Bush: US opposed to Taiwan 'independence'
US President George W. Bush stressed on Tuesday his country's continued opposition to Taiwan "independence."
President Bush also reaffirmed US adherence to the one-China policy and the three Sino-US joint communiques.
Bush also said he was looking forward to meeting with President Hu Jintao during their exchange of visits later this year.
Bush said the current US-Chinese relationship is very good, and that bilateral relations will continue to develop.
While accepting that sticking points may emerge as the relationship develops, the US president said these should be dealt with on the basis of mutual respect to maintain the vitality of relations.
Sheng, who is also chairman of the NPC Sino-US parliamentary group (Senate), said the exchange of visits of Bush and Hu would further promote the constructive and co-operative relationship between China and the United States.
He said there are signs the situation across the Taiwan Straits is easing up, but that Taiwan authorities have not stopped secessionist activities.
Sheng said China appreciates Bush's adherence to the one-China policy, observation of the three Sino-US joint communiques and opposition to Taiwan "independence."
Concerted efforts to oppose and contain activities aimed at splitting Taiwan from China, and maintain peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, are in the common interests of both the US and China, he added.
On bilateral trade and economic co-operation, Sheng said the two countries could find solutions through dialogue following the principle of "development, equality, and mutual benefit" agreed upon by Bush and Premier Wen Jiabao during Wen's 2003 visit to the US.
Sheng arrived in Washington on Monday afternoon at the invitation of US Senate President Ted Stevens, chairman of the US-China parliamentary group in the US Senate, and Senator Daniel K. Inouye, co-chairman of the group.
China's NPC set up exchange mechanisms with the US House of Representatives and Senate in 1999 and 2004 respectively. Through these candid exchanges of views on bilateral relations and issues of common concern have taken place, mutual understanding and trust have increased, and the Sino-US relationship has been pushed forward, Sheng said at a reception hosted by the US Senate in his honour on Tuesday.
Parliamentary exchange is part and parcel of the state relationship between China and the United States, Sheng added.
As both China and the United States are influential countries in the world, he said, the importance of Sino-US relations goes beyond the scope of normal bilateral relationship.
In their speeches at the reception, US Senate President Stevens, Senator Inouye, co-chair of the Senate's US-China parliamentary group, and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said a good US-China relationship is a major factor in contributing to peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and the world as a whole.
Sheng and his entourage are scheduled to have the second round of formal talks with their US counterparts on Wednesday local time.