Exclusive: US Tea Party Leader Visited Taiwan in the Last Years of the Cold War, Supports Taiwan’s Independence

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The U.S. government’s attitude toward Taiwan has always been i ntentionally ambiguous. In 1949, the U.S. allowed Chiang Kai-shek, who had lost t he Chinese Civil War in Mainland China, to rule Taiwan dictatorially to c ounterbalance Communist China. In 1979, the U.S. broke off diplomatic relations with the Republic of China to unite with the Chinese Communist Party to confront the Soviet Union. Even in recent years, the U.S. has not dared to take a stand on the issue of Taiwan’s independence, indicating that U .S. foreign policy remains strategically ambiguous and that the US tacitly supports the status quo. In response, Michael Johns, a leader of the Tea Party and speechwriter for former U.S. President George H. W. Bush, stated directly in an interview with Eat News that he supports Taiwan’s independence and emphasized that his position has always been the same.

Johns feels that 1979 was not a good year for U.S. foreign policy. That year, the U.S. stopped recognizing Taiwan, Washington r ecognized the government of Mao Zedong, and a left-wing military regime came to power in Nicaragua after a bloody revolution. From a foreign policy, national security perspective, J ohns believes the Carter administration failed to manage the challenges of that year.

But Johns told Eat News that he was glad to have visited Taiwan in the last years of the Cold War. Even though the geopolitical environment has changed dramatically, his position on Taiwan has not changed, and he is very supportive of Taiwan’s independence. “ I support any political movement in Taiwan, understand the sensitive nature of the moment, and am involved in supporting Taiwan’s independence,” Johns said.

US President Richard Nixon and Tea Party leader Michael Johns in 1991. Photo: Michael Johns

Johns advises Taiwan’s political party leaders that they must be the ones to ensure that the United States remains a reliable strategic partner for Taiwan and to defend Taiwan’s independence. He emphasized, “I would like to see our relationship with Taipei strengthened considerably over what it is.”

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Johns particularly wants to say to young Taiwanese that they may have forgotten some of Taiwan’s founding history. “Taiwan is your country, embrace it, love it, defend it, and be aware of its independence and its defenses. And I would be happy to work with anyone in Taiwan who supports these purposes. And in China, I’ve worked with Tibetans, I’ve talked to Hong Kong people, I’ve talked to individuals who support the Chinese Communist Party, I’ll talk to anybody. I think that’s important.”

Johns stressed that he has great sympathy for the people of Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and Tibet. He told us, “I believe the CCP – which they are fighting against – is very powerful militarily and politically, and I am very concerned about the brave children of Hong Kong who have been arrested, persecuted, and in some cases have been forcibly disappeared. All of these things worry me. They send a bad message to others who want to stand up for individual freedom and representation, which are common Tea Party values, which are American values, which are human rights values which are already democratic political values”.

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Fausto Chou is a Taiwanese journalist. He has been the executive editor of the Eat News since June, 2020. He previously worked for the Eastern Television (ETTV) and Formosa Television (FTV) as a journalist.


Eat News is a Taiwanese digital media, analyzes current events and issues through column articles, videos, visual aid, and exclusive interviews.

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Exclusive: US Tea Party Leader Visited Taiwan in the Last Years of the Cold War, Supports Taiwan’s Independence

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