Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Kissinger and Brzezinksi on US-China Relations

See: "Taiwan shouldn't be obstacle in U.S.-China relations: Kissinger."
Two former American diplomats placed the onus on China to diffuse tension in the Taiwan Strait on Tuesday, following comments from Chinese officials claiming that U.S. arms sales to Taiwan may strain ties with China even as the two countries cooperate more closely.

"I do not think Taiwan should be a fundamental obstacle to our relationship," Kissinger said yesterday on the sidelines of the conference. Kissinger served as secretary of state from 1973 to 1977 under presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford and played a key role in Nixon's 1972 visit to China.

Brzezinski, 80, veteran diplomat who was national security adviser under President Jimmy Carter and advised President-elect Barack Obama during his campaign, also downplayed the importance of Taiwan in U.S.-China ties.

"The better the American-Chinese relationship, the less salient is the Taiwan issue and the easier it is for Taiwan and the mainland to establish an increasingly organic relationship," he told reporters yesterday.

Brzezinksi and former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft put the onus on China to take steps to decrease military tensions related to Taiwan.

"If the Chinese, for example, would pull back or eliminate some of the missiles directed at Taiwan, it would make it possible for the American president to say, 'Taiwan does not need additional arms,'" said Scowcroft, who served under presidents Ford and George H. W. Bush.

"That would be a very stabilizing direction in which the two sides could go."

I agree with Scowcroft.

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