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Chen uses stopover to undermine relations
By Guo Nei (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-08-20 00:26

China Thursday described the scheduled stayover by Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian in the United States en route to Latin America as a scheme to spoil Sino-US relations.

"The use of 'stopovers' by the Taiwan authorities as an excuse to conduct activities splitting China and sabotaging China-US relations is a trick they have consistently been using," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan.

"We urge the US side to abide by the three Sino-US joint communiques and their relevant commitments, not to conduct any official dealings and contacts with Taiwan, not to allow important Taiwan political figures to use 'stopovers' as an excuse to engage in separatist activities," Kong said.

The spokesman also urged the US to support Sino-US relations with concrete action.

Chen reportedly sent Chiou I-jen, secretary-general of the "National Security Council," to Washington in advance to arrange for his stop in Chicago on his way to the Central American countries of Panama and Belize from late August.

Chen has also reportedly asked to stop over in New York, Houston or Miami.

But latest reports said Chen would have to cut his trip short as the US side told him to make his visit as brief as possible.

Chen is now reportedly scheduled to leave Taipei on a chartered flight on August 29 and will make a stop in Hawaii on his way to Panama. He is due to make a stop in Seattle on September 5 before heading home.

Instead of being granted a two-day stopover as he reportedly requested, he will now only stay overnight on both stops.

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