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Cheney's China visit to centre on Taiwan
By Shao Zongwei (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-04-06 21:48

China will urge the United States to follow its one-China policy and refrain from selling weapons to Taiwan during a working visit by US Vice-President Dick Cheney next week.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said at a regular news briefing Tuesday that the Taiwan question will "no doubt" be a topic of Cheney's talks with the Chinese leaders during his three-day visit to Beijing beginning on next Tuesday.

"We are firmly opposed to the export of advanced weapons to Taiwan, which violates the United States' own repeated commitments and destroys peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits," said Kong. "The Chinese position will be expounded during the visit."

Kong's remarks echoed China's criticism last week when the Pentagon approved the sale of an early-warning military radar system to Taiwan.

The Taiwan question has always been the most important and sensitive issue in Sino-US relations.

The timing of Cheney's visit makes the issue even more outstanding as the results of the election in Taiwan on March 20th are being challenged.

The United States congratulated Chen on his re-election March 26, again arousing Beijing's criticism.

"The current situation across the Taiwan Straits is in a very sensitive and special status," said Kong. "We ask that the United States, under the current conditions, earnestly adhere to its commitment and follow the one-China policy and the principles of the three Sino-US joint communiques."

Cheney's visit has been seen by the Chinese side as a continuation in the growth of high-level exchanges between the two countries.

"It leads to enhanced understanding, promoting co-operation, expanding consensus and reducing differences for China and the United States to keep the momentum for exchanging high-level visits," said Kong.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited the United States last December.

Japanese governmental loans

Kong Tuesday also said China cannot accept that some Japanese linked its government's reduction of loans to China with the so-called "China threat" and even the "lack of transparency in China's military spending."

"These arguments do not hold water and absolutely do not conform to the facts," said Kong.

Japan has reduced its governmental loans to China for the third year in row.

Kong said that the loans allowed the two countries work together and helped Japanese enterprises enter the Chinese market.

"Such loans are an important sign that the Japanese Government carries out a friendly policy towards China," said Kong.

L Nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula

Kong said a conceptual document China submitted to the other five sides participating in the six-party talks has won their approval.

China hopes to work with the five parties to allow the working group to meet at an early date and prepare for the third round of six-party talks on the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula.

The other five parties involved in the six-party talks are the United States, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea, Russia and Japan.

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