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On Taiwan: The Governor and the Generalissimo

I don’t want to suggest that there currently are any secret undertakings between the Biden Administration and Xi Jinping’s (習近平) regime. I would only caution that secret understandings and clandestine assurances are anathema to America’s principles of diplomacy. President Woodrow Wilson’s “Fourteen Points” demanded “open covenants, openly arrived at, that proceed always frankly and in the public view.” If American diplomacy is to have legitimacy and bind future presidents and administrations, it cannot tolerate secret assurances given by one president to a foreign leader, while telling the exact opposite to future presidents and to the American people. President Richard Nixon told Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai (周恩來) that, in his second term, he would withdraw US military forces from Taiwan and break relations with Taipei. But he did not tell his “personal envoy,” Ronald Reagan, of his plans. This was a bad move. In August 1971, Nixon recruited California governor Reagan as his personal emissary, briefed him and gave him talking points for a mission to Taipei to take place on October 10-11, 1971.

Read the full article at Taipei Times