Beijing's obsession with preventing Taiwan from advancing toward formal independence is starting to interfere with other diplomatic endeavors, including talks on the North Korean nuclear crisis, officials and analysts say.
\nChinese officials deny linkage between the Korea talks and Taiwan, which the Chinese Communist Party considers a part of China. But US officials say the Taiwan issue is increasingly hogging the agenda and influencing Chinese policy, particularly when it comes to cooperation with the US.
\n"The increase in Chinese focus on Taiwan has really gotten to be an obsession," said a senior US administration official.
\n"With issue after issue it all comes back to Taiwan ... given the fact that everything else is tied to Taiwan it would be out of the ordinary for there not to be a linkage," he said.
\nThe Chinese leadership has cranked up its rhetoric with respect to Taiwan over the past year or so in the run-up to, and aftermath of, Taiwan's presidential election in March.
\nBeijing says it hopes to see Taiwan peacefully unified with China, but threatens to attack if Taiwan declares independence.
\nChinese leaders are convinced that Taiwanese President Chen Sui-bian (
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