program to sell those defense weapons to Taiwan? Maybe before the next 13
years?
As I noted, they are under constant review. I take your point about the world changing
to adjust to those changes. Remarkably, as I noted earlier, there is more dialogue between
Taipei and Beijing than there ever has been before.
So there is going to be some exercises over Hawaii. Beijing was invited; Taiwan was not.
Why?
I think that our policy, in terms of strengthening military-military relations with Beijing,
are fairly apparent. I can defer to my colleagues in the Defense Department to comment on the
status of those relations. But as part of our rebalance, our consideration of making
of strengthening the stability and peace in East Asia, I think this is a good idea.
Okay, obviously, because they weren't invited. Does this not strike you as odd that China
isn't as concerned about what we are doing as it seems, words and actions have consequences.
Witness Russia, the recent invasion of Crimea of Ukraine, so to speak. Does it not strike
you as odd that we seem a lot more worried about Beijing than they are of us? Do y'all
take that into account?
I don't think that we balance our concerns ...we don't think about it...[interrupted
by "well, that's obvious".] But, what I can tell you is that I think it's a very
smart thing to expand our relations with all countries in the East Asia and I don't think
that any of this comes at the expense of Taiwan, and I think that our relationships with Taiwan
have been extremely strong; we will continue to strengthen those relations.
I feel like I can't get a whole lot of straight answers, so I'd like to go to some kind
of yes and no format if I could because it seems to be a lot of time to just discussing
about the fact that the Administration is interested in talking about or is considering
or whatever. Regarding the PLA force build up. The US analysts assessed that the primary
driver of PLA's force build up is preparation for conflict over Taiwan status, including
contingencies or possible US intervention. So that's US analysts. The question is,
is this still the assessment of the Executive Branch? Briefly.
I am not a spokesperson for our colleagues in the Defense.
But I am talking about the Executive Branch. Is this their assessment? Just a yes or no
or I don't know.
Of course we will stand by the assessments that have been made.
So, the answer is essentially "yes"?
We stand by the reports that we do.
Do you know if Taiwan shares the same assessment?
Taiwan has taken many precautions in its defense posture—it's best to ask them that question,
but, certainly, there have been discussions that goes on about this sort of thing. I would
imagine that [interrupted]
You don't really know.
I can't speak for Taiwan.
I understand. But in the discussions that the Administration's had, if that's how
they are posturing their forces and their strategy based on their assessment. You don't
know.
Is your question whether Taiwan believes it or whether... [interrupted]
Yes. Do they share the US's assessment, if that's the reason for the build up.
I think you would have to ask the Administration.
Regarding Taiwan's membership in the TPP. The Administration's position: for or against?
It's important for us to know.
We welcome their interest. I don't think the conversations have gone so far as to be
pro or con—we are a long way away from that. But we welcome their interest.
I am sure that we do. But you are saying that the Administration hasn't decided yet. You
are happy for the interest, but you don't know.
The issue hasn't come up to that point yet.
The issue hasn't been brought up or it isn't to a point where you can decide yes or no?
It hasn't come up to the point. We know that Taiwan has expressed some interest, and
we are welcoming that interest. But we are long way away from discussing that. We have
other discussions that we are having on Taiwan's economic policies and we are certainly engaged
in those, and we are warming our economic and trade relations with Taiwan.
Regarding the PRC's air defense identification zone (ADIZ). What have been concerns in Taiwan's
response to the PRC's ADIZ announced in November of 2013?
What do you mean by concern? The Administration's concern. Do you have
any or are you in agreement?
I think what's important here is that President Ma has gone on record as expressing concern.
What he has said in public and what is encouraging is that he wants a peaceful, stable environment
in the region that if there are disagreements, they should be resolved through dialogue.
Do you know what the response would be if there were an air force or navy intercept
in the ADIZ? If the PLA had intercepted a Taiwanese aircraft or marine vessels in that
area, and there were some incursion, what would some of our responses be?
I am not going to get into the speculation or hypothetical situations, but we have gone
on record in response to the announcement of this ADIZ as not accepting it. So, again,
I don't want to speculate on any kind of possible [interrupted]
As you can see there is tremendous bipartisan support for Taiwan and it is my sincere hope
that the Administration would take a more proactive stance on Taiwan, including working
with Taiwan so that it can join the TPP. The Asia Pacific region is going to witness a
significant growth in economics and prosperity in the next 10 years, and positioning the
US, we are, after all, all on the Pacific Rim, with this opportunity is a task that
we take very seriously on this committee. And as the Chairman of this committee, I've
made the Asia-Pacific region a top priority, so I look forward to work closely with the
Administration on this and other issues.
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