Democratic Party platform drops ‘One China’ language in Taiwan

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The Democratic Party platform adopted at last week’s nominating convention dropped any reference to the US policy of one-China recognition in reference to unofficial US ally Taiwan.

The new platform released Thursday for presidential candidate Joseph R. Biden says Democrats are committed to the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, which calls on the United States to defend Taiwan against attacks from the mainland.

The platform goes on to say that Democrats “will continue to support a peaceful resolution of cross-strait issues in accordance with the wishes and best interests of the Taiwanese people.”

In contrast, the 2016 platform explicitly supported the “One China” policy developed in the 1970s, when the United States abandoned official diplomatic recognition of Taiwan and transferred recognition to Beijing. The 2016 document said Democrats were “committed to a ‘one China’ policy.”

The Chinese Foreign Ministry criticized the change of platform.

When asked about the change, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the Taiwan issue “is the most important and sensitive issue between China and the United States.”

“The one-China principle is the political foundation of Sino-US relations and a common consensus of the international community,” he said. “We urge the parties concerned to adhere to the one-China principle and the three Sino-US joint communiques, and to deal with Taiwan-related issues cautiously and correctly.”

The Chinese government’s mild criticism of Democrats, some analysts say, reflects Beijing’s interest in seeing Mr. Biden defeat President Trump in the November election.

Vice President Mike Pence accused China of meddling in the US elections and said in a recent speech that Beijing “wants a different president”.

Chinese state media also warned that the omission of the Democratic platform would worsen US-China relations.

“The change in tone is likely to further strain Sino-US relations,” says the Chinese Communist Party newspaper Global Times.

A spokesperson for the Democratic National Committee did not respond to an email seeking comment on the platform change.

Taiwan is an independent island state known as the Republic of China, located about 160 km from the Chinese coast. It was a safe haven for Chinese nationalist forces who fled the mainland during the 1949 civil war that brought the Communist regime to power.

The Trump administration has tightened its ties with Taiwan sharply, agreeing to a deal on a multibillion-dollar F-16 aircraft, repeatedly sailing the Taiwan Strait as a challenge for Beijing and sending the secretary to the government earlier this month. Health and Social Services Alex M. Azar II at the Island.

In another sign of warming relations that may anger Beijing, the US envoy to Taiwan joined President Tsai Ing-wen in a military memorial service on Sunday.

The director of the American Institute in Taiwan, William Brent Christensen and Ms Tsai have reportedly not spoken of the annual event of soldiers killed by Chinese bombing in 1958 on Kinmen, an island under Taiwanese control near the mainland coast.

The Democratic platform is also taking a harsher tone on China than in the past, but also calls for more moderate policies than those pursued by Mr. Trump. He calls China’s trade practices unfair and criticizes its manipulation of currency and theft of technology.

“The Democrats’ approach to China will be guided by America’s national interests and the interests of our allies, and will build on the sources of American strength – the openness of our society, the the dynamism of our economy and the power of our alliances to shape and enforce international standards that reflect our values, ”the document said.

“Undermining these strengths will not make us ‘hard on China’. It would be a gift for the Chinese Communist Party, ”adds the platform. The party promised to be “clear, strong and consistent” in pressuring China over differences in economy, security and human rights.

Definition of threat

Democrats have argued that the threat from China is “not primarily” military, but are prepared to deter and respond to aggression.

“We will underline our global commitment to freedom of navigation and resist intimidation from the Chinese military in the South China Sea,” the document said.

Since 2012, China has been building disputed islands in the sea, and in 2018 began deploying missiles and electronic warfare systems – what US officials call a violation of a pledge by President Xi Jinping not to militarize the islands.

The platform also says that a Democratic administration would back activists in Hong Kong with sanctions. He also condemned the placement by China of more than one million ethnic Uyghurs and other minorities in “concentration camps”.

“Democrats will pursue this strategy without resorting to unilateral self-destructive tariff wars or without falling into the trap of a new cold war,” the platform said. “These mistakes would only serve to exaggerate the weight of China, to militarize our politics too much and to harm American workers.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defended the tough United States policy toward Taipei earlier this month.

When asked in an interview with One America News about Chinese threats against Taiwan, Pompeo said, “We fully intend to honor our obligations and commitments regarding historic agreements between the United States and China in Taiwan. .

Cabinet Secretary Azar’s high-profile visit to Taiwan was “very much in line with these commitments, and we told the Chinese and Taiwanese that we will continue to honor this set of agreements.”

During his visit to the island, Mr. Azar criticized Beijing for mismanaging the coronavirus epidemic which is breaking the current pandemic. Taiwan has been widely praised for its public health campaign aimed at containing the virus that is spreading from the mainland.

“China could have – and should have – disclosed more information, in a more transparent and cooperative manner regarding COVID-19,” he said. “They should have revealed the rapid human-to-human transmission of the disease they knew about. They should have revealed asymptomatic carriage and transmission of the disease. “

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