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US says no to 'Taiwan independence'
(China Daily)
Updated: 2006-03-17 05:43

WASHINGTON: The United States has renewed its opposition to "Taiwan independence" in reaction to Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian's recent secessionist move.

"We do not support Taiwan independence, and we oppose unilateral changes to the status quo by either side," US State Department spokesman Adam Ereli told a news briefing on Tuesday (local time).

He said the United States has a one-China policy based on the Taiwan Relations Act and the three US-China joint communiques.

"I think our position is clear."

Ereli said the Taiwan leadership has made public commitments with regard to its cross-Straits policy, and that these commitments are well known. "We take them seriously. And we expect that they'll be sustained."

In a statement on March 2, the US State Department asked the Taiwan authorities to "unambiguously affirm that the February 27 announcement (by Chen Shui-bian) did not abolish the National Unification Council, did not change the status quo, and that the assurances remain in effect.

"Abrogating an assurance would be changing the status quo, and that would be contrary to that understanding," the statement said.

Chen announced his decision to cease the functioning of the "National Unification Council" (NUC) and the application of the "National Unification Guidelines" on February 27 amid grave international concerns and repeated warnings.

The "NUC" was set up in 1990 by the Taiwan authorities headed by Lee Teng-hui. A total of 14 meetings were held after its establishment.

The "National Unification Guidelines" were issued in 1991, saying both the Chinese mainland and Taiwan are under the sovereignty of China and the promotion of the state's reunification should be the common task of all Chinese.

The guidelines also outlined a three-phase goal for the realization of China's reunification.

China has been opposed to the so-called Taiwan Relations Act ever since its enactment in 1979 as it violates Chinese sovereignty, interferes in China's internal affairs and runs counter to the three joint communiques signed by China and the United States.

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