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2004-05-20 12:37:42

    Washington, May 19 (CNA) The White House on Wednesday bluntly refused to accept Beijing's threats of the use of force to resolve cross-Taiwan Strait differences made in a statement released Sunday.

    In the statement, Beijing sternly warned Taiwan not to press for independence while at the same time offering the prospect of fresh cross-strait peace talks and enhanced cooperation.

    White House spokesman Scott McClellan said at a daily briefing that "threats to, quote, 'crush' Taiwan, or drown it in a, quote, 'sea of fire, ' have no place in civilized international discourse, and Beijing merely hurts its own case by using them in such comments.

    Pointing out that such tough warnings are especially unhelpful at this delicate time, McClellan said that "they necessitate that we firmly restate our intention to fulfill our obligations under the Taiwan Relations Act."

    Nevertheless, he said that the United States noted that the statement also had some positive parts that express Beijing's willingness to improve relations with Taiwan. "The United States believes that cross-strait dialogue is essential to preserving peace and stability in the region, and we welcome steps by both sides to promote it, " the spokesman said.

    As to President Chen Shui-bian's May 20 inauguration speech, McClellan declined to voice any expectations and said he would comment on the speech after it was delivered. Nevertheless, he emphasized that the United States' cross-strait policy is very clear and that it will not change.

(By Jorge Liu and P.C.Tang)


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