Fri, Mar 30, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Chinese envoy asks Washington to rein in Taiwan

AFP , WASHINGTON

China's ambassador to the US on Wednesday called on Washington to stop selling advanced weapons and sending "the wrong signals" to Taiwan, warning that bilateral ties could suffer if the issue was not handled properly.

China "will never tolerate Taiwan's independence or allow anyone to separate Taiwan from the motherland ... through any means," Zhou Wenzhong (周文重) said in a speech addressing a forum of the Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies.

Zhou said the Taiwan issue was "the most important and sensitive issue at the core of China-US relations" and was "crucial" to the stability and development of bilateral ties and cooperation.

He attacked President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), charging he was becoming "more reckless and dangerous" by pursuing independence.

Earlier this month, the US called Chen's pledge to push for independence "unhelpful."

"The Taiwan questions bears on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China, involves China's core national interest and touches upon the national sentiments of the Chinese people," Zhou said.

He cited a 1995 visit by then Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) to the US which led to the recall of China's US ambassador for four months.

"So what I am trying to say is that the question needs to be handled with great care, great caution and the United States has a commitment to China ... and the essence of that is one China," he said.

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