Taiwan's Sun Yun-hsuan speaks out on reunification, US relations
Q. On June 10 you stated that ''reunification should be based on the free will of the Chinese people as a whole.'' You also stated, ''if the political, economic, social, and cultural gaps between the Chinese mainland and free China continue to narrow, the conditions for peaceful reunification can gradually mature. The obstacles to reunification will be reduced naturally with the passage of time.''
What did you have in mind when you made this statement, and would you be willing to amplify it?
A. Establishment of a unified, democratic, and free China is the common aspiration of all Chinese. To attain this goal, the Chinese people on both sides of the Taiwan straits must have a common way of life that is free, democratic, and suited to the Chinese cultural tradition.
Today the Chinese communists are shouting the slogan of ''reunification'' without making fundamental changes. That is impractical. I believe that only when the Chinese communist regime has relinquished the ''four fundamental principles,'' thoroughly changed its current way of life, and adopted Sun Yat-sen's system of the people, for the people, and by the people, can the people on the Chinese mainland have the freedom to make their choice and move toward the genuine reunification of China.
(The ''four fundamental principles'' are (1) always stick to the socialist road, (2) always retain Communist Party leadership, (3) follow through with the dictatorship of the proletariat, and (4) follow Marxism, Leninism, and Mao Tse-tung thought.)
Q. How would you characterize the present state of relations between the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the United States? Do you think it will be possible for the United States to make any pledge to reduce or end arms sales to Taiwan without violating the Taiwan relations act?
A. Any way you look at it, historically or strategically, you will find that the two countries are so closely related that united, both will benefit or that divided, both will suffer. This long-established relationship is based on the common ideals shared by American people and Free Chinese. This relationship therefore should not be changed by the convenience of political considerations of the moment. The relationship suffered an unprecedentedly heavy blow as the result of the break in diplomatic ties.
Fortunately, relations have been maintained by existing treaties and the Taiwan Relations Act passed by the United States Congress through the joint efforts of both peoples. Since President Reagan assumed office, this relationship has been gradually improved by the steady restoration of mutual trust. As long as the United States faithfully implements the Taiwan Relations Act, there are not likely to be adverse effects in the relationship.
The major problem of today is that some Americans inside and outside the government have not clearly understood the tyrannical and treacherous nature of the Chinese communists. The conclusive evidence of this is repetition of the threatening demand that the United States terminate arms sales to us.
The Chinese communists have listed the usurpation of Free China as one of their three major goals in the 1980s. They have repeatedly announced that they will not rule out the use of force. At the same time, they are clearly aware that they cannot succeed at this time because the morale of our armed forces is very high and our combat capability is formidable. So the Communists seek to forestall further sales of United States defensive weapons in an attempt to weaken our defense capability, tip the balance of combat strength in the Taiwan straits their way, and advance the date of the attempted invasion by force. If the United States should yield to the demands of the Chinese communists, the security of Free China and adjacent areas would be endangered. Also threatened would be the consistent United States policy of maintaining the strength of the democratic world. This would entail endless trouble.
Q. From the standpoint of the ROC's (Taiwan's) own defense needs, how urgent is the need for new weapons systems, and if you cannot obtain them from the United States, what would you do?
A. We urgently need high-performance aircraft to secure our air space in the Taiwan straits. We must cope with the threat of the Chinese communists expressed in their constantly reiterated threat to ''liberate'' Taiwan by force. The Chinese communists maintain 10 air bases within a radius of 150 miles from Taiwan. These bases can accommodate more than 2,000 combat aircraft at a time. We also need weapons and equipment to break through any marine blockade.
Although the concerned departments of the United States government currently do not agree to sell us high-performance aircraft, we continue to hope America will sell us modern combat planes and other weapons based on the Taiwan Relations Act and our defense needs. Besides this, we shall vigorously develop our own defense industry and acquire defensive weapons from other free and friendly countries.
Q. The ROC is sometimes accused of being a one-party state. Do you foresee further steps in evolution toward political democracy to complement the ones already taken?
Do you see any possibility that the Kuomintang may share power or even cede power to other parties as a result of this evolution?
A. The Republic of China is a democratic, constitutional country. Other than the ruling party of the Kuomintang of China, there are two parties: the Young China Party and the China Democratic Socialist Party. The Kuomintang is popular because it established the Republic of China and has always given first consideration to the interests of the people.
Since taking the helm, the Kuomintang has steadfastly dedicated itself to the promotion of democratic government so as to assure a society ruled by the people. In the elections of recent years, the Kuomintang has competed on an equal footing with the Young China Party, China Democratic Socialist Party, and nonpartisan candidates.