NASHVILLE – Fed up with America’s 55 years of appeasement of communist China, the GOP’s national governing body is poised to tell Beijing to go take a hike.
China and its panda-hugging friends — think Henry Kissinger – have been campaigning to get Congress and the Trump administration to say when exactly it will stop selling arms to democratic Taiwan.
“Nuts!” and “Never!” are the two words Republicans here would like to tell Beijing, but they’re aiming for slightly more diplomatic language to say the same thing.
In no mood to put up with Beijing’s slick attempts to ripen Taiwan for a takeover by the communist Mainland, the Republican National Committee members holding their annual summer meeting here have decided to put the national GOP on record in support of the latest round of arms sales to Taiwan that President Trump has approved.
Some big-deal Republicans here are also officially backing a warning to Beijing to lay off its attempts to smother free speech in Hong Kong. The 1,000 square-mile island state, with a population of 7.3 million (a million fewer than in New York City), was a paradigm of freedom when it was a British colony. It has felt the suffocating effect of the People’s Republic of China since the Brits turned Hong Kong over to Beijing in 1997. (Talk about appeasement.)
But Taiwan is where the smelly stuff is beginning to hit the fan, thanks first to none other than Richard M. Nixon, He inked a joint communiqué with the communist People’s Republican of China in 1972. That communiqué had the U.S. agreeing – teeth gritting time — that communist Mainland China is the only China on earth and that thing calling itself the Republic of China residing on the island of Taiwan is a figment of the anti-communist imagination.
Two other shameful communiqués followed. In 1979 under Jimmy Carter, the U.S. agreed cut off diplomatic relations with the Republic of China and never to use the word “China” in referring to it again.
Perhaps it’s mere legend, but Mr. Carter did work up the gumption to refuse to say there are no rings around the planet Mars.
In 1982 under — believe it or not — Ronald Reagan, the U.S. in a third joint communiqué agreed to gradually reduce arms sales to Taiwan. That triggered private meetings around the country at which some leading GOP conservatives debated whether it was high time to form a third party.
Congress and President Carter did do something right in 1979, passing and signing the Taiwan Relations Act. It requires America to sell defensive military systems and hardware to Taiwan so it can defend itself from Beijing’s military hordes.
The truth is of course that even if all of Taiwan’s14,000 square miles were filled to the brim with state-of-the-art weaponry, the 23 million Taiwanese would last a few ticks of the clock against Mainland China’s 1.38 billion population spread over the Mainland’s 3.7 million square miles.
But a Taiwan with up-to-date weapons would at least give the U.S. time to live up to another Taiwan Relations Act provision. This one commits the U.S. to muster its military might to defend Taiwan if it China attacks it. Retired Army Colonel Peter S. Goldberg, an RNC member form Alaska, is expected to win full RNC approval on Friday for his Taiwan resolution endorsing Mr. Trump’s approval of new arms sales to Taiwan.
“I see Goldberg’s RNC resolution in support of President Trump’s arms sales to Taiwan as sending a strong message to people who are pushing for a fourth joint U.S.-China Communiqué,” said resolution co-sponsor Solomon Yue, who was born in communist China and lived there until escaping to America in early adulthood.
Mr. Yue and other GOP leaders think what’s developing here is much broader than ensuring Taiwan’s military capability.
“The message is, ‘We will fight to stop any attempt to sunset the Taiwan Relations Act, including by redefining America’s ‘one-China’ policy to say, ‘We support ‘one democratic China modeled after Taiwan,’” said Mr. Yue, an elected RNC member from Oregon.
Former Idaho GOP Chairman Stephen Yates thinks a new one-China policy is past due.
“If there is to be a joint communiqué, it should say nothing about setting a date to end arms sales to Taiwan and should simply affirm support for a peaceful, democratic China, rather than use an empty slogan like ‘one-China,’” said Mr. Yates, who was deputy national security adviser to then-Vice President Dick Cheney and is now is now gathering financial fuel for his Idaho GOP lieutenant gubernatorial nomination bid.
Another resolution, this one by Florida RNC member Peter Feaman, in effect tells Beijing to keeps it freedom-smothering mitts off Hong Kong’s people. Mr. Feaman is also expected to win unanimous approval from the 168 RNC members for his resolution.