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2004-03-05 12:41:32

    Taipei, March 5 (CNA) A senior U.S. State Department official said Thursday that whoever wins Taiwan's presidential election, Washington would like to see an early resumption to talks between Taipei and Beijing, according to a report by Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV.

    The report said that Randall G. Shriver, deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asia and Pacific Affairs, made the comments while attending a hearing held by the East Asia and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations to examine Hong Kong's state of democracy.

    Pointing out that Beijing should pay attention to the will of the Hong Kong people, Shriver said that the United States and other Asian countries are concerned about mainland China's policy in dealing with its special administration zone's affairs.

    Talking about cross-strait relations, the official said that whoever wins the presidency in Taiwan, the United States hopes to see progress made in the resumption of talks between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.

    The island is set to hold its presidential election March 20, with a national referendum also scheduled to be held the same day.

    U.S. foreign policy treats Taiwan and Hong Kong as two different issues, Shriver said. Although the policies are guided by Congress, with some policies decided by U.S. law, he said, the relationship that Washington can develop with Hong Kong is quite different from the relationship that it can develop with Taiwan.

(By P.C. Tang)


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