Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Henry J. Hyde, Chairman

CONTACT: Sam Stratman, (202) 226-7875, March 16, 2005

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China, Taiwan & Anti-Secession Law
Leach Schedules Wednesday Hearing on China Policy

BACKGROUND:  In a move last month apparently intended to demonstrate China’s resolve to oppose Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian’s alleged accelerated move toward de jure independence, China’s rubber-stamp legislature, the National People’s Congress (NPC), passed anti-secession legislation authorizing military action against Taiwan under certain conditions.  In addition, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao implicitly warned that China would not be deterred by the prospect of U.S. military involvement.  Meanwhile, Taiwanese officials sharply condemned passage of the law as an attempt by China to unilaterally change the status quo that has existed between the two nations for more than 50 years.  President Chen warned of a “severe negative impact” on cross-Strait relations and urged a massive public demonstration against the law.  An estimated 300,000 Taiwanese protesters (including President Chen) participated in the March 26 event, a figure well below the expected one million demonstrators.  To Beijing’s surprise, however, the new law has appeared to backfire.  European countries cited the law as a rationale for more debate on proposals to lift the EU arms embargo against China.  The law also appears to have reinforced concerns about People’s Republic of China military modernization and heightened Taiwanese resentment of China.  What is uncertain at this juncture is whether the anti-secession law will trigger an action-reaction cycle that could spin out of control (possibly involving the United States), or whether both sides can summon the political will to make meaningful progress in cross-Strait relations.                                                                                            

WHAT:                 Oversight Hearing: China’s Anti-Secession Law and Developments Across the Taiwan Strait, 
Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, U.S. Rep. James A. Leach (R-IA), Chairman

WHEN:                 9:00 a.m., Wednesday, April 6, 2005

WHERE:               Room 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

WITNESSES:        Randall G. Schriver, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, U.S. Department of State;
                              Shelley Rigger, Ph.D.,
Brown Associate Professor of East Asian Politics, Davidson College;
Thomas J. Christensen, Ph.D.,
Professor of Political Science, Princeton University; and
                              John J. Tkacik, Jr.,
Research Fellow in China Policy, Asian Studies Center, The Heritage Foundation.

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