Taiwan Issue Vital to Overall China-US Relations

President Jiang Zemin told US President Bill Clinton that the Taiwan issue is of vital importance that may affect the overall situation of China-US ties and shake the very foundation of such relations.

At a meeting with Clinton on the sideline of the 8th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation informal leadership meeting on November 16 in Bandar Seri Bagewan, Jiang said that over the past 21 years since China and the US established diplomatic relations, including the past eight years of the Clinton administration, it has been repeatedly demonstrated that proper handling of the Taiwan issue is closely linked with the stability, improvement and development of China-US relations.

He urged the US government to honor its commitments and explicitly support China's peaceful reunification.

He told Clinton that "as long as the Taiwan authorities accept the One-China principle, consultation can start and proceed on all issues across the Taiwan Straits on the basis of equality," adding that he believes a solution acceptable for both sides can definitely be found.

Jiang said that China will continue to develop relations across the Taiwan Straits and push forward the reunification process in line with the basic policy of "peaceful reunification" and "one country, two systems" formulated by late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping and Jiang's eight-point proposal advanced in 1995.

He stressed that it cannot be tolerated if Taiwan authorities seek "independence" or hold an illusion about maintaining the current separated situation for long.

Clinton pledged that the US government would continue to observe the One-China policy.

The meeting would be the 10th and the last between the two heads of state during the Clinton administration. Jiang and Clinton held their first meeting at the first APEC informal leadership meeting in Seattle, Washington, USA, in November 1993.

(People's Daily 11/17/2000)

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