Rice reiterates one-China stance
US National Security Council adviser Condoleezza Rice has assured Chinese leaders of her country's loyalty to the one-China policy while saying US-Chinese relations are developing in an unprecedented manner.
After meeting the Chairman of the Chinese Central Military Commission Jiang Zemin and Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing on Thursday, Rice reiterated during Friday's hour-long talks with President Hu Jintao that the US Government would honour its commitments, stick to the one-China policy and the three US-China joint communiques, and render no support during Taiwan's bid for independence.
In terms of the Taiwan question, China will adhere to the principles of "peaceful reunification" and "one country, two systems," and is willing to make utmost efforts with greatest sincerity to resolve the matter peacefully, the president said.
But China will show no tolerance to Taiwan independence nor allow anyone to split Taiwan from China.
Hu said China was hopeful that the US side would translate its commitments into concrete actions and not send the wrong signal to the Taiwan authorities so as to avoid damaging the peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits.
Both Asia- and America-based analysts warned that the chances of an armed confrontation increased with the re-election of pro-independence Taiwanese leader Chen Shui-bian's in March.
Fu Mengzi, a researcher with the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, said although Sino-US ties were at their best level since President Richard Nixon's visit in 1972, the situation across the Taiwan Straits was "much tenser" at present.
Observers say the United States' decision to continue to sell advanced weapons shows that it is an influential factor standing in the way of China's peaceful reunification.
However, they say it is expected to continue to press Taipei to avoid any unilateral change to the status quo across the Straits and enhance strategic co-ordination with Beijing on the issue.
US Vice-President Dick Cheney came to Beijing in April -- an important time as it was just weeks after Chen was re-elected.
Cheney has close contact with the Pentagon and other senior administration officials.
During the visit, Cheney claimed that the United States realized the importance of the Taiwan question to US-China relations, saying the US' stance on Taiwan has not changed.
On Sino-US relations, another leading topic of Friday's talks between Rice and Hu, the latter said the importance of Sino-US ties and the common interests shared by the two countries increased, rather than decreased,amid great international changes.
Rice said a strong and confident China was in the interests of the United States, adding that the US is willing to strengthen its relations with China, expand economic and trade ties, and continue to discuss the problems they share.
Ruan Zongze, a research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies, says high-level visits between the two sides will also help the nations to seek more common ground for co-operation, such as in regional security issues, the fight against terrorism and the development of the global economy.
Rice's 24-hour visit to China end at noon on Friday, when she headed to the Republic of Korea.
Her Asian tour started in Japan.