Wed, Mar 30, 2005 - Page 4 News List

Delegation may help settle cross-strait impasse: US

By Charles Snyder  /  STAFF REPORTER , IN WASHINGTON

The US Monday welcomed the visit of a group headed by Nationalist Party (KMT) Vice Chairman Chiang Pin-kun (江丙坤) to China, saying that trips between China and Taiwan could contribute to solving cross-strait issues.

State Department spokesman Adam Ereli made the comment hours after the 35-person KMT group arrived in Guangzhou at the start of a five day visit, the first official KMT trip to China since the party was routed from China in 1949.

"We believe that dialogue is the best way to achieve long-term resolution of cross-strait differences, and what we're looking for are solutions that are acceptable to both sides," Ereli told reporters at his daily press briefing.

"And to the extent that visits across the Strait can contribute to that, then they're welcome," he said.

Ereli declined comment on Saturday's mass rally in Taipei to protest China's new "Anti-Secession" Law authorizing a Chinese military attack on Taiwan, reiterating only that Washington supports dialogue between the two sides and "opposes unilateral acts by either side that contribute to tension."

It was not immediately clear how the State Department's comments on the Chiang trip to China would reverberate among Taiwan supporters in Washington. Conservatives, who back both Bush and Taiwan, have been upset over the administration's negative attitude toward Chen and have been concerned over recent pan-blue camp attitudes toward Beijing.

One of Taiwan's biggest boosters in Washington, Heritage Foundation scholar John Tkacik, has talked about a "third KMT-CCP alliance," a reference to the ill-fated alliances between Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) and Mao Zedong (毛澤東) during the war against Japan in the 1930s and 1940s.

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