US VP Cheney arrives in China for 3-day visit
U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney arrived in Beijing Tuesday afternoon to start a 3-day working visit, the second stop on his weeklong tour of Asia, amid rising tensions over violence in Iraq.
While relations between the United States and China have improved as the two nations worked together to resolve the North Korean nuclear impasse, differences remain over Taiwan and human rights.
Ahead of Cheney's arrival, China urged the United States to stop adhering to a law that encourages Washington to sell advanced weapons to Taiwan.
By remaining committed to the Taiwan Relations Act, the United States is sending the "wrong message to Taiwan independence forces," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan told the official Xinhua News Agency. He said the act meddles in China's affairs and infringes its sovereignty.
Under the Taiwan Relations Act, the United States is pledged to defend the island if it is attacked.
U.S. officials have expressed misgivings, however, about apparent moves on an independence-minded agenda by Taiwan's freshly re-elected leader Chen Shui-bian.
Cheney was to meet Tuesday with China's vice president, Zeng Qinghong. The vice president was scheduled to talk Wednesday with other top Chinese officials -- President Hu Jintao, Central Military Commission Chairman Jiang Zemin and Premier Wen Jiabao.
Cheney ended his Japan stay with a visit to Emperor Akihito and other members of the imperial family and with a speech on the 150th anniversary of a U.S.-Japanese peace agreement, a document honored except for the large exception of World War II.
Cheney said the U.S. relationship with Japan was "one of the greatest achievements of modern history."
After China, Cheney will fly to South Korea to continue his Asian tour.