Mon, Mar 07, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Ex-US ambassador downplays China's `anti-secession' law


Former US Ambassador to China James Lilley said Saturday that even if China enacts an anti-secession law, it is uncertain that Beijing will take any action against Taiwan in accordance with the law, as "law is what you say, policy is what you do."

Lilley also served as former director of the American Institute of Taiwan's Taipei Office.

Speaking at the annual meeting of the Taiwan-US Science and Technology Industry Association, Lilley noted that China passed a bill in 1992 to include Taiwan and Tiaoyutai in its territory. "But it's a law, not policy," he said, adding that China's current enactment of an anti-secession law is similar to that of the earlier law.

The anti-secession law itself is not a cross-strait problem and only the escalation of tension on both sides of the strait will cause problems, he further said, adding that he neither sees tension in the Taiwan Strait nor any provocation from Taiwan to challenge China. Lilley also said he believes Taipei and Beijing can resolve their differences peacefully.

However, he said the US does not want to hear the Taiwan government remark that "if China attacks Taiwan, the United States will protect the island."

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