Sun, Feb 04, 2007 - Page 3 News List

US to urge PRC to reduce threat against Taiwan


Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the US State Department Thomas Christensen said in written testimony on Friday that the US would continue to put pressure on Beijing to reduce its military threat to Taiwan and to tell Beijing frankly that the US has a strong interest in a secure Taiwan.

Christensen provided the statement to the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, which he could not attend because he was traveling abroad.

The letter was read on his behalf by John Norris, Director of the US State Department's Office of Chinese and Mongolian Affairs.

Christensen said the US was deeply concerned that China continued to position missiles and weapons systems aimed at Tai-wan and that the US took note that China had refused to give up the option of using military force against Taiwan.

The US would have to respond according to its duties laid out in the Taiwan Relations Act, he added.

He said that the US insisted that cross-strait differences be resolved peacefully with an agreement between the peoples of both China and Taiwan, adding that the US would continue to pressure Beijing to increase dialogue with Taiwan, including with its democratically elected leaders.

During a question-and-answer session, Norris revealed that after China shot down an old weather satellite, the US immediately contacted the Chinese government in Beijing and their representative in Washington.

He said he believed that strategically, this violated China's insistence that it doesn't intend to militarize space and that the US protested that the broken pieces could threaten satellites and astronauts.

The US was still unsatisfied with China's explanation and negotiations were ongoing, he added.

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