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Public Statements

Opposition to an Anti-Secession Law Proposed by the People's Republic of China

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


OPPOSITION TO AN ANTI-SECESSION LAW PROPOSED BY THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA -- (Extensions of Remarks - February 08, 2005)

SPEECH OF
HON. PETER T. KING
OF NEW YORK
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2005

Mr. KING of New York. Mr. Speaker, today I rise in strong opposition to an Anti-Secession Law that is being proposed by the People's Republic of China. While some positive developments in cross-strait relations between China and Taiwan have occurred recently, the consideration of an Anti-Secession Law by Beijing threatens to disrupt the status-quo. Recently, an agreement was reached by both governments to allow historic non-stop charter flights between the People's Republic of China and Taiwan during February's Lunar New Year holiday. And the arrival on February 1 of a delegation from China to pay their respects to the late negotiator Koo Chen-fu, former Chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation, has been a welcome development as well. Unfortunately, China's National People's Congress Standing Committee is considering a bill that is expected to set up a legal framework to provide for the incorporation of Taiwan by China. This legislation, however, could be interpreted to legally require Beijing to move unilaterally against Taiwan in the event Beijing construed any acts or statements by Taipei as a move toward independence.

I have deep reservations about an Anti-Secession Law. Beijing until now has considered Taiwan to be a part of China but has refrained from attempting to legally extend its sovereignty over it. While this position leaves some flexibility for negotiations on unification, I fear that the enactment of this new measure will restrict the debate. In addition, there would also be great uncertainty among the thousands of Taiwanese who work on the mainland. Would Taiwanese businessmen in China run the risk of being jailed for actions interpreted as being supportive of Taiwanese authorities? Reactions from Taiwan to the proposed law have been universally negative among all of Taiwan's political parties and leaders. At a time when the differences between Beijing and Taipei can best be resolved through dialogue, the enactment of this legislation would make the resumption of these negotiations more difficult and inevitably increase tensions in the Taiwan Strait.

Both the People's Republic of China and Taiwan have a vital interest in maintaining peace in the region. My hope is that China will not enact an Anti-Secession Law or take any step, for that matter, which might prompt a confrontation in the Taiwan Strait.

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