Ron Paul
2004 Ron Paul Chapter 54

Ron Paul Taiwan Relations Act — Part 1

14 July 2004

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Taiwan Relations Act — Part 1
14 July 2004

2004 Ron Paul 54:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

(Mr. PAUL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

2004 Ron Paul 54:2
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I would like to start off by saying that I really do not have a lot of disagreement with what the chairman has to say, because I certainly think we should be friends with Taiwan. I believe our goals are very similar. It is just that the approach I have would be quite different.

2004 Ron Paul 54:3
I happen to believe that we have ignored for too long in this country and in this body the foreign policy that was designed by our Founders, a foreign policy of nonintervention. I think it is better for us. I think it is healthy in all ways, both financially and in that it keeps us out of wars, and we are allowed to build friendships with all the nations of the world. The politics of nonintervention should be given some serious consideration.

2004 Ron Paul 54:4
Usually, the argument given me for that is that 200 years ago or 250 years ago things were different. Today we have had to go through the Cold War and communism; and, therefore, we are a powerful Nation and we have an empire to protect; and we have this moral obligation to police the world and take care of everybody.

2004 Ron Paul 54:5
But, Mr. Speaker, my answer to that is somewhat like the notion that we no longer have to pay attention to the Ten Commandments or the Bill of Rights. If principles were correct 200 years ago or 250 years ago, they should be correct today. So if a policy of friendship and trade with other nations and nonintervention were good 250 years ago, it should be good today.

2004 Ron Paul 54:6
I certainly think the Taiwan Relations Act qualifies as an entangling alliance, and that is what we have been warned about: “Do not get involved in entangling alliances.” It gets us so involved, we get in too deep, and then we end up with a military answer to too many of our problems. I think that is what has happened certainly in the last 50 years.

2004 Ron Paul 54:7
I essentially have four objections to what we are doing. One is a moral objection. I will not dwell on the first three and I will not dwell on this one. But I do not believe one generation of Americans has a moral right to obligate another generation, because, in many ways, when we make this commitment, this is not just a friendly commitment; this is weapons and this is defense.

2004 Ron Paul 54:8
Most people interpret the Taiwan Relations Act as a commitment for our troops to go in and protect the Taiwanese if the Chinese would ever attack. Although it is not explicit in the act, many people interpret it that way. But I do not believe that we or a generation 25 years ago has the moral right to obligate another generation to such an overwhelming commitment, especially if it does not involve an attack on our national security. Some say that if Taiwan would be attacked, it would be. But, quite frankly, it is a stretch to say that settling that dispute over there has something to do with an attack on our national security.

2004 Ron Paul 54:9
Economics is another issue. We are running out of money; and these endless commitments, military commitments and commitments overseas, cannot go on forever. Our national debt is going up between $600 billion and $700 billion a year, so eventually my arguments will win out, because we are going to run out of money and this country is going to go broke. So there is an economic argument against that.

2004 Ron Paul 54:10
Also, looking for guidance in the Constitution. It is very clear that the Constitution does not give us this authority to assume responsibility for everybody, and to assume the entire responsibility for Taiwan is more than I can read into the Constitution.

2004 Ron Paul 54:11
But the issue I want to talk about more than those first three is really the practical approach to what we are doing. I happen to believe that the policy of the One-China Policy does not make a whole lot of sense. We want Taiwan to be protected, so we say we have a One-China Policy, which occurred in 1982. But in order to say we have a One-China Policy, then we immediately give weapons to Taiwan to defend against China.

2004 Ron Paul 54:12
So this, to me, just does not quite add up. If we put arms in Taiwan, why would we not expect the Chinese to put arms in opposition, because they are only answering what we are doing? What happened when the Soviets went to Cuba? They put arms there. We did not like that. What would happen if the Chinese went into Cuba or Mexico? We are not going to like that. So I think this part is in conflict with what the National Relations Act says, because we are seeking a peaceful resolution of this.

2004 Ron Paul 54:13
So I would urge my colleagues to be cautious about this. I know this will be overwhelmingly passed; but, nevertheless, it is these types of commitments, these types of alliances that we make that commit us to positions that are hard to back away from. This is why we get into these hot wars, these shooting wars, when really I do not think it is necessary.

2004 Ron Paul 54:14
There is no reason in the world why we cannot have friendship with China and with Taiwan. But there is something awfully inconsistent with our One-China Policy, when at the same time we are arming part of China in order to defend itself. The two just do not coexist.

2004 Ron Paul 54:15
Self-determination, I truly believe, is worth looking at. Self-determination is something that we should champion. Therefore, I am on the strong side of Taiwan in determining what they want by self-determination. But what do we do? Our administration tells them they should not have a referendum on whether or not they want to be independent and have self-determination. So in one sense we try to help them; and, in the other sense, we say do not do it.

2004 Ron Paul 54:16
I am just arguing that we do not have to desert Taiwan. We can be very supportive of their efforts, and we can do it in a much more peaceful way and at least be a lot more consistent. Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?

2004 Ron Paul 54:17
Mr. PAUL. I yield to the gentleman from California.

Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my friend for yielding. I just want to correct the impression the gentleman left with his observation, which implied that Taiwan is getting economic aid from the United States.

2004 Ron Paul 54:18
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, reclaiming my time, I will answer that.

Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Speaker, I have not yet made my point. Taiwan is getting no economic aid from the United States.

2004 Ron Paul 54:19
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, reclaiming my time, that is correct. I did not say that, so the gentleman has implied that; and that is incorrect that I said it.

2004 Ron Paul 54:20
I do know that it is a potential military base for us, because when I was in the Air Force, on more than one occasion I landed on Taiwan. So they are certainly a close military ally.

2004 Ron Paul 54:21
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

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