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Rice: US opposes Taiwan's 'referendum'
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Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi meets visiting US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Beijing, February 26, 2008. Rice reiterated that the United States "opposes the proposed referendum" on Taiwan's United Nations' membership during talks with Yang.

Visiting United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reiterated in Beijing on Tuesday that the US would adhere to the one-China policy and opposes the proposed "referendum on Taiwan's UN membership".

Rice made the remarks in her talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, said a press release from the Chinese Ministry, stressing that the US opposes any unilateral changes across the Straits and believes that the referendum would not be constructive to any side and should not be taken.

Yang said the Taiwan question is a matter of China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and constitutes China's utmost concern.

Yang said that Chen Shui-bian and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)led by Chen cling obstinately to "the referendum on UN membership" regardless of the opposition from the international community. He added that the issue has already severely hampered peace and stability across the Straits and in the Asia Pacific region.

He said the Chinese side appreciates the US' and Rice's public statements against the Taiwan authorities' "referendum on UN membership", as well as the repeated statements on adherence to the one-China policy, abiding by the three Sino-US joint communiques and opposition to "Taiwan independence".

"We hope the US side would adopt any methods if necessary and make joint efforts with China to combat the secessionist activities for 'Taiwan independence' in an aim to maintain the peace and stability across the Straits and safeguard the mutual strategic interests between the two nations," Yang was quoted as saying.

Rice, briefing the press after the talks, also reiterated what she said in December that the United States "opposes the proposed referendum because we believe that the referendum would not be constructive and would not in fact serve a useful purpose".

Rice arrived in Beijing on Tuesday morning for a two-day visit to China as Yang's guest.

(Xinhua News Agency February 26, 2008)


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