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Bush Makes "Erroneous" Taiwan Remarks

China reiterated yesterday that the United States should adhere to the one-China principle, the three Sino-US joint communiques and other relevant commitments on the Taiwan question.

"The United States made erroneous remarks after it decided to sell sophisticated arms to Taiwan," said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue at a press conference.

In a separate move, Li Peng, chairman of the Standing Committee of National People's Congress, has cancelled a trip to Japan in protest at Tokyo's decision to allow former Taiwanese leader Lee Teng-hui to visit.

US President George W Bush said on Wednesday that the United States would do "whatever it took" to defend Taiwan if it is attacked by the Chinese mainland, going further than any US leader since the two nations have established diplomatic relations in 1979.

Zhang said Bush's remarks "undermined peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits and will create further damage to Sino-US relations."

"There is only one China," she stressed. "Taiwan is a part of China, not a protectorate of any foreign country.

"The Chinese people have the determination to safeguard China's territorial integrity and sovereignty," Zhang said. "No people should miscalculate that."

She also pointed out that the fundamental cause of tension across the Taiwan Straits is the reluctance by Taiwan to accept the one-China principle.

"We hope the Taiwan authority accept the one-China principle, only in this way can cross-Straits relations stabilize and develop," Zhang said. "Any efforts to confront China's reunification is doomed to failure."

In contrast to the US position, recent reports said that the governments of Germany and the Netherlands had expressed openly they did not want to sell weapons to Taiwan.

"We have high appreciation of the two governments," Zhang said. "Mutually beneficial ties between China and the two countries in political and other fields are developing smoothly with broad prospects."

To protest at Tokyo's approval of Taiwan's former leader Lee Teng-hui's visit to Japan, Li Peng has cancelled a planned visit to Japan, the spokeswoman said.

She said Lee is the general representative of "Taiwan independence forces" and his visit is a political issue.

The fact that the Japanese Government gave the green light to Lee's visit undermines the political foundations of Sino-Japanese relations, Zhang said.

"We have noticed that Lee was not welcomed in Japan and his actions have been restricted," she said. "More and more people have seen through his evil political motives."

Last month, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced he would seek the re-election and has won support from African countries.

China appreciates Kofi Annan's tremendous efforts in safeguarding peace and promoting development of the world.

"The Chinese Government has decided to support Annan in his efforts to retain the secretary-general's position and Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan has written a letter to him," the spokeswoman said.

The Chinese Government always stands for and pushes forward strengthening moves made by the United Nations and maintains that the UN is the most important and authoritative inter-governmental organization in the world, Zhang said.

(China Daily 04/27/2001)

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