US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, a piano prodigy, may find her China tour like playing a complex piece of music, but if done properly the result will be harmonious.
Talks with President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao yesterday made a good start.
Opinions on various topics, including the Taiwan question, Sino-US trade disputes, intellectual property rights protection, Korean Peninsula nuclear stand-off discussions and the World Trade Organization's Doha Round of market-opening talks, were exchanged frankly.
Lingering in the background is the approval by China's top legislature of the Anti-Secession Law which opposes "Taiwan independence secessionists."
In yesterday's separate meetings with Rice, both Hu and Wen stressed that the Anti-Secession Law aims to curb "Taiwan independence forces" and the law is conducive to stability and the development of relations between Taiwan and the mainland, and will also help maintain peace and development in the Asia-Pacific region.
Both leaders said the "secessionist activities" of the "Taiwan independence forces" have posed the biggest threat to peace and stability across the Straits, expressing their hope that the US will understand, respect and support China's legislative action.
Hu told the visiting secretary of state he hoped the United States will "see clearly the nature and harm of 'Taiwan independence secessionist forces' and their activities."
Rice replied yesterday that it is in the US interest to maintain tranquility across the Taiwan Straits and solve the Taiwan question peacefully, and that the United States will make efforts to that end.
Rice said the US Government's position on pursuing the one-China policy and abiding by the three US-China joint communiques will not change, according to a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman.
During her meeting with Hu, Rice said the US Government attaches great importance to developing US-China constructive and co-operative ties, and that people around the world are watching the "remarkable transformation" that is going on in China.
She said the United States is ready to join hands with China in exploring new fields for co-operation.
(China Daily March 21, 2005)