Thu, Mar 10, 2005 - Page 1 News List

US up in arms over `anti-secession' law

ACTION, REACTION After some of the content of the controversial bill was revealed, the response of US officials ranged from `unhelpful' to `disconcerting'

By Charles Snyder  /  STAFF REPORTER IN WASHINGTON

"So I don't think it's particularly useful to the idea that we would propose to lessen tensions between Taiwan and China," he said.

Fallon noted that he has been in his present post only ten days, and has not had a chance to study cross-strait issues closely. But he pledged to give the situation top priority.

"I've got it on the top of my list here to work on," he said. "We're going to be studying it hard to see if in fact there are things we can do to support a `de-tensioning' of this region."

Boucher expressed the department's unhappiness with the planned law, saying that from what the department can see, it "runs counter to recent trends toward a warming in cross-straits [sic] relations, and we would consider passage of this law unhelpful."

"Any attempt by a party to resolve this by other than peaceful means could be a threat to peace and security in the region," Boucher stressed.

Boucher said that the US government is continuing to talk to both Beijing and Taipei about the law.

"We continue to urge both sides to avoid steps that raise tension, and risk beginning a cycle or reaction and counteraction, which would make dialogue more difficult," he said.

And in a comment that could also be taken to refer to calls in Taiwan for a law to counter Beijing's planned legislation, Boucher had this to say:

"Two sides in different places passing laws or trying to define things is not the way this is going to be solved. this is going to be solved by the two sides getting together and talking to each other, through dialogue."

"It's a peaceful dialogue that we've always supported, that we think could be used to solve the problem, and that's where we'd like to see the parties expend their effort," Boucher said.

Ignoring the US' call for it to rethink the passage of the anti-secession law, China yesterday told its lawmakers it was their "solemn mission" to pass the legislation.

"Formulating the anti-secession law is a major event in China's political life," top legislater Wu Bangguo (吳邦國) was quoted by AFP as saying at the National People's Congress.

"The national legislature is sure to fulfill the solemn mission to do a good job in enacting the anti-secession law."

also see stories:

Pundits warn of economic warfare

Party leaders urged to unite against anti-secession law

Foreign offices voice their opinions about new law

Referendum can be held on May 14: CEC

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