President George W. Bush, in an attempt to defuse tensions with Beijing after his assertion in late April that America would do "whatever it takes" to help Taiwan defend itself, quickly reaffirmed the "one-China" policy. In comments directed toward Taipei, he pointedly asserted: "I certainly hope Taiwan adheres to the one-China policy. And a declaration of independence is not the one-China policy." This caveat is critically important to Beijing, which remains suspicious that "independence" is Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian’s (and perhaps America’s) true objective.
PacNet #19B – Taiwan “Independence”
May 11, 2001