In Taiwan in January 2000, he persuades Chen Shui-bian to agree to discuss the One-China Principle with Beijing with an approach Chen calls “creative, visionary and helpful in breaking the stalemate.” In March in Beijing, he meets again with Qian, and the Deputy Director of the Taiwan Office of the State Council makes a proposal for opening talks. In June, while Stone is in Taiwan, Chen agrees to the minimal condition for opening talks–the 1992 Consensus–but is forced to withdraw it under political pressure.
Chapter II (Eighteen Months of Brainstorming) covers the period November 2000 to April 2002, which includes three trips to each side of the Taiwan Straits. In this period, Stone has lost his anonymity but his standing in China rises where he is called “unique” in providing not just ideas but memoranda and his efforts are publicly called “very highly appreciated” by a Chinese official. Meanwhile, in Taiwan, he continues to meet with the highest leaders, including President Chen Shui-bian and James Soong. A host of proposals are made to each side.
Chapter III (Opposing Separatism) covers the period August 2002 to June 2004 and includes five trips to either Taiwan or the Mainland. It begins when an alleged envoy from Taiwan’s Presidential Office meets with Stone in Washington and asks for Stone’s support for aggressive and provocative policies–which he promptly reports to the U.S. National Security Council. He hurries to Taiwan where President Chen, discouraged with his effort to negotiate with Beijing, is pushing the dangerous “two-countries policy.”
In Beijing, Stone prepared and proposed a U.N. General Resolution that would reestablish the unity of China. Among other proposals, he invents and begins pushing “One China Principle Talks” in which the talks would be based on the One China Principle even if the negotiators themselves have not personally accepted it. This may have been accepted by the Mainland.
Later, he proposes “insulating” the three links from political issues, subsidizing of first-time visits of future leaders of Taiwan and a hotline between the two leaders.
In Taiwan, he pushes his idea–“Multilateralizing the Cross-Strait Confrontation”—which had earlier found some preliminary favor in the U.S. National Security Council. It also found interest in the KMT. Finally, in Beijing, he proposed a “democratic-finesse” idea in which the Mainland would treat the Taiwanese public as the “real Taiwanese authorities” and, if the worse came to the worst, put the issue of negotiations up to the Taiwanese public.
Chapter IV (Blowing the Whistle) covers the period August 2004 to August 2005. Stone receives information that the Taiwanese have set up a high-level secret committee to investigate the feasibility of Taiwan becoming a nuclear power. Informing the National Security Council, which is alarmed and begins to investigate, he sets out for Taiwan and immediately confirms, in a number of ways, that the rumor is true.
He invents the idea of embedding Taiwan’s international obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty into domestic Taiwanese law to discourage atomic scientists from participating in cheating. He persuades the Chairman of the Parliamentary Defense Committee to consider this idea and to raise the nuclear issue in hearings.
He cancels a follow-on trip to China, returns to Washington, and provides a memorandum to the National Security Council with his conclusions on condition that it not be shared with State or Defense–which would have immediately leaked this to Taipei.
In November, in Beijing, without informing Chinese officials of his nuclear discovery, he makes seven relevant suggestions to the Central Committee. On his return, he discovers that Taipei is pretending to throw in the sponge on the nuclear committee but with a meaningless formal statement interpreted favorably with background briefings.
[These Chapters are related to the following Chapters in the earlier memoir, Every Man Should Try: Chapter 12, in which he helps catalyze scientific exchange with China and tries to save the life of Prime Minister Zhou En-lai, and Chapter 28, in which he invents a new method for unifying China, the “Northeast Strategy”–now being used by the two sides after the election of Taiwanese President Ma.]