In response to Chinese President Hu Jintao's (胡錦濤) latest proposal that the US and China should jointly "safeguard peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait," Vice Foreign Affairs Minister Michael Kau (高英茂) yesterday said Hu's remark was yet another of China's "united front" tricks meant to isolate Taiwan.
The proposal was brought up by Hu during his meeting with US President George W. Bush on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.
"Hu's proposal was obviously an international `united front' trick," Kau said, referring to the Chinese Communist Party's alleged divide-and-conquer tactics.
Kau said that he didn't think it likely that the US would be duped into cooperating with China at the expense of Taiwan.
Relations between Taiwan and the US are in good shape because the two countries share strategic interests, Kau added.
Kau said that China came up with the proposal partly because the US and Japan in February had for the first time announced that "maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait" was one of their common objectives.
"As a big power, China is certainly a target that the US would woo to be a cooperative partner. Nevertheless, I don't think that the US would likely sacrifice Taiwan's interests simply to cooperate with China," Kau said.
He acknowledged that Taiwan and the US had had rifts at times, but he also said that beneath the tensions on the surface, the two countries shared strategic interests that formed the bedrock of their relations.
"At the moment, Taiwan-US relations are steady and smooth," Kau said.
In related news, a high-ranking official at the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said that Taiwan was not the primary issue during Bush and Hu's talk on the sidelines of the UN meeting earlier this week.
MAC Vice Chairman You Ying-lung (
"This is the real concern of the US, and China should really take notice of it," You said.