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China, US seek 'constructive spirit'
By Jiang Zhuqing and Qin Jize (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-02-02 06:00

Senior military officials from China and the United States agreed yesterday to follow a "constructive spirit" in seeking a proper solution in dealing with the Taiwan question.

"Chen Shui-bian and his authorities have been advocating Taiwan 'independence' activities in various ways. We hope China, together with the US side, can put a stop to this," said Tu Qiming, director of American and Oceania Affairs Department of the Foreign Affairs Bureau at the National Defence Ministry.

Richard Lawless, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence, gestures during the meeting in Beijing, January 31, 2005. [newsphoto] 
Tu spoke after a China-US "defence policy meeting" between Xiong Guangkai, deputy chief of the general staff of the People's Liberation Army, and Richard Lawless, US deputy undersecretary of defence.

Analysts regarded the meeting as a sign of warming of ties between the militaries of the two countries.

The Taiwan question is the most significant factor influencing Sino-US relations, said Xiong, stressing that China hopes the US side will carry out the promises made by the US President George W. Bush of backing the one-China policy, abiding by the three joint communiques and opposing Taiwan "independence."

Lawless said the United States "hopes the Taiwan question can be peacefully resolved."

During their talks, the two military officials reached a consensus on high-level exchanges this year, said Tu, without elaborating.

The overall situation of China-US military relations continues to "maintain a positive trend of improvement and progress," said Xiong.

Satisfied with the results of the two days of policy meetings, Lawless said American officials regard military ties between China and the United States as a key to bilateral relations. He said the United States will push forward senior exchanges and co-operation in all fields.

According to Tu, the two sides did not discuss the European Union's proposed plans to lift a 15-year-long arms embargo against China in 2005.

Washington opposes lifting the ban for fear that European arms could be used against US forces should they be called upon to defend Taiwan, reports said.

Meanwhile, Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan yesterday said that US opposition is "unreaso-nable."

"We have a hope that on this issue, third parties, including the United States, will not stand in the way and will conform with the natural trend," Kong said. 

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