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China Opposes Lifting of US-Taiwan Contact Ban
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China strongly opposes US moves to lift decades-old restrictions on contact between American and Taiwan officials because it runs counter to the one-China principle, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said at a regular press conference yesterday in Beijing.


The US House of Representatives approved the measure on Wednesday but it has yet to be deliberated by the Senate. The House approved the measure in an amendment to a funding bill for the State Department. The Senate could debate the issue later this summer.


"China has always resolutely opposed any form of official contact between US and Taiwan authorities," Jiang said.


She called the resolution a "serious violation of the fundamental principles of Sino-US relations" and said it ran contrary to the commitment to the one-China policy the US has affirmed many times.


US restrictions that prevent high-ranking American military officers from traveling to Taiwan have been in force since 1979, when it established diplomatic relations with Beijing.


Also prohibited are meetings between US and Taiwan officials in certain government buildings, including the White House.


Turning to the worsening situation in the Middle East, China urged Palestine and Israel to exercise restraint to cool down the conflicts.


"China is deeply concerned about the increasing tension between Palestine and Israel," Jiang said.


Israel launched operation "Summer Rain" early on Wednesday after two days of unfruitful international mediation over the release of Cpl. Gilad Shalit, who was kidnapped by Palestinian soldiers in an attack on a military position near the Gaza border on Sunday morning.


"We urge Israel to exercise restraint and halt military action, and call on Palestine to release the hostage as early as possible," Jiang said.


China holds that the Middle East issues should be solved through political negotiations on the basis of relevant UN resolutions and the "land for peace" principle, Jiang added.


"We hope the two sides will take concrete actions to relax the current tension and stop circle of violence at an early date," Jiang said.


In another development, Jiang said China urged all parties to make efforts for an early resumption of the six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue.


Jiang said China hoped all parties could take a flexible attitude toward the issues arising from the talks.


She said it is against the interests of all parties and not conducive to peace and stability in Northeast Asia if there is a delay in the resumption of talks.


"China hopes all parties will take a flexible attitude toward the issues that have risen in the talks and strive for an early resumption and new progress of the talks," Jiang said.


She noted that the Chinese side will keep close contacts with all the other parties and continue to make constructive contribution in this regard.


As for the Iran nuclear issue, Jiang said China hoped Iran would work together with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and deliver an early response to the six-nation package proposal aimed at resolving the nuclear dispute.


"We hope Iran will pay due attention to the concerns of the international community, take a positive attitude and make a formal response to the proposal soon," Jiang said.


According to Jiang, to solve the Iran nuclear dispute peacefully through diplomatic means is the right way and serves the interests of all parties.


"We also hope that all the other parties show the utmost patience and restraint, continue to take a constructive attitude to create a favorable atmosphere and conditions for the resumption of negotiations," she said.


(China Daily, Xinhua News Agency June 30, 2006)

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