Mon, Mar 21, 2005 - Page 1 News List

Rice vows to stand behind the Taiwan Relations Act


US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in Tokyo Saturday that Washington will continue to stick to its obligation under the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA).

She also said that the US will maintain its "one China" policy and oppose any unilateral change to the status quo by either side of the Taiwan Strait.

Rice, who was visiting Japan, made the comments in an address at Sophia University in Tokyo. The full text of her speech was released by the State Department the same day.

Pointing out that the US has reason to welcome the rise of China as a confident, peaceful and prosperous country, Rice said that Washington also wants China as "a global partner, able and willing to match its growing capabilities to its international responsibilities."

However, she admitted that some issues, particularly Taiwan, have complicated relations between China and the US.

"Our `one China' policy is clear and unchanged. We oppose unilateral changes to the status quo, whether by word or deed by either party," Rice said.

Saying that Taipei and Beijing must realize that neither side can solve the problem alone and should continue to expand recent steps toward a more productive relationship, Rice reiterated that "in the interest of peace and stability we stand by our obligations under the TRA."

She also said that the US can assure basic security as well as reach out to achieve other goals in the Pacific community because it knows economic and political openness works.

"The ultimate direction of contemporary trends is clear. Openness is the vanguard of success. Time and again we have seen that economic and political openness cannot long be separated. Even China must eventually embrace some form of open, genuinely representative government if it is to reap the benefits and meet the challenges of a globalizing world," she said.

Meanwhile, taking unilateral measures that can only escalate tension is not helpful to resolving cross-strait problems, Rice said in an interview with a Japanese TV station on Saturday.

She made the remarks while touching on China's "Anti-Secession" Law. The US State Department released the contents of the interview the same day.

Saying that neither side of the Taiwan Strait can resolve the cross-strait problem on its own, Rice noted that "unilateral measures that only increase tension rather than reducing them are simply not helpful."

Talking about China's human rights issue and the EU's intention to lift its arms sales ban on China, Rice said that although the US has decided not to seek a human rights resolution at the UN Commission on Human rights this year, the resolution is "something that comes up every year," adding, however, that "the removal of arms embargo doesn't come up every year and once it's removed, it's removed."

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