The United States acknowledges that . . .
Excerpt from p. 50 - 53
The final text in the [First] Communique turned out to be, "the U.S. declared: the United States acknowledges that all Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of China. The United States Government does not challenge that position." In other words, the Nixon Administration only took notice of what "the Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait" claimed.
. . . . .
The statement "the United States Government does not challenge that position," meant that the U.S. government did not deny that "all Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait" assert the same thing, namely that there is only one China. It does not mean that the U.S. government agreed with the position taken by the Chinese on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. Although such interpretation is not apparent in the statement itself, it was also confirmed in the second Joint Communique issued by U.S. President Carter to be discussed. . . . .
The Shanghai Communique established the U.S. policy toward China to date. The U.S. policy stated in the Shanghai Communique is said to be the one-China policy. In this policy statement, the Nixon Administration did not change the U.S. position that the island of Taiwan is not China's territory.
. . . . .
. . . it is important to note that in recognizing the P.R.C. government, the Carter Administration did not recognize China's claim over Taiwan. This position is clear in the policy statement made in the Joint Communique on Establishment of Diplomatic Relations Between the United States of America and the People's Republic of China ("Second Communique"). The Carter Administration again, like Nixon's only "acknowledged" that China claimed title to the island of Taiwan. The Second Joint Communique states: "The United States of America and the People's Republic of China reaffirm the principles agreed on by the two sides in the Shanghai Communique and emphasize once again that: The Government of the United States of America acknowledges the Chinese position that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China."
The Carter Administration did no more than simply acknowledge that the P.R.C. government maintained the position that there is but one China of which Taiwan is a part. The Carter Administration, by saying that the Second Communique "reaffirm[s] the principles agreed on by the two sides in the Shanghai Communique," meant that it continued to uphold the U.S. position in the Shanghai Communique. Thus, the Second Communique confirmed the interpretation that the statement in the Shanghai Communique stating "the United States Government does not challenge that position" meant that the U.S. government did not deny the fact that "Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait" took the same position that Taiwan is part of China. Carter did not accept or recognize the position taken by the P.R.C. government.
REFERENCEOne-China Policy and Taiwan
by Y. Frank ChiangFordham International Law Journal
Vol. 28:1, December 2004
This 87-page article may be downloaded from the Vol 28, Iss. 1 page of the
Fordham International Law Journal website