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Rice Reiterates One-China Policy

At a Monday press conference in Beijing, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that the United States remains absolutely committed to the one-China policy.

Referring to her meetings with President Hu Jintao and other leaders, Rice said, "I reiterated that the United States does in fact have the one-China policy that has been clearly consistent, a policy that is based on the three joint communiqu├ęs."

She expressed hope that the status quo of the Taiwan Straits would be maintained, saying "the most useful path ahead is to reduce tension between the two sides."

Rice said the remarkable development in US-China relations would have been unthinkable a few years ago. Today the two nations cooperate on issues ranging from Asia to Afghanistan and Iraq, and from the global war on terrorism to fighting HIV/AIDS, she said.

Rice said during her meetings here, the Chinese side agreed that expanding cooperation between the two nations is essential to the interests of both, particularly as China is in a state of transformation.

She indicated that the US wants to develop and strengthen relations with China based on mutual interests and global standards in such important areas as human rights, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, trade and economic affairs.

After stating that China's economic growth is a positive factor, she noted, "China's very rapid economic growth and its obvious impact on the international economy is something that everybody is watching and that everybody is concerned about."

China's economy "is growing so rapidly and having such impact that people want to be assured that it is going to be encapsulated in a role-based approach to the international economy," she said.

"It is why the US supported Chinese accession to the WTO (World Trade Organization), and it is why we had extensive discussions about the need to protect intellectual property rights," she said, adding that it is also why it has been important to look at the trade imbalances.

"I just think that as we go forward, and as the Chinese economy is becoming such a big factor, it is really critical that people know that there is an understanding in China of the responsibility that comes with that kind of rapid economic growth, because it is going to have a big impact on everybody and on everybody's economy," she added.

Rice reiterated the US commitment to the six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, saying that the US position is that this is the best way to resolve it. She characterized the talks as "potentially effective."

Rice left Beijing for home shortly after the press conference, concluding a 24-hour visit to China that started Sunday afternoon. China was the last leg of Rice's six-nation Asian trip that also took her to India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Japan and the Republic of Korea.

During her stay in Beijing, Rice met with President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao, Vice Premier Wu Yi, State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan and Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, also discussing such areas as Sino-US trade cooperation, China's foreign exchange policy, protection of intellectual property rights, and the Doha Development Agenda of the WTO.

This is Rice's first trip to China since she took office as the United States' top diplomat in January. She visited China in February 2002 and July 2004 when serving as the US national security adviser.

(Xinhua News Agency March 22, 2005)

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