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Jiang: China never tolerates Taiwan independence
Updated: 2004-07-08 21:35

Jiang Zemin, chairman of the Chinese Central Military Commission, said Thursday that China will adhere to the basic principle of peaceful reunification and "one country, two systems", but will never tolerate Taiwan independence.

Jiang told US National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice that the Taiwan question is the most vital and most sensitive issue in Sino-US relations.

Chairman of Chinese Central Military Commission Jiang Zemin shakes hands with visiting U.S. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice in Beijing July 8, 2004. [newsphoto]

The US side's recent activities on the Taiwan issue, especially its striving to sell advanced weapons to Taiwan made Chinese people deeply concerned and dissatisfied, Jiang said.

The Chinese people long for peace and do not want war, Jiang said, noting that Taiwan independence will never be tolerated.

China's sovereignty and territorial integrity were the paramount and the national will of the 1.3 billion Chinese people was inviolable, Jiang said.

If the Taiwan authority go their own way towards Taiwan independence, and if the foreign forces step in, we will never sit by and watch, Jiang said.

Jiang summarized the development of Sino-US relations in recent decades, putting forward three basic principles on bilateral ties:

-- Eye on the overall situation and long-term-development- oriented. China and the United States were both big countries with world impact. The Sino-US ties should be considered in the scope of Asia and worldwide;

-- Recognize and respect differences, keep seeking and expanding common interests. The world is various. All the civilizations and social mechanisms should co-exist peacefully and pursue common development via seeking common points while differences exist;

-- Strictly adhere to the three Sino-US joint communiques and cautiously handle the Taiwan issue. With broad exchange and cooperation, it's not odd for some contradictions and differences to exist between China and the United States. The crux of the matter is to respect and treat each other on equal footing.

Rice said that US President George W. Bush attaches much importance to US-China ties and hopes to expand exchange and cooperation between the two nations in many sectors.

On the Taiwan question, Rice acknowledged, President George W. Bush understands China's concern on the issue and does not want to see conflict in the Taiwan Strait region, and the president's stance of supporting one-China principle, not supporting any unilateral change to the straits status quo is explicit and steadfast.

China is the second leg of Rice's Asian tour, following Japan and followed by the Republic of Korea (ROK). The US senior official, who visited China in 2002, was expected to leave Beijing for Seoul at noon Friday.

During her 24-hour stay in Beijing, Rice was scheduled to meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao and State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan on Friday. And Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing held talks with her Thursday afternoon.

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