Relations with the Dragon

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Editor's note: The following "Statement of Principles on China Policy" has been signed by a broad spectrum of conservative leaders in time for Chinese leader Jiang Zemin's visit to Washington. The signatories are listed at the end.

Whereas a stable and prosperous Asia is in the national interest of the United States;

* Whereas the U.S. is increasingly dependent upon trans-Pacific commerce and trade for its own economic well-being;

* Whereas the rapid increase in China's military capabilities, particularly the production and export of weapons of mass destruction, at a time of expanding economic power under a repressive authoritarian system, is contrary to the long-term interests of free people throughout the world;

* Whereas the U.S. must maintain adequate defense capabilities that will allow it to meet its security commitments to protect American interests and advance American values;

* Whereas the advancement of freedom in Asia in all its forms, including religious liberty, freedom of conscience, and economic freedom, is a guiding value of U.S. foreign policy;

The U.S. should adhere to the following principles with respect to U.S. policy toward Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China:

Republic of China on Taiwan (ROC)

1. The main U.S. objectives in its policy toward Taiwan are to support individual freedom and democracy and to encourage a mutually acceptable and peaceful resolution of differences between the ROC and the People's Republic of China that does not limit individual freedom and political democracy.

2. The U.S. must consider any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means, including boycotts and embargoes, to be a threat to the peace and security of the Western Pacific and a grave concern to American interests.

3. The U.S., as called for in the Taiwan Relations Act, should maintain its commitment to the self-defense of the Republic of China and to sell Taiwan necessary defensive arms, including a theater missile defense.

4. The U.S. must maintain the military capability and will to resist any use of force or any other type of coercion that would jeopardize the security or social and economic system of the people of Taiwan.

Hong Kong

1. As stated in the 1992 U.S.-Hong Kong Policy Act, the United States should play an active role in maintaining Hong Kong's confidence and prosperity, protecting American commercial interests, and supporting democratization as a fundamental principle in U.S. foreign policy.

2. It is in the interest of the United States that Hong Kong maintain control over its own economic, social, and political order. Democracy must not be curtailed and human rights, including religious liberty, must be respected.

3. China should strictly adhere to the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration and the PRC's own Basic Law of 1990. …