Protest made over Chen's US stopover

By Le Tian (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-01-09 07:26

China protested against the United States yesterday for allowing Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian to stop over in California on his way to Nicaragua.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said in a statement that Chen's trip was aimed at bolstering Taiwanese independence forces and sabotaging Sino-US relations.

Chen will stay overnight in San Francisco before leaving for Nicaragua, one of the island's few diplomatic allies, to attend the swearing-in ceremony of President-elect Daniel Ortega. .

"We express serious concern over related reports," Liu said, referring to Chen's stopover. "We have made serious representations to the US."

"The real goal of Chen's 'transit' via the US is to undertake activities aimed at splitting China and ruining Sino-US relations," the spokesman said. "We are firmly opposed to any official exchange between Taiwan authorities and the US."

During his presidential campaign for the November elections, Ortega had vowed to establish diplomatic relations with Beijing and sever the Cental American country's ties with Taiwan.

But Chen's visit has raised speculation that Nicaragua may maintain diplomatic ties with Taiwan in return for a huge aid package.

Liu urged the US to abide by the three China-US joint communiques, which serve as the political basis of Sino-US relations, and take practical steps to honor the one-China policy and contain "Taiwan independence".

"The US government should not allow Chen to conduct any activity in the US under any pretext," he said. Nor should the US send any wrong signal to "Taiwan independence" forces.

(China Daily 01/09/2007 page2)

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